Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sneak Peek at my NEW Room!!!!!!!!!! (oh, and a freebie)

Hey friends! In case you missed it,  I recently blogged about my new job this year... Teaching Kindergarten in my dream township. You can read that post here! I am so, so excited! Yesterday I got in to see my room and do some rearranging.  What I discovered was a MASSIVELY GIGANTIC ROOM! It is easily double the size of my Second Grade classroom from last year. At first, I thought -- What on Earth am I going to do with all of this space?  Then, I realized, I had about a Thousand shelves to fill the space with that I - GASP - was not allowed to get rid of.
You see - I like simplicity.  I can't stand clutter or for things to feel too crowded.  So when I learned I would have to keep all of the furniture, I had a miiiiinor panic attack.  I had to get creative.  Here's some sneak peek pictures of my room for this year.  All I have done is move furniture around to how I want it.  I have not decorated anything, and all of the STUFF you see is left from the last teacher.  Y'all..... SO much STUFF.  I've got my hands full for sure.
This is the front of my room and whole group area.  I'm LOVING this giant carpet!!!
This is the Back of the room and student seating .. plus... SHELVES. As someone who had ONE cabinet and ONE shelf last year ... all of this storage space is overwhelming!
This picture is from standing in the doorway.  You can see my teacher area, surrounded by shelves. haha.  See all that stuff IN the shelves?  It was all left behind!  Also, each of the desk drawers is filled to the brim. Busy month of July ahead!
This is an adorable little reading nook, which I'm in LOVE with! I surrounded it with bookshelves to make a nice little library space.  Of course, right now, the book nook is filled with stuff. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Lastly, this is the view from the middle of the room! You  can see my writing center on the far left, guided reading, then the library!
Phew! I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into my classroom.  I'm really thrilled to get to work.  I live for organizing and "pretty-ing" stuff up!
By the way -- have you followed me on Bloglovin' yet?  No pressure, but this is kiiiiinda a big deal now! Google Reader goes away TOMORROW!!!
And if you made it this far, you deserve a little treat!!  For today only, you can pick up my Editable Polka Dot Labels for FREE!  Just click the here to download.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Grade Level and New Classroom! EEEK! :)

Friends, I am right in the midst of some seriously exciting changes!  This past year, I taught second grade and I absolutely loved it.  I was driving 35 minutes to work, and though the commute wasn't awful -- my heart has always been in another district.  I had the opportunity to interview in my dream district, and ... drumroll please... I GOT THE JOB! :)
With my new district, comes a new grade level and... YAY!... a new classroom to decorate.  I will now be teaching KINDERGARTEN!  I'm a bit nervous about getting these tiny children acclimated to school.  I am open to any and all advice :)
I'm so so SO excited to decorate my new classroom.  In fact, it's been all I can think about, and - not yet having access to the actual room - I still found a way to get right to work! I designed myself a classroom theme pack and am in the process now of printing, laminating, and hanging things on ribbons!
I designed this pack with BOLD, BRIGHT colors! As silly as it sounds, I based my colors around some awesome Dollar Tree Baskets.  Do you have a Dollar Tree near you?  Literally EVERYTHING is $1.  I have found my dollar tree baskets to be very sturdy and they will match this set perfectly!
Here's a little sneak peak at everything I plan on hanging around my room to BRIGHTEN up the place!
I am so excited to get in there and start decorating! If you want your classroom to be Bright, Bold, and filled with Fun patterns, click the image below to check this item out! 
I am paying the price to print these out at Staples.  If you're looking for something a little more ink/printer friendly... Check out my Bright Colors on White.
Thanks for reading, friends.  I'm so excited to start this new adventure in Kindergarten.  I can't WAIT to get into my room and make myself at home.  I am looking for some awesome Kindergarten blogs to follow -- let me know if you know of some! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pretty Please Show me some "BlogLOVIN'"

So sad to recently read that Google Reader will soon be no more! If you want to keep up with me on my teaching adventure (which I assure you, is about to get reaaaalllly interesting!), Follow me on Bloglovin'!  So far, I'm L-O-V-E-ing Bloglovin'!  I'm sure you will, too.  I promise to be a better blogger coming up real soon.  I've got some fun updates coming up.

 Click Below!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Currently! June! AH!

Double Post Day!!!!! If you're new to TPT or you're considering starting a store, head back to my first post from today for some tips! :)
And now, I bring to you JUNE'S CURRENTLY! Can you believe it?!?! Thanks, as always, to the fabulous Farley for this monthly linkup!

Now, get off the computer and enjoy this Sunday! :)

Starting a TPT Store... Tips for Beginners

It's SUMMER! (so sorry if you're still teaching...) For me, this means lots of spare time.  Of course I plan on laying by the pool, playing with the pups, getting lunch with friends... but there will still be time to fill.  If you're in the same situation, and you've got a few creative bones in your body, you should consider starting your own TPT store!  I started my store in April of last year and I can NOT believe the success, and more importantly, the FUN it has brought into my life.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my ideas, collaborate with others, and make a substantial second income.  So whether you're a retired teacher, a SAHM taking a break from teaching, a homeschool teacher, or actively teaching -- TPT has room for everyone's ideas.

I have had several personal friends and TPT buyers ask me questions about starting on TPT, so instead of repeating myself, I thought I'd make a blog post for the beginners of beginners - hopefully this will make beginning your journey a little easier! :)
1 - Make Your First Product a Good One!
On TPT, the first product you upload must be a freebie.  Your primary freebie should be an item that represents you and your store well.  People will download it and then choose whether to follow your store and come back to see more.  You probably shouldn't make your primary freebie something seasonal, but rather, something that could span the school year.  There has been a lot of talk about freebies on TPT lately.  You should follow these guidelines for greatest personal AND sitewide success:  Keep your freebie under 10 pages.  Make sure your freebie is a STAND ALONE product, meaning they don't have to buy something to make it work.  And lastly, keep your store to under 20% freebies.  I personally like to keep my store around 10% free. 
2 - Create Attractive Cover Pages
What is a Cover Page?  Cover Pages are the little thumbnails in your store front that show next to the titles of your products.  Cover Pages are SO important because they are the FIRST thing a person sees.  I, personally, will not click to view an item if it does not have an attractive and organized Cover Page.  I create my products in Microsoft Powerpoint using Fonts, Graphics, and Backgrounds from TPT sellers!  I like to use Bright Colors and Layering to make my Cover Pages pleasing to the eye. Without a good cover, I know that in a competitive marketplace like TPT, my items will get passed over. 
3 - Pricing
There is a lot to take into account when you set a price for your items.  It is very easy when you're first starting out to say, "Since I am not an established store and there is so much competition, I'm going to start out with very low prices."  I do not suggest this approach.  You are undervaluing your VERY hard work.  Also, if enough sellers have this mindset, TPT will turn into a glorified Dollar Store and quality will lessen.  There are various pricing guides available on TPT (  that you can use as a guide, however, in a marketplace like this -- Pricing is really up to you.  I take into account 4 factors.
  • How often and in how many ways can this product be used?
  • What is the number of USEABLE pages?
  • How much did I spend (money and time) creating this product?
My products range from $1.00 to $11.00 in price, though most fall in the $3-$5 range, and I'm very happy with my sales.  I feel that my pricing is consistent and fair.  My buyers know what to expect.  Please note, there is a $3.00 minimum when purchasing anything from TPT, so pricing at $2.99 is a bad idea. :)
4 - Market Your Store in a Way that Works for YOU!
In the age of Social Media, marketing venues have become increasingly more accessible.  Though you could just set up your store, do nothing, and make sales -- you will find that sales REALLY take off when marketing in some outside venue.  The options seem endless -- Pinterest, Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  The key here is to find what works for you.  I have found Pinterest to be an easy and quick way to market products.  You can join collaborative boards and share your products, freebies, and great teaching ideas.  Blogging is a great way to build a following, however, it takes a lot of time and work.  I encourage you to market your store in order to gain followers and increase awareness of your items, but you have to think about what works with your schedule and life.  Don't try to do it all! :) I personally, do Pinterest and Blogging. 
Mrs. Kelly's Klass
5 - Create a Brand for Yourself
However you choose to market yourself, it is a good idea to create a Brand that connects everything together.  Create a store Name, Copyright, and Logo that you can smack on everything.  This kind of branding assures that people know where to find you and makes you more recognizable in a sea of sellers/bloggers.  It also creates consistency across the board, which makes things easier for buyers. 
You can see the consistency between my Blog and my Store.  They share a name, "Mrs. Kelly's Klass" and I plaster that name everywhere I can.  My blog links to my Store/Pinterest/and Email.  My store links to my Blog.  It's all connected.
6 - Take the Plunge!
If you get to the point in your sales where you're asking yourself, "Should I upgrade to a Premium account?" The answer is a resounding ***YESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*** Don't hesitate.  Do it as soon as you possibly can and I guarantee you will not regret it.  Nothing changes in your account, you don't suddenly become more visible to buyers, and you will still have to put in just as much effort in creating quality products and marketing.  The difference is -- YOU MAKE MORE MONEY! Lots more money!  If you're selling a product for a dollar, you only make $0.30 with a basic account.  You make $0.85 with a Premium.  On larger products, this difference is really substantial and adds up quickly!
7 - Visit the Forums Frequently
I have only shared the very BEGINNING of starting a TPT store.  There is SO much to learn.  I've been at this for over a year and I'm still learning.  There is a wealth of knowledge available to sellers on the Forum.  Upon signing up, this should be the FIRST place you go.  The best possible thing you can do for your TPT "career" is to learn from other sellers.  Once you get started and are feeling comfortable, you'll want to use the "search" function in the forums to learn about these things: Newsletter Promotion, Throwing a Sale, Making Previews, Product Descriptions, Linky Parties, and So much more!
I hope some of this information was useful to you, whether you have recently started a store or you are toying with the idea of starting one.  Looking to get started this summer?  Below you will find a link to sign up!  This is my affiliate link, which helps me out.  If you know someone who has encouraged you to sign up before -- ask them for their affiliate link.  Otherwise, you are welcome to use mine! :)