WNY TpT Meeting

In our classrooms, we're constantly encouraging collaboration between our students.  We want them to work together, to learn from each other, and to build on their connections with one another.  Collaboration is an essential learning tool.  

Fortunately, I'm learning all about the value of collaboration in my professional TpT world as well.  This winter my friend, Literary Sherri, and I decided to spur up some connections with other TpT sellers in Western New York.  We sent messages to each Western New York teacher we could find based on their profiles and organized a first meeting.  Our first meeting was at the library and included 8 sellers.  We couldn't believe people actually showed up! 

These days our group continues to grow and we meet ever six weeks.  We even switched up our meeting location.  Last weekend we met in this one-room schoolhouse.  Pretty fitting for a bunch of teachers, no?

It's the cutest space.  Lots of tables and even a chalkboard!

If you're thinking about organizing your own local TpTers meetings, it's super simple.  We have name tags for each seller.

Each meeting generally starts with an ice breaker.  For this one, sellers each select a question and share out their response with the rest of the group.

There's usually water and some chocolates at each meeting, too.  What's a meeting without chocolate?

Here's a picture of us at the meeting...just kidding.  This picture reminds me of what TpT is all about, though...the students!

The best part about our meetings is the true collaboration between each of the sellers.  I've learned so much from them.  In fact, last weekend our focus was on PowerPoint.  I took away so many tips and tidbits that I've been able to apply to my newest product.  

So fun!

Summer School Made Easy

Early in my teaching career I spent many summers teaching students in summer school and summer bridge programs.  In fact, I even created a summer Step Ahead program working with students who would be in my classroom in September.  We worked on summer reading projects and acclimating them to the skills, expectations, and units that they would experience in the classroom in the upcoming school year.  It was such a wonderful experience.  Students that traditionally floundered at the start of school entered my classroom confident and well...a step ahead. 

While I found teaching summer school rewarding, there were certainly days that I would have rather sipped lemonades poolside than grade and plan inside.  That's why I created a comprehensive summer school program for middle school English Language Arts. 

Available here.

It's filled with five different units woven together with a journey theme.  That means that summer school teachers can skip the planning, focus on the fun stuff - teaching!, and help students meet CCSS in an engaging, rigorous, and thematic way.  Enjoy!

Investigating Historical Texts - Close reading of the Lewis and Clark's journal entries

Short Story Literature Study - "Lob's Girl" by Joan Aiken (story about a dog's incredible journey to his owner)

Mini-Research Project, Speech Analysis and Writing - Study of the speech genre, analysis of speeches about journeys, mini-research projects on incredible explorers, speech writing on research and presentation

Poetry Analysis and Writing - Analysis of three journey-themed poems and two poetry writing guides

Personal Journey Reflection - Quote investigation, personal reflection, and journey map

This multi-unit pack is available at Brain Waves Instruction on TpT here.  Wishing you summer days with more lemonade a whole lot less planning!

Brain Waves Instruction

P.S. - This multi-unit bundle would also be great to teach at any point throughout the school year.  Just imagine...your first six weeks of school - planned and ready!

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