Jazzing Up Your TpT Quote Box

Today I'm sharing a post for my fellow TpT teacher-authors. 

If you're a TpT seller, then you know all about the area on each of our stores' pages for a quote.  Sometimes people include links to their blogs or other promotional messages in that space.  Well, last night I gave my quote the boot!  That's right, after I saw some sellers with updated quote boxes, I knew that I wanted to jazz up my store as well.

So, I read a few tutorials.  I tried.  I failed.  I tried.  I failed.  Then, I called my friend for help.  She pointed me in the right direction....and with her help, my TpT store now looks like this:

As an interesting side note, my old store quote was from Leonardo Da Vinci and it said, "The knowledge of all things is possible."  So, last night as I was growling at my computer when I couldn't get my new jazzy quote box to format correctly on TpT, I tried to remind myself of Da Vinci's words.  Do you think he was imagining transparent backgrounds and hyperlinks when he first shared his wisdom?

So...are you ready to jazz up your own quote box?  

1.  Open PowerPoint, click on the 'Design' tab, select 'Slide Size', choose 'Custom Size' and resize the slide to 3 in. wide by 1 in. high.

2.  Design your quote box.  You'll be making this quote box "clickable" so you might want to add a message that corresponds with one of your custom categories.  For instance, if you have a Test Prep category, you might design a quote box with a "Don't Forget to Check Out These Test Prep Resources" message.  Also, make sure that all the text boxes you add stay within the 3 x 1in slide.

3.  Make a transparent background.  Click the 'Insert' tab.  Select 'Shapes.'  Select the square shape option and draw a square/rectangle over the top of your entire slide.  

Then "right click" your mouse while hovering over the rectangle shape you just inserted.  Select 'Format Shape.'  You'll see design options for the shape's fill to the right of your slide.  

Select 'Solid Fill'  Then, slide the transparency over to 100%.  (You'll see your design again.)  See that outline of your shape?  You'll want to get rid of that by selecting 'No Line' under the format shape options.  

Finally, right click on your quote box again, and select 'Send to the back.'  Now you have a transparent background.

4.  Save your quote box design as a picture.  Press CTRL A to highlight every element of your quote box.  Then, "right click" your mouse and select 'Save as a picture.'  Save this picture to your desktop and give it a File name before clicking 'Save.'

(Here's a tip from Ainsley Karl when you 'Save as a picture' click on 'options' and enter in - 452.)

5.  Host your quote box picture somewhere.  I used Photobucket.  I just dragged the quote box image that I saved on my desktop to upload it to Photobucket.  Then, I copied the direct link that Photobucket created.

6.  Prepare your links for the TpT quote box.  Remember, the TpT quote box will have an image and a clickable link.  Therefore, you need two links.  One is for the quote box image you designed.  You know, the link you just copied from Photobucket (or other hosting spot).  Open a blank document and paste that link under the title 'Photo Link.'  Then, figure out where you will be sending buyers when they click on your quote box (perhaps to a custom category, or to your blog, or to your freebies).  Open that page and copy the link.  Paste that link under the title 'TpT Link' on your opened document.

7.  Shorten your links.  In order to not exceed TpT's quote character limitations, both links need to be shortened.  Go to bitly.com.  Paste the photobucket link into the upper right-hand box on the webpage and click 'Shorten'.  Copy this new short link and paste it on your document under 'Shortened Photo Link.'  Repeat this process with the TpT page link.

8.  Prepare the code for your TpT quote.  Copy this code on your document (where you've been copying and pasting the long and shortened links).


Now, insert your shortened TpT page link where it says "clickable link" (delete the words - clickable link).  Then, insert your shortened Photobucket link where it says "link to the quote box image" (delete the words - "link to the quote box image").  Select and copy the code.

9.  Update your quote box on TpT.  Sign into your TpT account and go to your Dashboard.  Right next to the "profile 100% complete," you'll see a green 'Edit Profile' link.  Click that.  Then, where it says personal quote, paste the code.  Scroll down and click 'Save.'

10.  Revel in your awesomeness!  Go check out your store and see your new look.  Awesome, right?

Thanks to Literary Sherri, Crayonbox Learning and What I Have Learned for inspiring and teaching me!

Thanks for stopping by,

Classroom Decor - Word-of-the-Day Display

Did you know that my husband is a teacher, too?  We met in our student teaching days back in college.  It's been interesting having similar careers.  The best part is having someone who truly understands the job.  The second best part is having someone to bounce ideas off of for the classroom.  That's what happened when he came home one day and said, "I need a way to display the math words-of-the-day in my classroom."  He didn't have a bulletin board to spare, the front board needed to stay free, and the Fire Marshall nixed all clotheslines.  

So, off to Home Depot we went in search of a display solution.  After roaming many aisles, we ended up in the concrete section of the store.  And we saw this...

It's the steel reinforcement for concrete.  It was light, big, and we figured he could hang a word in each section.  So, after picking up some red spray paint (to make it a little more fun and less rusty), we headed home to get it ready for the classroom.

Step 1:  Sand off the rust.

Ste 2:  Spray paint the grid.

Step 3:  Get your children to help you paint some clothespins fun colors.

Step 4:  Hang It.

Step 5:  Use It.

It's a great, easy solution for an age-old classroom display problem. Thank goodness for Home Depot and concrete sidewalks!

Thanks for stopping by,

School Supply Themed Valentines

Thanks so much Lauralee Moss, Brynn Allison, and Julie Faulkner for hosting this fun "Feeling the Love" blog hop!

Love is in the air, er...classroom...and I'm sharing my favorite school-themed valentine gift ideas for students.

Whether they admit it or not, middle school students not only know when Valentine's Day is, they also kind of long for the days of the in-class celebrations and valentine exchanges like in their elementary classrooms.  Since we're usually knee-deep in a unit, I generally skip the party, but I don't skip the valentines - at least giving some valentines to my students.  My favorite part is when I announce that I've made some valentines for them, and they get all excited, and visions of sweets and candy dance around in their heads, and then I hand each of them one of these...

So mean, right?  But as a teacher, how could I hand out anything else?  And besides...they're all in need of a new pencil by February each year anyway.  Usually I hand out pencil valentines... 

but there are so many other fun options...





They're all easy to make, festive, and super useful in the classroom. Sometimes I even cave and give them all a sweet treat, too.  

If you'd like to hand out some school-themed valentines to your students, you can find the valentine tags all here for FREE.

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Free eBooks for Middle and High School Teachers!

I'm so excited to be working with Literary Sherri, Getting Nerdy with Mel and Gerdy, Lindsay Perro, and Room 213 to bring you the latest FREE secondary eBooks.  There are 4 eBooks in all and let me tell you, they're amazing.  Not only will you get to learn about what the awesome middle and high school teacher-authors on TpT can't live without - seriously, you'll be cracking up at everyone's responses - but you'll also get 30 free printable teaching resources in each eBook.  That means that if you download each eBook, you'll have access to 120 print-and-teach resources!  

The eBooks are categorized for ELA, Math, Science, and Humanities (Social Studies, Foreign Language, Arts, and even more ELA).  Take a look:

Oh, and if you missed the first series of eBooks, you can find them here:

Thanks to all the secondary sellers who contributed to the eBooks!

Valentine's Day Gift for Teachers

I love sending my boys into school with a Valentine's Day gift for their teachers.  I try not to go super elaborate or super expensive (because between the two of them there are 5 teachers).  Instead, each year I try to put together something simple and sweet for their teachers...just a little token of love as a thanks for all they do.

Here's what I'm up to this year.  

First, I gathered some supplies - bags, ribbon, cute heart dishes, and chocolates.
Then, I recruited my little guy to do the heavy lifting.
We wrapped each candy-filled dish in tissue and stuck it in the bag.

Next, he punched two holes in the top of the bag.

Finally, we added a ribbon and teacher-themed valentine tag and we were done.

Oh, and we wrapped a few with clear wrapping paper just to switch things up.

The entire process was super easy.  I hope the boys' teachers like their valentines.  I'm thinking that they'll be able to reuse the heart dishes for paper clips, or thumbtacks, or all the confiscated little toys that they have to collect.  I also hope that this small gift helps them to know that we appreciate them in a big way!

Thanks for stopping by,
Brain Waves Instruction

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