Thursday, February 26, 2015

Results From Last Week's Poll: Who is your Favorite African American Writer?

And, the results are in:

Maya Angelou for the win!  My second favorite is Toni Morrison followed by Langston Hughes.  Don't forget to vote in this week's poll about shopping at TpT!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New Additions

I realized I haven't discussed any of my newest products with you, and I have to say, though I'm a bit biased, they're pretty cool.

My newest one I uploaded last night and it's designed to help you facilitate successful writing workshops or conferences with you and your students and between your students and each other.  For today and tomorrow my Writing Workshop Feedback Sheets are just $1.80 (regular price $2.25).

Another recent addition to my store is my Independent Reading Project.  I've done away with a textbook for my freshman writing courses at the community college so I need a new way to find mentor texts.  I decided to make the students do the work.  These sheets are designed to have students analyze real life argumentative writing.  They can be used as a cohesive packet or even with texts that are in your class' anthology.  The focus is on rhetorical analysis! Today and tomorrow this is on sale for $3.00 but it's usual $3.75!


And, lastly, I added two A Raisin in the Sun products but I'll only discuss the first.  This product can be used with the play or on its own.  It examines two of Langston Hughes' poems: A Crystal Stair and Harlem (i.e. A Dream Deferred). Help your students do a close read of these fantastic poems with these handouts! This is on sale for $2.80 but it is usually priced at $3.50.  


But wait, there's more!  The sale today, 2.25.15 is a TPT sponsored sale!  If you enter the promo code HEROES at checkout you'll get another 10% off of these already reduced prices!  My whole store is 20% off so come on by and check it out!

Have a wonderful day,

Friday, February 20, 2015

In it for the Money

As teachers we are definitely in it for the money right?  I laugh out loud every time I hear someone say that teachers get paid well.  I will say that after 20+ years I think teachers, at least in my area, can do quite well- but up until then I think we are grossly underpaid compared to our counterparts.

There is a site for my state that shows what every one made in a given year and how that divides out compared to days worked.  My first year I was working with a BA +15 and zero years experience.  My salary was 38k.  The site said I had worked 190 days or so.  It said that in a more standard work environment people work 260 days a year and at my rate that would have equalled 52k.  I had friends with less education but different fields of employment that made 50-55k their first year. So the reality is, we get paid only for the months we are working and that's it.  Then, on top of that, we spend way more for our jobs than the average employee.

Due to this I'm always looking for ways to save and or make money, which is why I started at Teachers Pay Teachers.  But before that I discovered a few ways to help even more, and let me tell you, every little bit helps.



1.  Ebates.com  If you haven't checked out Ebates and you do any shopping online I recommend it!  All the major retailers are on this site and you get a certain portion of your purchase back in cash back.  I don't shop online very much, but when I do I try to remember to go to Ebates first and then click through to my store.  It's hooked up with TurboTax which is perfect right now during tax season.  Since joining in 2010 I've gotten more than a hundred dollars back!  Click here to join Ebates!

2.  My newest favorite is an app on my phone, Ibotta.  With Ibotta you can see a list of rebates from .25 to a few dollars for various products. Some are brand specific and some are more generic like "a loaf of bread."  You either watch a video, read a fact, answer a question, or read a recipe to unlock the rebate.  Then, once you've bought the item you scan its barcode and take a picture of the receipt to get the rebate.  The money then transfers easily to Paypal.  I've had this app for around a year and have gotten $34.25 back!  Click here to sign up for Ibotta.

3.  Similar to Ibotta but with a healthy twist is Berrycart. This app is ideal for people who purchase a lot of vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free food.  Though it also includes shopping at Amazon, and produce like organic Avocados.  Click here to sign up for Berrycart!

4.  Sell your stuff!  I take doubles of books or books I really don't want to Half Price Books and sell them back.  You don't get much but it also helps declutter.  Clothes that are nice and I think people will really want to buy I try to sell to resale shops like Clothes Mentor.  (If they don't buy them I donate.)

5.  Coupons!  I don't obsess over coupons, but the nice thing is that they can stack with Ibotta or Berry Cart.  My grocery store, Giant Eagle, has e-coupons that you can load directly on your card.  These stack with paper coupons and any of the rebates from the apps.

What are your methods for saving money?


Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Results from Last Week's Poll: What's Your Favorite Topic?

The results, as of today, are in:

I can't say I'm surprised.  Well, actually, I am surprised that no one picked plays.  They are definitely a close second for me.  I suppose literature in general for me is my favorite.  Now, who said grammar?  Lauralee?  Was it you?


Have you voted in this week's poll?  Check out yesterdays post to weigh in yet again!


Thanks for reading,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Teaching Writing: An Open Letter to High School and College Writing Students



Dear student,

Congratulations, you've made it to your upper level and college English classes.  Now it's time to up your writing game.  Sometimes it seems that teachers barely read your papers, but I promise we do.  And, in all likelihood, you're making some mistakes or missteps that are driving us up a wall!  So, with that in mind, here are my ten commandments of college writing:

1.  Thou shalt not start a sentence with "but;"  more often than not, it is lazy.
2.  Thou shalt not start a sentence with "so;" it makes it sound like a conversation with valley girls.
3.  Thou shalt not use numbers under 100; spell them out please!
4.  Thou shalt not use contractions.
5.  Thou shalt not use a lame title; be creative will ya?
6.  Thou shalt break your paper into well organized paragraphs.  No one wants to read a giant block of text, ya dig?
7.  Thou shalt follow the prompt.  *Hint* using key words from the prompt will help!
8.  Thou shalt not put a space between paragraphs.  Use the tab key, that's what it's there for.
9.  Thou shalt use transitions.
10. Thou shalt not use block quotes just to make your paper longer.  Been there, done that, I know the game.

These are my personal pet peeves so make sure to listen to your teacher to find out his/her preferences as well!


What would you add to the list, teacher friends?
Check out my Pinterest Board for Teaching Writing below!
Thanks for reading,

Monday, February 9, 2015

February Resources

If you're still looking for Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, or Black History Month resources for your ELA classroom check out this Pinterest board: FUN FEBRUARY!  It has a ton of resources both free and paid along with blog posts, activity ideas and more!

Are secondary and college students too old to celebrate themes in the classroom?


Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Welcome to my New(ish) Blog!

Thanks to the wonderful design team at Blogs Fit for a Queen I am now the proud owner of a beautiful blog!  I decided that with a new look it was time to upgrade to my very own domain as well!  So what does this mean for you dear readers?  It means that I'm renewing my devotion to blogging and am going to be having some great surprises coming your way for the rest of the month.  Look around, and pardon my dust as I finish making this blog everything I want it to be!

To celebrate my new blog I am hosting a giveaway.  One lucky winner with get a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers and one winner will get my Research Paper Writing Bundle an $18 value! Enter below:


Raffle ends in a week!

As always, thanks for reading!