Monday, July 18, 2016

#TpTOrlando16- I'm back and ready to work!!

Well! I finally did it! I attended my first TPT conference last week in Orlando, Florida! It was an awesome experience!

My friend Angie from Press it On With Angie made me these awesome shirts for the conference!
So me and my hubby loaded up and drove to Orlando! 

We stayed in Tallahassee Monday night and drove the rest of the way Tuesday! The conference was at the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Walt Disney World! We have both been to Disney World but never stayed at one of their resorts! It was gorgeous!

The view from our room.

The view of our hotel on our walk to the BoardWalk.

There are so many teacher authors that I admire for their hard work and success and to meet them and talk with them was so inspiring. They are hardworking teacher authors that are so willing to learn and share with you. I mean seriously.. the last session I went to, I saw Deanna Jump a few tables over taking notes and learning from the presenter. It really put into perspective that we are all here to learn to be a better educator, a better teacher author, and a better teacherpreneur! I met so many awesome people but two very important people were Ashely Schroeder from Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd and Caitlin Dani from Teach Inspire Change. They were both so nice and down to earth!


Awesome stuff from Teachers Pay Teachers!

I attended some awesome sessions by Erin Cobb, Shelley Rees, Kayse Morris, Ashley Schroeder, Jen Bengel, and Jessica Tobin! The last session was about Pinterest and using Tail Wind to schedule your pins! Wow!! I have been working way to hard at pinterest when Tailwind can just post them all for me at a scheduled time. She also described the best pins and what they look like. I LEARNED A LOT!!

Our hotel was within walking distance from the BoardWalk so we spent a lot of nights there eating and watching the sunset! The pictures do not do it justice!

On Friday, my hubby and I spent the day in Epcot! It was my first time in that park and its definitely my favorite!


Great Britain!

Having lunch in Mexico inside of the Pyramid! 
So nice and cool from the heat!

Our view from our table!

A boat ride to soak up some more A.C.!

We had dinner at the Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot that night! It was gorgeous!

After dinner we got out just in time to watch the World Showcase Fireworks in the park! Great ending to our trip!

Jen Bengal gave a lot of good advice for making products. A lot of little things I never thought of! So most of the trip home I talked Ross' ear off about new ideas or new things to do for my store! 

Today, I got to work!

There was an activity I did during the school year that my students absolutely loved! After hearing so many presenters at the conference say "Make things students will like" I started to think about the things I already made for my students! 

I made this iPAD Area model worksheet when my students struggled with the concept. After creating this activity they began to remember what an area model is all about!

Basically students receive two pieces of paper. The ipad has the area models on it and the other sheet is the "apps" which are the answers to the area models. Students must color, cut, and match the apps to the area model.

In the product I have included 3 different ipad worksheets, a blank template, answer key, step by step assembly directions, and student sample pictures!
This is such an easy activity for a sub to do with your kids that is low prep and low explanations!

Buy it here! It's 20% off for the first 24 hours!

These are the directions included in the product!

I'm trying to set up a few more things in my home office before I start making videos for product explanation. After attending Kayse Morris' session I HAVE to start making videos. She is fantastic! Check out her youtube channel here! She is so inspiring and funny!

Plenty other things in my store for back to school! Check it out!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pretty Proud of Myself

So, for a few months now I have been looking at all over Pinterest trying to get new ideas for my new classroom. I don't want to completely reinvent the wheel but I would like to change a few things here and there. I decided to keep my same theme but make new labels for my classroom. I also decided that I would like pictures of these labels and show how I will use them. Unfortunately, I am not allowed in my classroom yet due to renovations but I had a few buckets at home that I planned to label. I took a course through the Teacher Entrepreneur School in January with Sheila Jane and Caitlin Dani and I learned so many things about marketing your brand. One key takeaway for me was to make things that work for you and things that you use in your classroom. Duh Kristi!! My best sellers are newsletters that I have used in my classroom. So I made these labels and took some pictures. *NERD ALERT* I had so much fun creating a preview file for this product! Trying out different lighting to make it look good. I felt like pro Ashley Schroeder from Schroeder's Shenanigans in Second!

Check the pictures out below!
I purchased these bins from the Target dollar spot months ago. I knew when I saw I had to buy them then because during the summer months, the teachers in my town keep the target dollar spot cleared out!

These baskets were purchased at the dollar tree. They can be purchased online as a case as well (which I recommend if you need more than 4 or 5).

Here is the preview I made for my pinterest!! Took a few pointers from some of the pros! Hoping to learn so much more at the TPT conference in Orlando in July!
Will you be there???

Check the labels out here and let me know if you have different ideas for a theme!

Until next time!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Story

Where in the world have I been?? I haven't blogged in over a year! The truth is.. life happened!! Last summer I was up to my ears in grad school work, living with family while building our dream home, and trying to prepare for a new school year by working on Math Assessments for my parish. As soon as school began in August I was treading water to keep up with everything along with my TPT store.

December 2015- I graduated with my Masters in Educational Leadership in Technology! By far, the proudest moment of my life! During my undergrad graduation, I did not find myself emotional. Likely because I knew I wanted more and that I could do more. My program was completely perfect for me and where I want to go with my career. It is a completely online Master's program from a fully accredited university where I attended my undergrad. Contact me if you are interested in this year and a half program! Amazing!

Part of my requirements to graduate was to present at our state's technology conference... LACUE (Louisiana Association Computer Using Educators). HERE is where I found my love to present and share my story of TPT! My presentation was called "Help me I'm poor: Tips and Tricks to get you started on TPT!" So many people complimented me on my presentation even after I assured them I was just a tiny fish in this HUGE TPT ocean!
What better way to come back to my blog after over a year than to share my TPT journey!


While student teaching in the Fall of 2011 I stumble across Teachers Pay Teachers from Pinterest. Student teaching is when you begin to daydream about your future classroom and pin all of the things that you will never have time for. I kept being redirected to this site Teachers Pay Teachers in almost everything I pinned. I decided to check it out. Like most newbies, I downloaded everything that was free. OH MY GOODNESS break out the portable hard drive! I thought this is amazing! SO many free things! For me! Then I began to dive deeper into "hmm.. if I bought this, maybe someone could buy my things." So I uploaded a few things that I made while student teaching in hopes of helping it take off. One of those products is one of my best sellers still today! My Map Skills Pack!

Of course it was NOT that pretty at the time. People bought it here and there but nothing crazy. I think I earned about $6 in sales for the year of 2011 but hey who doesn't need 6 bucks!

Fast forward to June 2013... I am prepping for my upcoming wedding, bachelorette party, and honeymoon craziness! I knew that I needed to create all of the things for my upcoming school year ASAP so I could enjoy all of the wedding activities. THIS is when my Chevron Classroom Newsletter was born! TA DAHHHHHH!! It was strictly made for the use of my classroom that coming school year. NEVER ever ever ever in a million years did I think so many people would fall in love with it. Anyways.... made it, posted it, left for my honeymoon cruise.

 While we were on our cruise I periodically check emails to let the parentals know that we were not left in a foreign country. When I logged in for the first time and saw over 100 emails from Teachers Pay Teachers that says "product sold" I lost it! I called my husband over and showed him. His first words... "We may be on to something here..." Yeah, you caught that "WE" thing? Barely married a few weeks and he is already wanting money! haha JUST JOKING! But yes, so many people bought and pinned my newsletter I could not believe it. Since then my store has taken off. I have created NUMEROUS themes and newsletters for all types of uses in the education field but this newsletter still remains my best seller. 

UNTIL.... February of 2015. One of my AMAZING fellow teacher friends Nicole Otting asked me to make her a "Meet the Teacher" Newsletter that she could hand out at the beginning of the school year to introduce herself to her students. SURE! Sounds like fun! I made it, sent it to her, she loved it, and I posted it. OH MY GOODNESS, Nicole I owe you dinner times like a million because this Newsletter has CHANGED MY LIFE! I am not kidding you! So many people love love this newsletter and still purchase it daily! It is completely editable and of course I have multiple themes to go along with everyone's different classroom styles. But when I say it changed my life... I am not kidding. Thanks for the money I earned from the sales of this newsletter (and my other products), I was able to purchase new appliances for our new home along with bedroom furniture and a couch we love all cash with my earnings. I am not sure how quickly we would have been able to purchase all of these things without my earnings. Don't get me wrong, it does take work. BUT I enjoy making and creating for people. 99% of the time that I get email requests from anyone, I create it for them. I truly get joy out of making all of these products and that fact that I get paid for it is simply an added bonus. I love TPT because it helps us all work smarter instead of harder. Something that takes me literally 30 minutes to make might take you 4 hours to make... and that's okay. I love that I can save teachers time by selling them these products and allowing them to spend more time with their family or getting other things done. Isn't that the purpose of this fantastic website!?
Of course, since creating this Meet the Principal, Counselor, Librarian, Director, etc. has been made!

Did I mention somewhere in there I was announced as Teacher of the Year!? :-) 

Fast forward February 2016 we were FINALLY able to move into our beautiful home! (post with pics to follow). I was able to finish the school year at my current school of W.S. Lafargue Elementary in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

BUT, beginning of February.... a huge bomb was dropped on us Elementary teachers in Thibodaux. Our parish decided to reconfigure the Elementary schools by combining the 3 elementary schools. All three Elementary schools each held Pre-k through 5th but that was all going to change. One school will house Prek-1st grade, my current school will now house 2nd and 3rd, and another school will now house 4th and 5th. I was faced with the choice of leaving my first and only school I've ever worked with along with the only administration I have ever worked for OR leave my absolute favorite grade level that I have taught for 4 years.
In the end, I decided to pack my things and move to the school that will now house 4th and 5th grade. I believe I made the right choice for me. The hall I am moving into is under renovations so I cannot get in there yet, but you can believe there will be some BEFORE/AFTER pictures because this room will be a total overhaul since there is literally NOTHING in there right now. All of my things are safely placed in the gym (I hope!)


I will be back soon to blog more about our new house, our AMAZING SPECTACULAR FANTASTIC trip to New York from November, and to share new products with you!

For now, back to Netflix, Hulu, and more on my couch!
Happy Summer folks!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Busy 5th grade Schedule!

Finally, I am blogging again!! I am currently on Spring Break and I am getting to do all of the things that I have been wanting to do for months now. I have updated some of my products in my store, planned a few lessons ahead, and now blogging!

Thanks to Ashley from Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners, I am linking up to share my crazy schedule that keeps me busy throughout the day!

As you know I teach 5th grade Math. This is my 3rd year teaching 5th grade math and it is definitely my THING! In previous years I have taught other subjects along with Math. As I say often, my principal knows me better than I know myself and told me this year I would be teaching Math to all of 5th grade meaning 70+ kiddies and 3 separate classes! Oh and did I mention that these kids had AMAZING test scores last year and I am now responsible for keeping those scores high and pushing them to be even higher! No big deal right?? Thankfully, these kids are SO intrinsically motivated to work hard and do better. The first few months were a little rough as we were learning the new curriculum and new expectations. I pushed them very very hard! They were now required to write multiple sentences on their math assessments explaining their thought process which they had not done a lot of before. They rose to the occasion. I have seen students leave the explanation section blank and grow to giving me explanations that were better than my answer key! As we were taking our PARCC practice tests a few weeks ago one of my students stated, "Mrs. DeRoche, it doesn't say to write a sentence, but I feel like I should write a sentence because I mean we always write sentences." (it was a multiple choice question but had a lot of space to work out the problem on the side) I just smiled and said "Do whatever you think is best!" I was so proud that they were even thinking this way! Even though if that practice test were being scored by whoever scores these crazy tests did not even read that sentence, she wanted to justify her answer and explain how she got it. Isn't that what these new standards are all about??? Having them learn and explain what they know! At that point I realized that scores may be high or may be low... but they have learned more than what this test may show! They DO listen! They DO hear me! They DO read the little comments I write on their tests!! My principal was right to trust me with this responsibility and I am so proud to be THEIR teacher!

Anyways! Below is my schedule that makes my day and my heart full. Like I stated before, I have three different classes. My students have an ELA teacher, a Science teacher, and a Social Studies teacher along with me being their Math teacher. I know what you're thinking... if I have 3 classes, how do my students have 4 teachers. WELL let me explain this crazy organized chaos! We can use my homeroom students as an example... they stay with me for my 1st class which is about 90 minutes, then they go to science for 45 and then social studies for 45. Those two 45 minutes rotations go on while the ELA and Math (me) teachers have their 2nd class. THEN after Social Studies they go to ELA for their 90 minutes ELA block! Confused?? It was huge transition this year but I believe overall it is better for us educators and for the kids. I think they will be ready for middle school!

Within my math instruction I use a variety of different resources to teach the standards. Our district uses EnVision Math series.

I follow the curriculum map that my district sets out which follows the lessons in this book. Often I tweak a few things by taking out some of the boring guided practice that the book gives. I replace it with some of Blair Turner's interactive notebook. If you do not know who Blair Turner is or have not used any of her products you are missing out! I seriously want to be just like her! HA! She has so many amazing things but her interactive notebooks are my favorite!

Click here to visit Blair Turner's Store and check out her AWESOME bundles!
Click here to read her blog post on interactive notebooks! Seriously, she is just an inspiration to me. She inspires me to push my students to do something better than boring textbook work. She inspires me to let go and allow my kiddies to make a mess by cutting and gluing all of these things into their notebooks. So if by some crazy way you are reading this Blair Turner... THANK YOU! Thank you for giving me the tools to be a better teacher and educator!!

When I create my assessments I also use a variety of sources. I pull questions from my Math series, from test released items that our state gives us and then I also pull from Kristine Nannini's standard based teaching series. She has REALLY opened my eyes to looking at the standard in depth. Through this I realized that my series was missing a few things. DO NOT GET ME WRONG... I do like the series and it is a HUGE step up from what we were working with previously. I just feel that in order to have my students master the ENTIRE standard I need additional resources. I began exploring her standards based teaching and I have purchased her standards based assessments and teaching notes. It really helps when I am creating assessments and lessons. Sometimes the way the series introduces a skill is not an ideal introduction for my students. With a combination of Kristine Nannini's teaching notes and Blair Turner's interactive notebooks, I have many options to use without reinventing the wheel. 

Click here to check out Kristine Nannini's standards based assessments and teaching notes!
Click here to read her blog post about standard based grading!

And last but not least, I pull resources from Mary at  Teaching with a Mountain View! Her Math projects are AMAZING!!!! They are awesome time fillers, extra grades, and high order thinking projects to get your kiddies excited about Math! I Love to use her project when I had a week that is almost pointless to begin a new lesson due to holidays, early dismissal schedules, or other wonky things that happen during the school year. 
This one is my recent favorite! 
My kiddo will be completing this one soon!
I love to give them her projects and let them go on their own with their groups!! They get so much done! I often discourage them from doing it at home because many parents try to take over and make them finish it for homework. I express to my students that this is not the purpose of this project! It is to work together in class and share your knowledge. We all know that when you can teach someone, it when you really know a skill!

Click here to check out all of Mary's projects!

Well, I think I've given you a pretty BIG overview of how my schedule plays out, how my lesson and assessments are made, and possibly why I've been so absent from the blog world! With summer coming up I am hoping to jump right back into making more products and blogging more!

Until next time!