Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Workin' it Wednesday: Stretching and Weights

On my last post, I mentioned that I was working on my previews and I said that one of the commenters would win a copy of the item I previewed! ;)
Please comment below with your email so that I can send you this resource! :)
Today I am linking up with Corinna from Surfin' Through Second for another installment of Workin' it Wednesday! :)

This week at the gym, I've been working on...

I have ZERO upper body strength.
Working with weights as a part of getting fit has been a has flexibility.
One of the stretches that I've gotten much better at over the last few weeks is this one!
It helps to stretch out those inner thigh muscles! 
My teacher at the gym suggests stretching during commercial breaks! :)
So, I'll try that this week!

I also want to work on getting more strength in my arms.  This triceps excercise has really helped me!
You have flexibility in the amount of weight you use.  I am starting with a three pound weight! :)

I hope you're still doing your best to get out and get some fresh air! :)
I know it will be a challenge for me once I start back to school in a few weeks, but...I am going to do my best! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Product Previews...among other things...

Happy Sunday to you all! :)
Last week, I asked you guys to share with me how you were feeling about product previews in general.  I learned a few pretty important points.

Last week, while I was at the conference, two of the presenters that I saw spoke on marketing.  Both of them had things to say about previews.  Now...I am not the guru of all things 'product preview-y', but...I really thought I was pretty good on this point.  I even have a few videos on You Tube about how to do them.

The quickest way to get feedback, in my opinion, is to ask my fans stuff on Facebook.  They are REALLY responsive, and super honest! :)

Well...I asked...and that's what I got! :)
They must just love me...because...half of my product previews are things that they DON'T want! :/
Sometimes, though...and I would say this is true across the board.  If a teacher really respects your practice and purchases from you often...they probably already know--crazy, whack preview unseen--what you're about and are willing to trust you.
That said...if you are trying to brand yourself...or just starting out...these tips can be critical to having people look and linger rather than look...and look away! :)

On TPT, freebies do NOT have a preview, but all paid products do! :)
For my freebies, I've chosen to go this route...

I like to put a few images of the papers...or images of students working on the covers, to give people an overall feel of what they'd be getting! :)  This particular freebie has really resonated with folks who follow me, and I think I'm going to have this be my year round free product as a result! :)

Now...on to paid products...

When I first started in TPT, lots of the people I admired had these types of previews.
They acutually still do...#justsayin
I'm almost embarassed to show you what my first ones looked like...but...this is one that I really liked! :)
My optics have gotten so much better in the last year!  I'm so excited about the look and feel of this product!
This Kitten Unit is one of my top 5 sellers.
I've been teaching it in my room for two years.
But let me tell you...the NUMBER ONE thing that my fans said...AND that other people 'liked' was that these types of images do not help them get the best view of the product.
This looks good to ME because I already KNOW what is in the product...but is that translating to a teacher who is interested in using it in their classroom?  #notsomuch

This one is a tough one for me...but that many readers on my fan page 'liked'.
Can I be honest?
I's just you and I here and all.
*looks around* *whisper voice* Is it bad that sometimes, I worry that someone will take my idea and copy it if I put too much of it out there?  Or that they will think...I can make that better...or cuter...and by me putting the entire product out there...I give them all the brainstorming they need?  Am I terrible for saying it out loud?
You won't tell anyone...will ya?
I just did this style of a preview on my FB fan page for my Good Citizen Pack.
I haven't heard very much from fans on it as of, I am still on the fence about actually loading it up onto TPT.  If you already follow me on FB, you can see it.  It will be up until Tuesday.  I even left the water mark off of a few pages so that fans could get a few things from the pack as a sample.  Let me know in the comments what you think.

This was really neat to know!
Many of my readers said that a blog post with lots of great images of student engagement was a HUGE draw to making a purchase.
I'm not advocating ALL product driven posts...but...if this is what my fans are saying about what they need in order to really 'see a product'...I bet yours feel pretty similarly!
But...don't take my word for it!
Ask them!!
You will be glad you asked! :)

Vegas was so key for me because I was able to connect with other teachers who have been sharing their classroom tools longer and/or with more success.  Alyssha from Teaching and Tapas was my roommate for Vegas and she actually got this process rolling for me! :)  Love her! :)
We sat down...looked at my numbers first...then at the previews...and she helped me chart a new course that would be more effective in sharing what I do with my readers! :)  Her previews are AMAZING and I learned so much!  So...thanks Alyssha! :)  From the bottom of my heart! ;) XOXO
Here's my brand new preview for my Kindergarten Fluency: Short Vowels

I hope you guys can see that I took to heart your comments! :)
Thanks for always making me a better teacher with your feedback and sharing! :)
I know for sure I have the bestest fans in the world! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back to School Ideas: Behavior Management

Hello everyone! :)  Today I'm super excited to be participating in a linky hosted by my dear friend and bloggy sister Sara from Miss V's Busy Bees!

This is a 10 week linky party!
Each week there will be a different focus!

This week, I'll be sharing my ideas for...

I'm a clip chart girl! :)
I know there's been much discussion about it, but I've found it to be successful in my room over the last several years, and I'm starting the year with one again this year too! :)
My classroom is pirate themed!  So all of my management has a piratey flavor! :)

Here are three things that I use in my class each year that help me stay sane throughout the year! :)

I love a good theme in a classroom!
It makes it feel warm when you walk in! :)
My classroom theme is PIRATES and my management system corresponds with it! :)

My first management tip is to make your system prominent. 
Make sure that the kids know that you take your system seriously and you will hold them accountable for both good and bad matter what type of system you have.

My sweet bloggy buddies Tara from And They All Fall Down...and Stacy from Funky Fresh Firsties started their own store.  It's called Tea & Coffee...because one of them likes tea, and the other likes coffee! What they BOTH love to do is make cute stuff! :)  I don't particularly fancy myself crafty...but they do!  And they're good at it! They made the magnets for my clip chart as a special order...and then they made me these adorable clothes pins and pirate magnets to continue my theme! :)
My students love them and it really helps to tie everything to my overall classroom theme! :)

Another thing to consider when developing your own management system is to make the rewards fun! :)
I snagged these reward coupons from Mel D over at Seusstastic! :)  I know...with my pirate theme, I should have a treasure chest...but can I keep it real?  Stocking a treasure chest with things from the dollar tree that break after they've been played with twice is not my idea of a good way to spend money.
These coupons are recyclable!
I get them back from my students when they've used them...and then I can RE-USE them with another student! :)
This is my second year using them...and they've held up so well! :)
Just print laminate and go!
Let the money saving begin! :)

Loved this meme!
It's so true! :)
One of the things I've learned over the years is that when my own students get on my nerves it's most likely because I didn't have a procedure in place to prevent that.
One day, I sat down and wrote a question for every procedure I could think of throughout the day.
If I didn't have an answer for how to address it...then, I came up with one!
This has helped me so much.  I can't even explain it to you! :)
Your students should be your joy!
I know that some days will be harder than others...but...when several of them do the same thing over and over...and you're like...UGH...why do they DO that?
Ask yourself...did I ever give them another way to handle that?  That I would PREFER?

Click HERE to download these questions for yourself! :)
That's all for me today friends!
Thanks Sara for inviting me to your fun linky! :)
If you'd like to continue reading about management ideas from other fantastic elementary bloggers, please click on the button below to be directed back to Sara's page! :)

Miss V's Busy Bees