The HappyEdugator

The HappyEdugator
People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Click Here to Link to My TPT Store

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Goodbye July, Aloha August! Enter to win $50 TPT gift certificates!

Can it be possible???  July is nearly over???
I have teamed up with 40 fabulous stores for...
This is a FABULOUS 4 day event that is full of sweet deals, savings and 4 amazing giveaways!
Here's a peek at what you are being treated to...
Each day a new 'deal' will be posted by the 40 participating stores! 
Be sure to visit their Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest accounts to find the daily deals and codes you will use in the TPT search engine to find the sweet deals!
(you can also find the codes on the pictures at the bottom of this post)

In addition, you can find the links to all the participating stores well as 4 rafflecopters!
That is right...4 rafflecopters!
Each rafflecopter is for a $50 TPT gift certificate!
Think of all the wonderful resources you could score with that...and just in time for Back To School!

Please visit each rafflecopter and enter! 
Each one will generate a winner- and yes- you can win more than 1!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is a clickable list of all the participating stores!

Be sure to come by and visit our social media sites each day for these reminder posts:

 Enjoy the deals, samples and good luck on the giveaway!
And most importantly, we all send our best wishes for a successful school year!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Learning in Las Vegas and Seattle Bound. Part 2

I will continue now with tips from my afternoon sessions at the TPT conference!  I had a great lunch with a terrific group of  teachers and clip artists at the Grande Lux Cafe next to the casino at the Palazzo. Nice little place, and the food  was excellent. Luckily we sent a few ahead to get a table, or we would have had to wait an hour to be seated!

After lunch,  we parted ways to attend different sessions. I headed for Michele Luck of Michele Luck's Social Studies and Jennifer Smith Sloane of 4mulaFun to learn about making exceptional Middle School and Secondary products. You should stop by their stores.

I had met Michele and her husband Steve before when their travels brought them to a campground not far from my house in Georgia. I was excited to see her again, and sad to hear that  Jennifer from Formula Fun was really sick and had to leave. I had only a chance to meet her for a minute in the hall.  (She is better now, I understand, but poor thing had to deal with a kidney stone) This session was probably the smallest group I encountered, so it became a sort of Question and Answer session and the group came together on a great collaborative effort to iron out issues such as product covers and pricing.

The group did come to an agreement that product covers and credit pages are still important for secondary products, but graphics should look more refined for a more mature audience. Color products are fine, but teacher authors need to remember that printing is often limited by school budgets, so products need to have printer and ink friendly pages and a black and white option.

Pricing products is much more difficult for secondary teachers because pages in products have much more content than those in the lower grades, and everyone agreed that an 82 page product on the elementary level may not carry as much content as an 82 page secondary product, so there should be separate pricing guidelines for different levels. For now, most were going to price pages about 20-25 cents a page, (lower for extremely large files), or use their best judgment on what be a fair and reasonable price for the content. Several people from team TPT were present, so they made a note of it.

My last session was with Laura Candler(left) and Rachel Lynette (right), about making products for Grades 2 - 5.  I really learned a lot in this session! Please stop by their will be amazed!

Laura Candler and Rachel Lynette recommend that your products should be:

1. Complete: This means you need a cover page, CCSS alignment, directions, student pages, and keys.
2. Rigorous: This means they should be aligned, tap into higher level thinking, and differentiated.
3. Easy to use: This means again that everything is included and ready to use. Include graphic organizers and teacher directions.
4. Attractive: This means that you again need an eye-catching cover, professional clip art, and interesting fonts.
5. Targeted: This means that clip art and fonts are appropriate for the grade level. You need appropriate content, font sizes, and spacing.
6. Exceptional: This means that your products should stand out! For example, look at Jennifer Runde's from Runde's Room interactive math journals.

Rachel also recommends that you find a niche. Build a product line and hone your skills. Make templates that are recognizable as yours.  Build a following by being the expert, but most of all, love your niche. Love using it, love creating it, and show that you believe in it. Know your skill set of resources and your temperament, and find a niche that fits.
Also, it is important to consider if there is a need for your product.  Look at the competition. How will your products be different than what is already out there. How does it fit?

After the sessions, TPT had a happy hour, and the TPT team was presented with a gift from TPT sellers...a collage of logos from seller stores!

You can see me almost in the middle of the bottom photo! :)

I wish I could say I spent lots of time at the gorgeous pools...but I was so tired from all the walking, that I never made it down to swim. However, I did have a lovely dinner by the pool with Victoria Leon.  The next morning, I got myself packed, took a cab to the airport (I didn't want to wait half an hour for a shuttle), and headed to Seattle, to await the arrival of grandson Liam! Bye Las Vegas! It was great!

Best wishes to all. If you didn't make it to the Las Vegas TPT conference this year, you really should make plans to go next year!

Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator

:) Freebie today: All About Me Puzzle


Friday, July 18, 2014

Learning in Las Vegas and Seattle Bound

I have been so busy traveling the last few weeks! I have not had a chance to settle down, but I do have a few minutes today! Vegas and Seattle!  Let me tell you, I have been on an exciting adventure, with a couple of accidents along the way. Just before I left for Vegas, I fell on a slippery step at our local swimming pool and tore the cartilage in my left knee. However, I wasn't going to let that stop me from going! I hobbled around with a cane and a brace for about a week, and it seemed to get better everyday! I went on to Vegas, and  walked all over the place! After the conference in Vegas, I headed to Seattle to see my daughter who is having a baby boy, and to visit with my son and 3 year old grandson! Of course, accident prone me...I kicked a table leg and broke my toe the day after the big baby shower! Ouch!

So, let's back up. I flew to Las Vegas on July 10th to attend the TPT conference on July 11th! I was absolutely blown away by the beautiful hotel (The Venetian) and I found myself in a gorgeous room. Look at this amazing hallway!

     My suite 
In the morning, after meeting up with a group of amazing teachers for a bite, TPT provided an amazing breakfast and we heard from Amy Borrell Berner, Paul Edelman, John Connolly, and Deanna Jump! I even had my photo taken with all of them! TPT has sold over 100,00,000+ products since 2006, and Deanna Jump has made over $3.25 million since 2009! Wow!
Paul Edelman and myself

Deanna Jump and myself
If you are interested in becoming a seller on TPT, please use this referral link to get started!
The first session I attended was with Deanna Jump and Dee Dee Wills. Products for Pre-K and 1: Did I Really Sell THAT? Improving Our Products with a Critical Eye. Here are some of their tips for sellers:
Three things that will make your products stand out:
1. Create a brand. Have an image that customers will identify the product as uniquely yours.
2. Be consistent. Make sure your all your products are quality products and find a niche.
3. Have a complete product! Make sure all your products include teacher directions, student directions, learning goals, recording sheets, answer keys, etc.
The next session I went to was Your Blog Questions Answered with Erica Bohrer, Greg Smedley, Dee Dee Wills, Cara Carroll and Elizabeth Hall. Tips from these top sellers:
Greg Smedley from Kindergarten Smorgasboard - Be  Yourself. Let you personality shine through your blog!
Erica Bohrer from Erica's Ed Adventures - Set up tags and tag posts. Install a search widget.  
Dee Dee Wills from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten -  Balance content with product photos in action and keep commercials to a minimum. Share when things don't go right. People like to read and learn from your mistakes, too!
Cara Carroll  from First Grade Parade.-  Make friends! Learn about photography to make your photos pop.
Elizabeth Hall from Kickin' It in Kindergarten -  Use as many kinds of social media as you can. Be yourself, and let your readers see who you really are!
That is all for the morning sessions! I will post about the afternoon sessions in my next post. 
If  you are a seller, and you didn't get to attend the conference, you should make plans for next year! If you wish to start, click on the link above to sign up, and follow me here and on Facebook for more information that will help you be a success!
Watch for my next post...I am currently in Seattle awaiting a baby grandson and spending time with my other one! Yay!
Deborah Hayes
aka HappyEdugator