Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: Free Job Seeking Resources

Many times throughout my teaching career I have had to look for a new teaching job. Since I needed a job at the time I didn't have a lot of extra money to spend on resume services. Here are some free resources for job seekers to help you update your teaching resume and work on your interview skills.

A+ Resumes for Teachers

I looked through the sample cover letters and resumes on their site and was intrigued by the unique organization and layout. I adapted a similar layout to my own resume and rewrote my accomplishments using better verbs after seeing the examples. I got a lot more interviews after doing this! The samples are free to look at and they have one for just about every type of position so you can see ones that are relevant to you. You can also pay for their services which I'm sure are great but I didn't have the money and was able to adapt the idea to my own resume quite easily.

List of Action Verbs

This link takes you directly to a PDF with action verbs that are great for resumes. I like that they are divided by meaning so it makes it easier to find what you are looking for. Everyone needs action verbs in their resume and it can be tough to think of unique, powerful ones sometimes.

88 Teacher Interview Questions

This is a very comprehensive list of 88 teacher interview questions from Teacher Catapult. It is very comprehensive and divided by question type. There aren't ideal answers listed but in my opinion I think it's best to come up with your own best answer. Before my interviews I did go over questions and think about how I would answer them and you could always practice with a friend as well. Some people are naturally good during interviews but I know practice helped me.

Do you have a good free site for resume or interview help for teachers? Let me know below!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Update Your Teacher's Wardrobe for Less

One of my family's favorite things to do when we travel to places with good shopping is hunt for deals.  The goal: bring home new clothes at thrift store prices.  One of my brothers just discovered a way to save even more: teacher discounts.  He accidentally discovered that one of our favorite clothing stores offers 15% discounts to teachers who can present a valid teacher ID at checkout, so I started doing some digging and came up with several other stores that also offer deals.  They don't make these offers super obvious, but I've attached links for all of you who want to verify that the savings are for real.

1) Loft: Ann Taylor Loft stores offer a 15% discount when you sign up to receive teacher perks and deals.

2) Limited:The Limited offers a 15% discount to any teacher who can show a valid ID at check out.  This also applies to military personnel.

3) New York and Co: Get a 15% discount with a valid teacher ID or pay stub when you shop here.  

4) J. Crew:  They offer a 15% discount with a valid teacher ID. This offer is valid only when you shop in their stores.  This offer also applies to college students.

5) CJ BAnks: They offer a 10% discount every day.  Again, just how a valid teacher ID.

6) Banana Republic: This store also offers a 15% discount for teachers with a valid ID.  (I was not able to find the same offer at Old Navy and Gap, but it might be worth asking when you go in.)

Want to update your summer and/or professional wardrobe?  Make sure you get your educators discount at these popular clothing stores.  

Know of others?  Please leave other tips you have in the comments section.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: World Cup Educational Freebies!

To celebrate the World Cup games, here are some educational freebies you might want to use!

Financial Soccer

Play this fun game as an individual or against another player and get points for answering financial related questions. You can choose the question difficulty and questions are aimed towards the age you select. The game is free to play and no registration is required. (Age groups are 11-14, 14-18, or 18+)

Activity Village World Cup for Kids

Scroll down to the grey box to get the free World Cup activities ranging from puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets and more. Pages are geared towards elementary level students.

International Primary Curriculum 2014 World Cup

The IPC has a HUGE list of resources divided into many different categories including the mascots of the World Cup, cities, songs and more. Each category is explained and has a link to a PDF or word file with ready to print information, worksheets and more. I was impressed with this large collection of material!

TIME Slideshow

Time has a great slideshow about the history of the World Cup. It's easy to see an overview and learn more about how this competition started.

 Football Teaching Ideas

A site from the UK, hence the term football, has a great list of suggestions for using soccer to teach. The World Cup project book is a huge, free download on the list and might give you a great start.

Have fun watching the World Cup and rooting for your favorite team!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: Literacy Common Core

Common core is the educational buzz word/phrase these days.  Now that summer is here, I'm posting some fabulous freebies that correlate with the reading standards: reading (I'm combining reading literature and informational texts into one), writing, speaking and language.  These can be used by parents out there looking for activities or teachers looking for something to send along to parents of former and/or new students.  Or, it can just get tucked away in a folder to be pulled out at a later date.  But, without further ado, here they are....

#1-Reading: Check out this reading contract and log.  It is simple and attractive.  It is a great resource to use with parents and students because it provides an explanation of the importance of reading, a contract that lays out the logistics and a log to track their reading.  There are several ways it can be used:

a) Send it home to be used by your students over the summer.
b) Keep for next year.  (You are probably already on summer mode and not thinking about work.)
c) Start a summer reading club.  This can even be a neighborhood thing or a once-a-week get together at school to promote reading.  There are a number of free reading incentive programs that promote summer reading.  Check out one of our previous blogs about free summer reading programs.

#2-Language: Check out this antonyms puzzle.  It is a fun way to go over summer vocabulary and opposites.  Once kids/students have put it together, they can create their own puzzle using more difficult vocabulary, synonyms, word analogies, etc.

#3-Writing: This is essentially summer stationary.  It can be used several ways.  Here are a few ideas:

a) Have kids use it to write about your family vacations.  They can add some color and you can put it in a scrapbook.
b) Visiting the grandparents in another state this summer?  Have the kids write about the visit and send it in the thank you note.
c) Have your kids write to summer pen pals using the stationary.

#4-Listening & Speaking: This is a simple question and answer activity with summer vocabulary.  It practices the 5 W questions.  Going through it orally helps students with their listening skills.  It can be made more fun if played as a game.  Take out the oral piece and it can become memory.  Just cut the cards apart, place them face down and match the picture and corresponding question.  Keep the oral piece and it can be a version of go fish where students draw rectangular cards that are made up of the picture and question.  When it is their turn they have to ask the question to see if one of the other players has the item.  This is great for early elementary, but the idea can be adapted and used with more difficult vocabulary.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fabulous Freebies: Free Summer Reading Programs for 2014

Here are some great nationwide summer reading programs to help your students continue their learning throughout the summer!

Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Program

Read the books on one of the Pottery Barn's recommended reading lists to earn a free book and be entered into a contest for fun prizes. Download the summer reading lists and log sheets at the Pottery Barn website.

Scholastic Summer Challenge 

Students can help to break a world record and earn digital rewards by logging on and recording their reading minutes. Teachers can preregister your students and compete with classes from around the world!

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

Get a free book and summer reading kit by participating in Barnes and Noble's summer reading program.

Half Price Books Feed Your Brain

Students can earn Bookworm Bucks for Half Price Books for logging their summer reading program this year. Students only have to read a minimum of about 15 minutes a day with a minimum of 300 minutes total to earn this reward and students up to age 14 are included in this easy program.

Sylvan's Book Adventure

Students read and take comprehension quizzes to participate in this summer program. Points are earned based on the books read and students can select their prizes accordingly.

TD Bank's Summer Reading Program 

TD Bank will deposit $10 into a new young saver's account after they have read 10 books this summer. Students simply read 10 books, record those books onto TD Bank's sheet and bring it into any local branch. This could be a great way to encourage reading and help students learn how to save money.

Chuck E Cheese Reward Your Kids

Students record their daily reading on a printable calendar and turn in into their local Chuck E Cheese. Two weeks of daily reading results in 10 free tokens. There is a catch: food must be purchased for free token redemption.

Your Local Library 

Almost all local libraries have summer reading programs for kids. My local library even has a summer reading program for adults! It's always worth it to participate.
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