Dare to Dream: My Dreams

This week's TpT Seller Challenge was to blog about our dreams and/or goals for our TpT Store.   I was "gung-ho" Monday morning and began to write a post about my dreams.  As I began reflecting on my TpT Store, I realized that I needed more time.  More time to think about what TpT had already given us.  

Truthfully, I didn't realize what a huge blessing TpT has been for my family.  I debated - should I share what I've used my TpT earnings for?  I'm a blogger, AKA Oversharer.  

Well, my little store has had some flatline months and some pretty amazing months. I'm grateful for every follower who purchased an item from my store.  Even now, I am shocked that other teachers value the products that I make.    

TpT has had a huge impact on our family.  There are months when my TpT income has bought groceries for our family. Those months I am the most grateful for TpT.  I am serious.  

Some months I was able to cover my daughter's rising dance costs and others it helped pay for her daycare.

Last year my store started generating a little extra income and I was able to take our family on vacation to Port Aransas and my husband and I spent the New Year & his b-day at our favorite place in the world, Fredericksburg, TX (although the pics above are from a previous vacay)!

This year, I finally got a new dishwasher.  Now, you might think boring...but clean dishes are ahhhh-mazing!  I don't think our dishes have been clean in about 2 years.

In full disclosure, other than a house & cars we do not live in debt, so if we don't pay cash for it, then we don't do it or buy it.  TpT has helped us live like this.   

The rest of this post will focus on my goals for the next two years.  Fall 2015 - Summer 2017.

Next year we are celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary and we are going to Cancun to celebrate.  TpT has made this dream a reality for us.  Neither of us have ever been to a resort, nor been to Cancun so we're pretty psyched!   

Right now, we have carpet and tile in our house.  I HATE CARPET, especially 10 year old carpet that has survived 2 toddlers and 1 puppy!  I want new hardwood floors.  Well, okay not REAL hardwood.  I'd like wood laminate floors.  

My Girl is 6 and talks about going to Disney atleast once a week.  I am not an amusement park type girl and I've heard that the Disney Cruise is absolutely fantastic!  So, I am thinking that is a better option for us.  Not sure how realistic this goal is, but let's dream big!

As far as my store goes, I'd LOVE to be a top 100 seller in Texas.  Right now I think I'm still in the 400's.  Which is an improvement, but I really want to break the top 100!  

TPT has been a very unexpected blessing in our life.
Thank You to anyone who has ever made a purchase from my store. 


Why I don't use Instagram

Teacher bloggers love Instagram.  I'm on Instagram, but I rarely post.  Because my life is pretty boring!

Two things happened in my house today that were IG worthy.  First, all of our laundry was washed, dried, folded or hung up & put away!!!  Snore!  But I'm happy.  The 2nd IG item was Dora, one of our tadpoles grew legs.  Now, that was pretty cool & I was going to post it, but I cannot for the life of me remember all of the hashtags I'm supposed to use.

I'm sure IG is pretty awesome & I love the artsy pics by Taecher Bloggers, but it's just not me.



This summer I intended to re-do most of my first TPT Products and perhaps add to a few of them.  So, when I heard about the #tptsellerchallenge, I jumped on board!  

My #1 BEST SELLER is my Inventor/Inventions Brochure.  I haven't changed the cover in 2 years because...well, because it's been selling just fine.  But, I decided it was time to change it.  Over the last year, I've been thinking about adding a lap book component and this was the perfect time to add it.  Of course,  I ran out of ink, so I couldn't add pics to the file, but I will do that next week.

What do you think about the new cover??

In an effort to hold myself accountable for fulfilling the #tptsellerchallenge, I am posting my STATS.  Truthfully STATS are controversial.  Some people put a lot of stock into them.  I prefer to grow my followers organically and I want my followers to be people who need my help or want to hear what I have to say - not just people who agree to follow me for no apparent reason.   


Spring is Here - Poetry Hop

Hoppy Spring!  A.K.A. Allergy season in my house.  I woke up this morning with puffy eyes, my husband said I looked like a frog! Yup, a frog.  
This weekend, we're celebrating poetry.  Teaching poetry didn't come natural to me.  So, I had to pack my teacher toolbox full of little tricks of the trade.  Take a peek inside my Pinterest Poetry Toolbox.
I love seeing kids write little poems about the things they love.  I also love seeing kids become authors. Today, I'm going to show you how to make a brown bag book.  I PROMISE if you make this with your students and hang it in the hallway you are guaranteed to get "Oooh's and Aaaah's" from your colleagues and parents.  
The materials you'll need are: 3 lunch sized paper bags per student, scissors & a rubberband (ribbon is optional).  

Begin by cutting the ends off of each paper bag. 

Next, line up all 3 bags, fold into a booklet, cut about an inch slit into each end and slide the rubberband into place.

Now, you're paperbag book is ready to decorate.  For this project, you'll need to download my Poetry Brown Bag Freebie!

Each page has space for notes or a description and students can write their own poems to put on the "tag pages".  These pages have a ribbon attached like a tag or a tab.

To add the tab, simply cut strips of ribbon, fold over and staple to the back side of your paper.

I've made a few brown bag books in my teaching career and they tend to be on the girly side.   I tried to make this a little more generic and it looks cute, but isn't girly! 

Continue along our hop and check out my friend, Tara's blog!

Have you ever made a Brown Bag Book?  I've used it for cause and effect.  How else could you use it?
A special thanks to our graphic artists: Epiphanous, EduClips and Hello Fonts.


3,2,1 Sunday Scoop Link Up

For a while now, I've wanted to link up with Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop.  I just rarely have time on Sunday to blog.  Today, I'm MAKING time!  Here we go...

This Little Piggy wonders, have you ever made salads in a jar?


Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Dr Pepper 
These three things are from Texas, just like me.  While you might be celebrating Valentine's weekend with your loved one, I'm celebrating my love of Texas with my fellow Texas Teachers.

I'm a Texan, born and raised, North Texas is where I spent most of my days!  Yes, I love Will Smith and no, he's not a Texan.
Currently, I live in Waxahachie (wax-uh-hatch-ee).  I moved here when I got married about 9 years ago.  It is a small historic town, south of DFW with impressive landmarks and a thriving bed and breakfast business. You might have heard about it recently because Jon Kitna is now our head football coach.
Photo Courtesy of Troy's Photos
Waxahachie's courthouse is one of the oldest courthouses in Texas.  It was refurbished in 2002 with sandstone from the same quarry that was used in the 1800's to build the original.
This is an exact replica of the Munster Mansion.
Have you ever watched the Munsters?  Well, a couple in Waxahachie built an exact replica of the Munster's Home.  It's actually right down the street from my daughter's old daycare and I drove by it daily; however, I've never been inside.  During Halloween, they have a charity event where you can tour the mansion and the owners dress up like the Munster family.

I have lots of lessons that I love!  What matters is that my students love design challenges.  In my gifted pull-out classroom we do them daily.  Students are collaborating, problem solving, inferring, designing, hypothesising, researching and re-designing.  The really awesome thing about design challenges is....you don't need to buy a lot of supplies. 

This Freebie is from my font-loving friend, Nicole Shelby's TpT Store. I love that students can incorporate both STEM & Writing!  
If you haven't visited Smart Chick's TpT Store - RUN over there and download this awesome STEM freebie.  If feel like you don't have time to do design challenges in the regular ed classroom...do them on an early release day!  I promise they are 100% engagement.

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If you're a Texas Teacher, I have plenty of STAAR Resources for 3rd Grade Reading Teachers in my TpT Store, stop by sometime.   

Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

This Little Piggy Loves being a Texan!


100 Days of School Activities

Today I'm presenting a collection of ideas for the 100th Day of School Celebration.

I know these ideas are grade specific; however, your entire school can participate! You can host a 100 Days parade and have each grade level do something different.
*dress up like they are 100
*wear 100 day crowns
*make a shirt that has 100 items on it
*make a poster with 100 things
*create posters of different ways to make 100
If the entire school doesn't want to participate, maybe PK-2 can celebrate and walk down the "big kids" hallway.

If your kids make shirts, make one too!

Here's an APP that lets you take a pic of your student & then age them. Maybe you could have your kids write paragraphs after using the APP.

Does your grade level decorate for the 100th Day?

Maybe you can set up math stations in celebration?

If you teach Upper Elementary, I have an item you might like!

I have a Pinterest board full of ideas for a variety of grade levels. Check it out!
Follow This Little Piggy Reads (Deniece)'s board 100th Day Celebration on Pinterest.