Friday Finds: Teachers Pay Teachers

May 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm 2 comments

Today’s “find” is not actually hard to find – in fact, it’s practically viral, at least in the teacher-blog-osphere. But this site is so valuable to teachers, parents, and even students that I have to share just in case anyone does not yet know about it. 

Teachers Pay Teachers is, in their words, “an open marketplace for educators where teachers buy, sell, and share original teaching resources.” Pardon the hyperbole, but to me this is a thing of unspeakable beauty. It’s a boon to both buyers, sellers, and even window shoppers.

For the buyer, TPT offers a clean, friendly interface and a vast selection of all types of materials, including graphics, lesson plans, worksheets, slideshows, interactive whiteboard lessons – you name it. The open market conditions drive sellers to create high quality, visually appealing materials and price them competitively. Because the materials are created by actual teachers, you will usually find them to be highly relevant to your actual students and teaching standards. Many sellers offer some items completely free, so you can personally evaluate their style before starting to buy – and when you find someone you especially like, you can add them to your “favorites” for easy tracking in the future.

What especially appeals to me is that many of the materials are specific. While many sellers create “packs” of full units or series of related items, you can also find materials for individual lessons or specific topics. I can’t be the only one whose library overflows with teaching materials I never use because I bought a whole book and only used one activity. Buying full sets and volumes is a budget drain, especially for teachers like me who move around a lot and don’t teach the same topics repeatedly to similar populations. On TPT, you can use search terms, tags, and previews to find the materials that are just right for your current need. The prices are right, the file goes straight to your computer, and you will no longer have to sift through piles of random materials in your file cabinet to find the ones you want.

As a seller, you benefit from the easy-to-use platform and built-in publicity of being part of such a large sharing community. If you’ve ever considered selling your teaching materials for profit, this is the perfect way to break into the market. I have not yet begun to digitize my collection, so instead of linking you to my snazzy TPT seller page, I am sharing this resource just for your own benefit. However, I look forward to this opportunity to share my ideas and creations with a wider audience.

We all work hard to create materials for our students and have long been generous in sharing with fellow teachers; here is the chance to reach a wider audience, make some money on it, and have access to other teachers’ creations, too! Here are a couple of my favorite sellers so far.

Laura Candler is a pro, she has full books but here you can also access individual activities. Her activities and ideas are highly interactive while still being approachable for students who are hesitant to engage.

Rachel Lynette has many reading comprehension “task cards” for really quick practice. These have been great for my students who need a lot of repeated, targeted skill practice in short bursts.

You’ve already heard how much I love Angela Watson (The Cornerstone) but did I mention she is the queen of math games? They’re on TPT, too, and she is way up to date aligning them with Common Core. You’ll pay a bit more for the full game packs, but they’re worth it – they are engaging, they teach/practice what you need them to, they are very well designed, and the kits are very complete. You basically just need to print and go.

Just a small sample, browse around yourself and see just how much talent there is when teachers around the web gather together. Then come back and share – what is your favorite TPT find?

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Entry filed under: Friday Finds, Teaching.

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