Friday, February 20, 2015

Tutorial: How To Dress Up Your TpT Store!

Hey, fellow TeachersPayTeachers friends! I have a quick tutorial for you today that will show you how to dress up your store. Check this out:
Blogger Tutorial: How To Dress Up Your TeachersPayTeachers Store

Can you spot the difference? This was my before:

In the new version, instead of a text quote and a link to my digital paper section I've highlighted this area with a picture and it still links to my digital papers. This is a great way to feature a section of your store, your newsletter list, Facebook page, or blog. The best part? It's really easy!
Blogger Tutorial: How To Dress Up Your TeachersPayTeachers Store

How To:
1. Use your picture editing program of choice (most will probably use PowerPoint) to design your picture. Make sure the proportions are 3 inches wide by 1 inch tall. The actual picture size I used in PhotoShop was 1.5 wide by .5 tall, but PowerPoint wouldn't let me pick those dimensions so I doubled the size to keep the ratio. Then I reduced the size before uploading. This would be the same as 450 pixels by 150 pixels. PicMonkey is also a good choice, so is Luna

2. Save your picture. For best results, use the same gray background as TpT (gray #f1f1f1) or make your image transparent (clear background). This will prevent you from having a white background/box around your pretty new graphic. 

3. Upload your graphic to the internet. Keep the file name short to stay under 120 characters total. Most people will use Photobucket, but you can also save the image to your blog, domain, etc. You just need the URL of your image stored somewhere on the internet. If you need to use a URL shortener, use won't work for this.
This is the link you want if you're using PhotoBucket

4. Copy the link where you want the quote section to go. In my case, it leads to the digital paper section of my store. 

5. Shorten the link using a tinyurl or This will help keep you under the 120 character limit. 

6. Copy/paste this code with YOUR information. You'll need to put your information in where it has capital letters.
<a href="LINK"><img src="PICTURE"></a>

7. Now head over to your TeachersPayTeachers account and edit your profile. You will need to past your code into the "quote" section. Once you click save, you'll see the preview if you did it correctly.
Blogger Tutorial: How To Dress Up Your TeachersPayTeachers Store

8. If you get an error, double check your links and be sure you've carefully completed the code. Leaving anything out or making a typo will break the code, so you'll have to start over.

9. Admire your hard work!

I made a video tutorial so you can get an idea of how it works too. 

If you run into trouble with the code, I'm happy to take a look at your code and see if I can spot your problem. 

If you need me to make your graphic, upload it, and write the code for you I can do that over at my blog design site Design by Christi for $15. But I know you can do it! =) 
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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why I Love Jamberry Nails

I pride myself on keeping it real here on Ms. Fultz's Corner. Whether it's confessing to building a fort instead of cramming for state tests, admitting when I'm feeling burned out, or telling you to skip the big name brand and go for the equally as good cheap one I've been an open book. So when I was chatting with a fellow blogger who said I had to be crazy to add one more thing to my list, I knew I had to write this post. I've found something super special here and it's been a game changer for us. No reason to keep that a secret.

Above all things, I am a teacher at heart. Lining up my stuffed animals on my toy chest, volunteering as a tutor throughout school, working my tail off in college to graduate early and get my own classroom... I've done the time. ;) Having the privilege to teach third grade {my dream} is something I will be forever grateful for. But over the course of my ten years in public education, things changed. Politics, over testing, a revolving door of admins, and the decline in parental support were all taking their toll. I woke up thinking about my students and didn't stop until I went to bed. I often had dreams about them too. During the day I found myself repeatedly asking myself why. I knew the right things to do and couldn't do them because of things out of my control. I was losing myself. I needed a change. I needed one small thing for ME that had nothing to do with being a teacher. So I signed up to sell Jamberry nail wraps and hand care

At first it was a whim. I bought from a friend's party because I love having Shellac on my nails, but hated the time and cost to keep it up. Each sheet does several applications, so it was just a few dollars per manicure to try these out and I figured I had nothing to lose. There *was* a learning curve to applying them but after figuring out how to use them on my nails, it was a fun product! My hair, makeup, and clothes could be a hot mess by the end of the school day, but as long as I had cute shoes and fun nails I felt a tiny bit more put together. Plus it was fun! I got to carve out a little bit of me time on the weekends to change my nails. I got to share the product with girlfriends. I made NEW girlfriends, which had been hard to do since moving here and knowing no one. I had myself a hobby and a tiny piece of identity that had nothing to do with being a teacher. 

Then along the way, I realized I was kind of good at this side gig. Because I genuinely loved our product and shared it with people who complimented my nails, our team started to grow. We started to promote up the rank ladder. I received recognition, y'all. Do you know how good that felt? I was rewarded and told I was doing a good job. I earned gifts, bonuses, and somebody took the time to tell me they were proud of what I was doing. Hate to say it, but that wasn't happening to me in my classroom {in spite of being a good teacher, I promise}. 

Home office knows my name, does everything they can to make it right when a mistake happens, and is growing rapidly to keep offering better and better products and experiences for its customers and consultants. I've been able to travel all over the US meeting our consultants, training, and sightseeing. I'm about to go on a free trip to the Riviera Maya next month and Maui next year. Rewarding? You bet.

So then the income started kicking in. I admittedly began to make more on Jamberry nails than teaching. It was both insulting and thrilling. I was a teacher with a Master's degree and ten years of experience making more income selling nail wraps part time than teaching full time. There is something wrong with the value we place on education, friends. But that's another story. My husband and I were incredibly grateful; as our family's only income while paying to put him through medical school the last four years, this couldn't have come at a better time. Contrary to popular belief, it will take years for his medical degree to pay for itself and start earning an actual income. We're looking ahead to at least six more years of residency. Talk about perfect timing for Jamberry to fall in my lap.

But finally, the reason I have stayed with Jamberry is because it has become all about helping people. It lets me use my teacher talents and leadership skills to change lives. My classroom is just bigger and more spread out. So *that* is ultimately why I do what I do and wear so many hats. And my nails look way better. Bonus!

So there's the truth. #sorrynotsorry ;) If you want to try Jamberry for free, fill this out and I'll send you a sample. If you want to hear more about being a consultant, send me an email or message me on Facebook so we can chat. I'm an open book and love sharing this product with others!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Amazing Animal Reports: Research is FUN!

Oh, friends! Please tell me you can relate to this. My head had just hit the pillow on Sunday night. I was counting my blessings, winding down, and trying to get my constant brain rattling to stop. And then it hits me, You must redo your animal project. Writing workshop is seriously my favorite thing to teach, and I've been getting such great feedback on my Autobiography pack that I need to get the rest of my units ready too. It just takes so much time to get them publish-ready and if there's one thing I never have enough of, it's time.

But there I was in bed and from out of nowhere, I realized I needed to revamp my animal unit to make it just as great as my autobiography one. Ugh! I wanted to pop right out of bed and do it then, but it was already after 3am and I *do* sleep sometimes. However, Monday was all mine and I'm proud to say I did it!
Turn your students into research experts with this Amazing Animal project that integrates reading, writing, science, and art.

It feels so good to have a fresh new look! ;) I love this unit so much because my third graders come in thinking they are pretty much animal experts {and some of them are!} but I push them to pick a new animal. For example, my shark lover is encouraged to pick something furry and expand his knowledge. 

Then we really zoom in on what we need to know to become an expert on our animals. We focus on eight key research points like appearance, habitat, and life cycle. Side note, here's a great way to differentiate for your students because you can assign them a different number of research points based on their abilities. 

To help keep students organized, we use a big piece of construction paper folded into eighths. Each box on our paper is carefully labeled by research point. As students are researching their animals in books, online, and through magazines they are also taking notes in each of the eight boxes. This is a great visual and helps students clearly see where more information is needed. 

Turn your students into research experts with this Amazing Animal project that integrates reading, writing, science, and art.After researching, we take our construction paper notes and turn them into separate pages of our report. I differentiate here too. Some students will write single paragraphs on each topic, while others develop multiple paragraphs for each point. I also provide a CLOZE format guide to get reluctant writers started. 

When students finish their rough draft, they meet with a writing buddy and work through a checklist. I love this part! It takes a lot of modeling and guidance to teach students how to provide meaningful feedback, but they can totally do it! Afterwards, students revise their drafts based on their buddy's feedback. This often means they need to do more research, which is totally authentic to the actual writing process for many nonfiction texts. 

Turn your students into research experts with this Amazing Animal project that integrates reading, writing, science, and art.We round out the research pages with poetry, a word search, venn diagrams, presentation notes. Students compare and contrast their animals in partners, and meet with small groups to do oral presentations about their animals. During these presentations, students take notes on each others' work on a grid. This is great for both listening and speaking standards!

Turn your students into research experts with this Amazing Animal project that integrates reading, writing, science, and art.
Finally, at the end of the project students are given a printable book template so they end up with a "professional" final copy. They are so proud of their work! Our unit typically coincides with our Grandparents' Day, so I work in having students share their projects then too. It's so incredible to see my third graders tackle such a big project because it's structured so well to pull them through it step by step.

I also like to mix art in as much as possible, so we work on animal mosaics too. I set up a side table with the supplies and students work on their mosaics as they finish steps in our research and are waiting for others to catch up with them. I ask the local pizza place for their cardboard circles and have parents donate various beans and pasta. Then I print black/white pictures from the internet and students use those as templates. Sometimes students choose not to use a template, and that's fine too. For less mess, you could swap this for a torn paper collage.
Turn your students into research experts with this Amazing Animal project that integrates reading, writing, science, and art.

How cute are those?! Seriously, the whole project is so much fun. So if you already own it, be sure to redownload it so you get the newest version. If you don't have it yet, here's your chance to win one! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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