29 July 2014

Giveaways and Sales!

This is a just quick blog to let you know a few things.

Monthly Sale and Big TPT Sale

I'm having my monthly sale on Aug.1 through Aug. 3. TPT is also hosting a huge site wide sale the following day so I will also be participating in those as well! Now's a good time to start looking around and updating that wish list (I know I will).


There are a few giveaways I'm a part of and some I found on other sites.
One Teacher's Adventure - 200 Follower Giveaway
She's got 3 different prize packs to choose from including elementary and middle school (One from me!).
Teaching in Bronco County - 200 Follower Giveaway
Win a iTunes gift cards and a Subway gift card. YUM!http://teachinginbroncocountry.blogspot.com/2014/07/character-traits.html?showComment=1406300625458#c7759185153462214646
Enchanted Kinder Garden - 500 TPT and 700 Instragram
3 $10 TPT Gift Cards 

Be sure to stop by their blogs and show some love!

Class Dismissed.

21 July 2014

Making awesome games!

Some of you may be wondering. Some of you may not. I'd thought I'd let you in on how I create some of my games. I follow what I call the "Four P's": Planning, Production, Proofing, and Posting.


The Planning

To start, I look through my store to see what topic in math I have not made a game for yet. Then, I look through the Common Core to make sure it is taught (99.9% of the time it is). I've provided the links here:
Then, in a teacher notebook I bought from the Dollar Tree, I write the name of the game and the standards. Next, I decide what type of game I should make. Over the couple of years I been on TPT, I've made a variety of games:
  • Teacher vs. Student (TvS)
  • Student vs. Student (SvS)
  • Hangman
  • Spin the Wheel
  • Bingo
  • Test Prep
  • Jeopardy
  • Tic-Tac-Toe (TTT)
Once I decide which game to create, on that same page I will create problems for the game. Depending on which game I choose determines how many problems I need. Some games require more problems than others (TvS, SVS can have 20 - 25, Spin the Wheel, Bingo, TTT have a  minimum of 30 questions).

This notebook is wonderful if you have to go out and are waiting for something (ex. doctors, dentist, etc.) I would sit and come up with problems until I'm called. They're even good for just sitting at home and working on while watching TV.

The Production

After coming up with the game and problems, it's times to actually start making it. I've made templates of all my games so production time is cut in half. I create all of my backgrounds from scratch. Late one night, I made a bunch of black and white backgrounds using the Paint program. 

I choose a color scheme and color it in. I insert it into the powerpoint as the background. Next I choose the fonts. There are lots of great fonts on TPT and online. I have a few of KG Fonts and some from Kevin and Amanda.

A great website a fellow TPT seller found was wordmark.it which displays all the fonts you have in your computer. It's wonderful because you can even input sample text and you can see it in all the different fonts.

As I said before, I have templates of all my games. These templates in the "How to Play" slide, "Question board" slide, "Question" slide, "Thanks" slide, and "Terms of Use" Slide.

Next, using my notebook of problems, I add the questions to each question slide. I make a few animation changes so that every game doesn't have the same animation. Sometimes I'll use clipart from mycutegraphics.com or Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs. Both are excellent and I recommend visiting their site/store.



When all is completed, I check through everything including the questions, the fonts, hyperlinks, and clipart. I check my credits and my Terms of Use slide.I usually wait a day before posting. After working on it for so long, I may miss a thing or two because I know what it is supposed to say. Waiting a day gives me a clear head and a fresh mind. I recommend doing this with all your products. You just never know what mistakes you find!
Once I posted a game immediately after I finished it and a teacher who purchased it said there was 5 to 6 mistakes on it. Needless to say, I fixed them immediately and started waiting a day with the rest of my products. 
Creating a game doesn't stop there. I also created a "Product Description" template in  Microsoft Word that I fill out for each product I make. Laura Santos created an excellent seller guide that I use and it's free. It's great for goals and setting up your product description including hyperlinks to other products.

Afterwards, complete another form I call my "Product Inventory" which has general information about the game. I keep it in a 3 ring binder labeled "Powerpoint Games". It is separated by tabs labeled by the Common Core. This makes it easy for me check out which games and topics I've already created.

The Posting

Once I know everything is perfect or at least as close to it as possible, I post the games. I usually post on Fridays, but now I will post them a day or two after I've completed them. I post them to TPT, pin them on Pinterest on all my Pinterest boards as well as any collaborative boards I'm apart of. I also announce it on my Facebook. Sometimes, I will do a flash freebie or a giveaway so be sure you'e on my Facebook page and click "get notifications" so you don't miss out.
I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something. I'm working on a video that will show all this at once! Until then, happy teachings!

Class Dismissed! 

16 July 2014

TPT Conference, Goals, and a Survery?

There are a few things I want to discuss with my followers. If you follow me on Facebook, you know why I've been posting sparingly. For everyone else, you'll find out why in a second.

So I tried to raise money through Fundly to go the TPT conference. That didn't work out as well as I hoped. Have no fear. I plan to start saving immediately to go next year. That means I am going to be working double time, making new products and changing some of the things I do with my store. 

Though I didn't go to TPT Conference, An Apple for the Teacher did and she has a great blog about all the sessions she attended. It almost feels like I went there myself. They're great tips. If you missed out, is the link to some of the sessions. They're posted on TPT (free).

Rest assured these notes are so good and An Apple for the Teacher explains it so well that even though her pictures were from the back, of the room it felt like she the presenter herself.

Looking at her notes, I generated new goals for myself:
  • Go to the TPT Conference next year!
  • Become a better Seller!
  • Create better products!

The reason I have not been posting as much is because a few days after my recent post, I had a seizure. It was a scary experience because I don't remember much. One moment I was talking with a dear friend visiting from out of town, the next I'm asking myself "Why am I on the floor?"

After being taken to the hospital, the doctors examined me and sent me home that same day with meds and to relax. I hoped it would never happen again.

So for the next few weeks, I was on bed rest until I could see the neurologist. Happy to say it has not happened again (and hoping it never will again). I am angry that I can not see a neurologist until August. We'll just have to hope and pray for the best. I do want to thank my loyal followers for sticking with me in this tough time!

With all that's been going on, I've been limiting myself to how much I work on TPT products, which is real nerve wrecking. I've been slowly getting back into working on games. I even came up with a new game type.

I do request your help. I made a short survey about my store. I want some feedback about how I am doing and any areas that need improvement. There are about 6 questions, most are your opinion.

When you're finished, there are directions on how you can get any product from my store (up to $5) for free just for taking it.

Thanks for sticking with me!
Class Dismissed!


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