Getting Reflective & TpT Advice

My reflective post yesterday on TBA about my blog birthday has got me reminiscing about the last year. One of the many big leaps I made was joining Teachers Pay Teachers as a seller. That was a huge one for me, it was a very difficult decision, but one I'm glad I made. One of the best parts of being a tpt seller is getting some free materials into the hands of teachers across the globe. I know it's appreciated from the crazy awesome, totally heartfelt emails and feedback on tpt. My friend Angela Watson recently wrote a great post on this very subject. I've gotten to know Angela a bit over the past year and she always impresses me with her clear-headed, straightforward thinking. She speaks her mind freely without being swayed by others, which is a trait that I admire more than I can say. So, yeah. I'm a big fan of Angela...Fangela, maybe? Maybe here to read her article.

As I was thinking back, I was trying to remember the first item I ever posted when I realized It's actually still my featured item.  I'm not sure how many of you may have seen it. TpT did a site redesign a while ago, and while I love it for the most part, one of the things I don't like is that the featured free download kind of blends in and is easily overlooked because there are not thumbnail images, see? It's a little lost down there. It just says "free download".

So I thought I'd take a minute today to share it because (if I do say so myself) it's a pretty good one! I think having such a unique, useful freebie as my very first item was one of the keys to my relatively quick start on TpT. I really had no contacts, no help, no idea what the heck I was doing but I submitted this freebie to be featured in the newsletter and it was featured the first week I was a seller! It also got noticed by some other bigger sellers who promoted it as I was welcomed into the fold. I distinctly remember Rachel Lynette sharing it on Facebook and almost passing out from excitement! So, to those of you thinking about venturing into tpt, there's my little nugget of advice - have a fantastic freebie to get the ball rolling. I've received several emails from readers asking me how to get started. I know I've answered some and not others. The reason is that it's not an easy question to answer. It's a lot of work, a lot of hours, a little talent and a little luck. I spend at least 4 hours a day (usually more) beyond my full-time school day working on TpT products - both free and paid, blogging and networking every single day. But the one thing I know for sure, is that it's totally worth it. Be prepared to face others who disagree with your decision as well because you will face at least a little bit of that from time to time.

So, on to that first activity. It's a set of task cards that can be used with any book club order form. If your kids are anything like mine, they freak over those forms! Even though a lot of the kids don't actually order, they love looking through it. I decided to capitalize on that excitement with these cards. It's a favorite center for sure. It also gets them excited about books and introduces them to new series and authors they might not see in the classroom or school library.

Lots of different literacy skills are represented along with a few math skills as well. 
So, if you haven't yet, you can click {HERE} to get to my tpt store, then just click on that  Free Download button to get your copy. So, thanks bunches and bunches for being here with me through this first year of my journey. It's been an incredible experience venturing outside the walls of my own school and into the limitless arena of the internet. It's a journey I hope to continue for many, many years to come and I hope you'll all be along with me for the ride!



  1. Hey Denise! Thanks for the mention, and I remember that set of book order task cards and thinking, "Wow, that is brilliant!" You have had an amazing year...congratulations and happy birthday!

    Minds in Bloom

  2. Wow..its really difficult for me to believe you only started a year ago because you seem like you have been doing this for years!! I love your products and I am very partial to your bump games (as are my kids!) Thank you for everything and all your support that you have given me as a new blogger and new to the world of tpt.. happy one year Denise!!

  3. Such a positive post! Great to read as a new blogger and seller myself. Happy blog birthday to you!


    Sprinkle Teaching Magic

  4. Thanks for posting the great advice! As a new blogger and seller, I really appreciate this post. Happy Bloggy B-day!
    Hello Mrs Sykes

  5. Great post, Denise! I LOVE your book club task cards. We use them in our writing station with the Scholastic fliers all the time! You are a fabulous teacher, blogger, and friend...your dedication really shows! :)

    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  6. Thanks for this Denise. Your blog was one of the first I found when I discovered teaching blogs and I really appreciate your great posts and advice. I am not selling anything yet, just posting freebies as I make them. It's hard work and very time consuming and I applaud all that you have done:)

    Surfin' Through Second

  7. This was an informative post since I am contemplating becoming part of the TPT family. I can only imagine the time and effort you and other sellers put into your products. Thanks for all you do to create these products!!

  8. Thank you for the wonderful advice! I am new to blogging and TPT and often think I would never be able to create the sorts of products you all do. You have given an Aussie girl some hope!

    I would love for you to check out my new blog and give me some feedback!

    Shanyn xx

  9. how is it that I have never tried/used your very first free activity??? On the TPT site it doesn't list the WHOLE description... so when I saw "free book order form" I never paid any attention to it, because I thought "hmm, I don't need a book order form.." I never realized it was a set of task cards! (Duh, Krystal!!) Let me just say, I will be printing and laminating these tomorrow and putting them into my centers for the week... my kids will be SO excited too, because we just had a book fair, so I have mountains of catalogs that haven't been used yet... This is great! Thanks so much! hope you have/had a great weekend :)

  10. Denise,
    Thanks for all your awesome work! I LOVE your freebie! What a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing!

    3 Teacher Chicks

  11. Thanks for all of the information and sharing! I love your things, and you are an inspiration!
    Fun in K/1

  12. Officially became your latest follower using Google friend (even though I have been following you using Reader).
    Come and check out my Dr. Jean giveaway!
    My Second Sense

  13. Thank you for sharing your creations. I don't know how I'd survive without TPT. I am glad so many creative / artistic teachers are willing to share their ideas. It makes lesson planning that much easier. BTW, I'm willing to pay for your ideas and creations because I respect your time and effort. I also really enjoy the ability to have tried and true lessons on hand!

  14. I don't know why people get upset about teachers selling their homeade resources. Schools pay quite a lot of money for ready made resources which are nowhere near the standard of some of the stuff available for a couple of dollars on tpt. People spend ages making these resources and their should be no obligation to offer them for free!!

  15. Congrats! You know by now that my kids LOVE your stuff. They are just as big of a fan as I am! When you go the point as a teacher that you are helping form the scope of education across the country, you know you are TRULY making a difference!

    Jennifer Ayers

  16. What a great first year of blogging you have had! I am so thankful that you started blogging because I have gotten so many great ideas from you. My students love the Shaker Jars and Bump It games, just to name a few!

    Delighted in Second

  17. Thanks for telling me about this awesome freebie! Love it!!!!!

  18. I never would have thought of this as a center! Genius! I just began my TPT store and offered my first freebie. You are so right, it takes a lot of work to make any type of file. Thanks for offering this freebie!

  19. Thank you for sharing! Your post is certainly an inspiration to me!

  20. Thanks for this post, I even went to read Angela's post because I just recently opened a TPT account with a couple of freebies, but I've been so nervous about the whole venture. Thanks for the freebie :)
    First Grade Dual

  21. Thanks so much for sharing. I love your book order form activities!! Can't wait to use them in my class next year =)


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