Five for Friday… January 1st

**Happy New Year!**

I am so excited for everything this year holds for me and for YOU!! Yes YOU!! You are going to do amazing things this year! For this five for Friday I wanted to share some of the things I wish I had known as a first year teacher, or at least earlier in my career. 

Five for Friday doodle bugs teaching

Five for friday 1

Is there a scholastic warehouse near you? You would know because they would advertise big sales. You can also check for sales here. If there aren’t any sales right now, you can register and get emails when there are sales – you can do that here.

Why should you care about this? Well… when I first started teaching, I spend hundreds of dollars on books for my classroom. Then I even did a donors choose project for more books – which was great and very helpful. But…I will never hardly ever spend another dollar on a book for my classroom. Here’s why:

Whenever there is a scholastic warehouse sale, they have volunteers work the event. Volunteers are “paid” in credit to spend at the sale. I also have a lot of fun volunteering at these events – getting to know the books that are available, chatting to people about books… etc. I have been able to not only build up my classroom library (and sometimes my personal library too) but also get enough books to give to my kids for birthdays and Christmas.

Classroom library

This was my classroom library at the beginning of the year- more books have been added since.

If you are interested, make sure you check the “volunteer” box when you register for the events – here is the link again. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me – I’ll help in any way I can.


five for friday 2

When I was a first year teacher – let’s be honest- I was just trying to make sure I was teaching the curriculum and my kids were learning, while building relationships and learning…. always learning. But, one thing that I did need to do on occasion, was create an assessment or worksheet for my students (that was not already created on teachers pay teachers (tpt) or such).

I created these assessments on Microsoft Word using the standard fonts. I had no idea that Powerpoint is actually MUCH easier and user friendly. Also – there are so many free fonts and free graphics on tpt (just make sure that you review the terms of use if you want to sell any of your creations).

To make it even easier – I already did the search for you! If you need to know how to install and use fonts – let me know in the comments I’ll be happy to share on a future blog post. Same goes for more details about using PowerPoint to create materials for your classroom (or to sell).

five for friday 3

Do you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom? If you don’t – you should totally do a Donors Choose project for one (more about Donors Choose coming up) – they’re awesome!!

Did you know you can create PowerPoints to use on the interactive whiteboards? You did? So it’s just me that is behind on the times? That’s okay. Did you know that you can get products on tpt to use on your interactive whiteboards? Well, you can, and there are some for free too!!

I highly encourage finding some meaningful activities to use during centers or rotations — don’t be the only one who touches the board in your classroom. I have some ways to manage this with small groups of students using one board independently during a rotation – I’ll share in a future post.

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Donors Choose….. have you heard of it? Have you ever submitted a project? It really is an amazing organization – and I’ve learned so much about promoting a project from some teachers on social media.

First – I have a project right now, it’s a big one, but I’m almost half way there already! I kept putting it off, because I knew it would be asking a lot – but I’m so glad I did it. I’m still surprised by the generosity of people, especially people who do not even know me or my students. But, what’s been the most rewarding is seeing my students fired up about it. They’ve even donated a dollar here, five dollars there – they’ve been inspired by the generosity of strangers and that is something special to see.

If you’d like some help promoting your product, I’d be happy to share the tips that have been graciously shared with me – just let me know.

Mrs B's (1)

These are the resources we are asking for – click the image for more information.

five for friday 5

The last item on my agenda is TPT etiquette – which could be a whole blog post on it’s own, but I’d rather do a shortened version here…so, at lightning speed…here it is:

  • When you download a free product, the seller who took the time to create that product would really appreciate it if you could follow his/her store and provide feedback on the free product. Many sellers make items free to get some feedback, especially if you snag the item on sale or as a flash freebie.
  • Provide feedback, whether it’s free or not- there’s nothing not many things worse (as a seller) than seeing that people have purchased your product, but you have no feedback for it. Please let us know how you like the product, and now – TPT gives you points towards store credit for giving feedback for paid purchases – so it’s a win-win!!
  • Lastly — please stop sharing paid products with your teacher friends. It’s against the law, and poor etiquette. I know you may feel like you can’t say no to your team mates or teacher friends, but we need to change the culture of how teachers treat TPT product copyrights. If you know you can’t help but share with your team – buy extra licenses for products…Most extra licenses are half the price of the full price item, so a $1.00 product becomes a $2.50 product – which is not that bad. This should be a conversation you have with your team at the beginning of each year – share the policy with your team and agree to always purchase additional licenses for products – you can also go and purchase additional licenses after the fact.

Okay – that’s it, I’m off my tiny soap box… but I hope you’ll consider helping me change the conversations and culture of how bargain TPT buyers treat sellers. (I share this taking full responsibility for my past mistakes in these regards – but once you know better, you can do better, right?)

SO… are you ready to register as a volunteer at a local Scholastic Warehouse? (If you sign up, someone will email before an event and ask if you want to do it, so there is no commitment yet) Yes YOU!! Will you try to get your students using your interactive whiteboard more often?  How about Donors Choose, would you like tips for promoting your projects? 

No matter what – I hope you’re as ready as I am to make 2016 AMAZING!! I  don’t know about you, but I can’t wait…

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5 thoughts on “Five for Friday… January 1st

    • 🙂 That’s awesome Melissa!! It really is such an awesome opportunity, and if your site coordinator is anything like mine – you’ll have a great time! Also – thank you for the TPT feedback! 🙂 Your support means a lot to me! Have an amazing 2016!


  1. Hi Mrs. B! Nice resources listed here. I didn’t know about getting books for volunteering at Scholastic sales before. I also have my eye on some wobble chairs for the classroom. I posted five resources today, too, on Five for Friday. You might be especially interested in the fundraising one! See you around. Kathleen


    • Hi Kathleen…I’ve already checked out your amazing resources!! 😀 lol – you should have a comment from me waiting for approval. Thanks for stopping by!! Glad to spread this awesome tip!! 😀 ❤


  2. Pingback: How I plan to make 2016 top 2015 | Mrs B (4th Grade Teacher)

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