365 Days of Loving Each Other - Today's Affirmations


Since July and for the rest of 365 days, my wonderful wife and I are going to affirm each other and post them publicly. We'd love for you to join us on this very fun adventure into each other's hearts. Our Blog name and Teachers Pay Teachers store is called "Created for Learning" because we focus a lot on how we were created for learning with our minds. So we threw a little twist in for this one and called this journey "Created for Learning Each Other." Because it's true. We get the rest of our lives together to learn each other. To become experts in each other.

So we hope our journey might somehow also inspire your relationships as much as it's already invigorating ours. You're welcome to join us. It's easier than you might think and so so so rewarding. If you end up joining us in 365 Days of I Love You, let us know! We'd love to hear your stories!

Here are our affirmations for today...

2-Year Birthday Bash!!! We Love You All 20% off Everything Sale

We are so super grateful to Paul Edelman and his vision many years ago to start a website like www.TeachersPayTeachers.com where teachers can share their ideas and hard work to help other teachers save time and energy. We've been blessed by the people we've met along the way and how much we've grown as teachers as we learn to hone our craft and sharpen our ideas. Sharing our ideas with you all out there has made us push the limit in our own classrooms. We've questioned our reasons for doing things and have enjoyed the sparks of great new ideas...and a bunch of that focus comes from you. You you you you you! And we thank you!

Here is a surprise for anyone reading this:
Today, October 28th, we are giving away a product from our store to anyone that leaves a comment on this blog post. Just tell us the name of an item from Created for Learning that you would love to have.  Please include your email address so we can let you know how to get your freebie. 

The Perfect Seating Chart

        What goes into making the perfect seating chart?
       Likelyhood to disrupt classroom learning. Vision and hearing needs. ADHD. 504 plans. Effectiveness of group work. Efficiency of handing back papers. Troublemaker quarantine.
       Not until recent years did I include respect at the top of my seating chart  attributes.
       A quick word on my view of respect. I tell my students that they start the year with 100% of my respect. I respect them from the start, and they should respect me from the start. Why should they respect me? Not because I'm a teacher. Not because I'm in authority. They should respect me because I'm a person. A magnificent human being like each of them is.
       It is from this starting block that I let my students choose their own seats. "You know how you are. Do you tend to get 'Talks Too Much' on your report cards? If so, don't sit by your friends that you'll want to talk with. Choose wisely."
       And most of them do choose wisely. This year, I have only had to do two students. And both of those moves, I told them were temporary, that I want them to earn the spot back.
       Maybe you are thinking there is no way that will work in your classroom at your school. I get that feeling too. The desire to have control. But I am pretty certain that control and respect are not symbiotic. In order to have control, the teacher must withhold some respect for a lot of respect. And to give your students unconditional respect, the teacher must relinquish some control or a lot of control
       What I have found and am still finding is that the more respect I give them, the more they learn to self control. And self control always better and teacher control.
       We welcome your thoughts, ideas, and improvements.

Photo Copyright by Frankes (used with permission)

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Paying It Forward

Our new online friend, Jamie, over at Play to Learn Preschool is celebrating her 1 year TeachersPayTeachers store anniversary by hosting a Pay it Forward Event! Jamie collected items from 30 sellers and created a bundle. 
For each bundle she sells, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to charity! 
Each day of earnings will go to a different charity!


Over $140 worth of product for $30!! Click on one of the images to check out this deal!

  Since it was focused on preschool and lower elementary, I contributed my Multiple-Meaning Word Book to the bundle.

Have a blessed week!


Surviving the Paycheck Desert: How to Save for Summer

       The end of June has arrived, and you are gaping at your bank account balance, trying to figure out how you're going to survive July, and maybe August too. You're considering whether those Starbucks barista position or Pizza Hut delivery jobs are worth your time. But the money has to come from somewhere...
       Perhaps you know the feeling?
       For half my teaching career, I have had two months of unpaid summer. For the other half, one month. So I know the struggle.  I thought I would share my solution, which on the surface might seem like a simple solution, but all the years we have done it, we survived the year and the summer.
       First, we build a budget. We spend every dollar on paper before the month begins. We give every dollar a name. This $51 dollars goes to home internet. This $550, groceries and living expenses. We've been using the truly amazing Good Budget app for 4 years now, and we absolutely love it (they didn't even pay us to say that!). On the iPhone and Android, we've been on budget the whole time, which has helped us get out of debt and save for those bone dry summer paycheck months.
       To make sure we save the right amount, we figure how much we need to survive a month. Then we divide by 11 months ... not 12, since we don't get that extra paycheck. Then, as simple as this sounds, we save that much each month and by the time that no-paycheck month arrives, we have a whole month of $$$ saved up!
       And if your school district doesn't pay you for 2 months, you've gotta divide by 10 and save accordingly.
       You're welcome to get a job over the summer too to get a little extra spending money, but we always made sure to save enough, in case we couldn't get or didn't want to get an extra summer job.

       A follow-up topic is "How to save for summer traveling too!" And the strategy ain't that much different. In addition to your summer dry-bones month, you've gotta sock away money each month for your summer traveling plans. It's hard, but you can do it without throwing it all on the plastic cursed credit cards. Slow and steady wins a vacation.

Photo Copyright by Moyan Brenn (used with permission)

 FREE Universal Book Report Teaching Resource ... sign up for our Email Newsletter! Graphic organizers and analysis activities for any novel. Perfect for reading groups or literature circles! Get it Now! >>> http://eepurl.com/bGNTgX #litcircles #readinggroups #readingcircles #bookreports

Death by Classroom: How to save our meetings from the doom of boredom

       Last year at Open House, a parent asked me a question I don't think I'd been asked before: "What one book has impacted your teaching the most?"
       I was caught off guard, and for a few moments, my brain whirred like a morning blender. Of course, I wanted to wow this dad with some wise book that would make me look good and get me out of this conversation. It's no secret that I love reading, but when it comes to teaching books, I'll be honest and say I've read very few.
       Surprisingly to me, though, the book I came up with for that dad is still the book I would say now.
       The book is called Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni. Curiously, it is a business book, not a teaching book. But it is also a leadership book...and a book about meetings.
       Lencioni writes business fables. They are short little books, the first half of the story a fable, while the second half explains the meaning of the fable. The stories are interesting and feel real.
So how exactly did this little book impact my teaching?
       The book is about meetings and what makes them good or not, and at their core, every classroom holds a meeting every day. Someone is leading it , and it's usually the teacher. And the business men and women, aka the students, sit and listen.
       So what is the key to every good meeting?
       Just like a good story. The key is to make our classrooms feel like a story, a journey, one with conflict.
       We have to drop part of our agenda and replace it with conflict time. Allow the students to really disagree, respectfully ... with the ideas, with each other, and with us.
       Those times when I don't remember this approach end up dull, drab lecture classes. The times I do remember end up a little more chaotic feeling but a lot more engaging. The students are involved because they like a good fight just as much as the rest of us humans.
       So think about your upcoming week of lessons. Where can you schedule in some fighting time? Some conflict time?
       Give it a shot. We'd love to hear your stories and thoughts and questions.

Photo Copyright by kev-shine (used with permission)

 FREE Universal Book Report Teaching Resource ... sign up for our Email Newsletter! Graphic organizers and analysis activities for any novel. Perfect for reading groups or literature circles! Get it Now! >>> http://eepurl.com/bGNTgX #litcircles #readinggroups #readingcircles #bookreports
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