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In this new series, author and educator Aaron Quigley shows you how to stay up to date with the latest educational technology and classroom management techniques. Each week, he'll introduce you to a new tip you can use to be more efficient, and increase student achievement. Aaron covers concepts like the flipped classroom, Common Core Standards, and the role of social media in education. The series also covers a variety of productivity apps, learning management systems, and other technologies, using a project-based approach that simulates the real K–12 or university classroom environment. Check back often for new tutorials, every Monday with Teacher Tips.
Hello, educators, and welcome to Teacher Tips. This week is the first in a two part series on teacherspayteachers.com. This website is a marketplace for educators to buy and sell classroom materials, and is one of the fastest growing educational crowdsourcing sites. Through Teachers pay Teachers, educators can be paid for expert lesson plans they've created. And those in need of classroom resources have an abundant selection of content which has been tested and reviewed by other educators. This week, we're going to explore the best way to find free and paid resources on Teachers pay Teachers.
And then next week, we will dive into how to prepare classroom materials to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers, including some tips and tricks to get your TPT store up and running. Here in my web browser, I've navigated to teacherspayteachers.com. Earlier this year I created a TPT store so that we can explore how TPT works here on Teacher Tips. To model how to best search for resources, we're going to find a free lesson I posted on Teachers pay Teachers that's on the skeleton system and that's appropriate for middle school. There are several ways you can quickly find resources. In the top navigation menu under All Categories, I can take a look at the main categories, such as by grade level, subject, price, resource type, or even by seller.
However, there's a faster way to narrow down exactly what you're looking for. If we come back to the main home page, I can see these exact same categories going down the left-hand side of the page. Now, this is more than just a sidebar navigation menu. This navigation menu allows you to drill in to exactly what it is you're looking for. For example, if I'm looking for a middle school lesson on the skeleton system, I can go ahead and start by clicking on grades six through eight. Now, notice as the page refreshes, grades are still there, but now my options have been reduced to sixth, seventh, and eighth. The rest of the sidebar has remained the same.
Let's go, and click on Seventh grade. I can now see that under the grade section, Seventh grade's the only thing selected. I'm only seeing lessons that are appropriate for 7th graders. Let's take it down to the next section, which is subject. I'm going to come down to Science, and I'm going to click on Science. Once again, as the page refreshes, I can see that there's fewer choices available for me under the Subjects category. Let's go and click on Anatomy. And now in the Subject field, because I'm at the lowest level, I can see that only the word Anatomy is available. Now, you notice at the same time that I'm clicking through these categories and narrowing my search results, at the very top, I've got this gray box that's created, and it's showing me exactly what I've selected.
It's showing me that in Grades, I've used sixth through eighth, and then seventh grade, and in Subjects, I've selected Science and then Anatomy. If at any time you want to remove a category and bring all of the options back, you can simply click the x button next to that item. Let's go ahead and scroll down further and take a look at prices. Now, I'm looking for a free lesson plan, so I'm going to go and click on Free, and only look for lesson plans that don't have a cost associated with them. Every teacher that sells on Teachers pay Teachers is required to have at least one free item in their store. Because of this, Teachers pay Teachers has a lot of free resources available.
As I scroll down the page, the last category I'm going to select is the resource type. Now if I look at this main list, I don't see the resource which I'm looking for, which is a lesson plan. So I'm going to come down to where it says See All Resource Types, and hover my cursor on it. I now have a very large pop-up window with every type of resource that's posted on Teachers pay Teachers. I can see in the middle column that there's lesson plans, and I can look for bundled lesson plans, such as an entire unit of lessons, or individual lesson plans. I'm going to go, and select individual Lesson Plans. So, once again my page refreshed, and now on the right-hand side of the screen, I should only have resources that are for seventh grade anatomy that are free, and are individual lesson plans.
The first lesson that shows up is a Common Core Body Systems Skeleton System lesson plan created by yours truly. If I click on the title of the lesson plan, I can bring it up in the window and find out more information. The first thing I can notice is on the left-hand side, there's preview images of this particular lesson. If I hover my cursor over any of the thumbnail pictures, I can see a preview of what's below. I can also see a lot of information in the center of the page, such as, what are the subjects that this lesson plan is categorized by, what grade levels are it appropriate for, and what is its resource type.
Now, a lot of times, resources have multiple types. Because this is a lesson plan, but also includes a PowerPoint, as well as scaffolded notes, I can see that there's three different resource types tagged for this one item. If our resource has been aligned to the Common Core standards, you'll also see the Common Core standards tagged directly below the resource type. As people use various resources, they have the opportunity to rate that resource. And the average rating will appear. This is an important thing that we're going to come back to in the next movie, which is, how do we assess the quality of the lessons we're finding on Teachers pay Teachers before we decide to use it with our students. As I scroll down the page, there's a product description.
Here's where I can find more information about what exactly is included with this particular product. A few things I'd like to point out in the product description are the total number of pages available and whether or not there's an answer key. You can also see the teaching duration for any particular lesson. This lesson was built when I had a block schedule, and it was designed for 90 minutes. If you teach a class that's only 60 minutes, then you may have to modify this lesson in order to meet the time constraints. The last thing we can see is at the very bottom of the page, which are the average ratings for each category, as well as the comments that other users have placed on this particular product.
After you've looked a the product and decided it's right for you, you can then purchase or download the button once you're logged in by clicking the Log In or Join button in the upper right-hand corner. Now that we know how to search on Teachers pay Teachers and define the exact right resources, let's take a look at how we assess the quality of those resources more in depth.
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