Thursday, July 11, 2013

Flip-Flop Product Swap with Mrs. Mathis

I love taking an occasional opportunity to see what some of my teaching friends and virtual colleagues are doing, without having to actually spend money. Not that their products aren't worth it, and I have purchased from several people with whom I am actually somewhat acquainted. But you see, the bounds of my nosiness curiosity extend beyond the grade levels and subjects I teach. I'm particularly intrigued by the primary products, since I know that there is a much bigger market for that level.


One person whose stuff I've been dying to get a closer look at is Renée Mathis. We met some time ago on a facebook group for Ontario teachers. Like many, she's been having a hard time obtaining proper employment in our field, and I just couldn't fathom this since 1) she has her French teaching qualifications and 2) she's actually francophone. 
Mrs. Mathis' Homeroom

Then she explained to me that she's in an area of Ontario where there are A LOT of French-speaking teachers, since as you all know of course, there ARE francophone communities in many places throughout Canada, not just Quebec. That made a little bit more sense, but I could tell that she was a dedicated teacher who really cared about her students. She was really struggling with not wanting to leave teaching, but needing more than hit-or-miss supply work to help out her family.

I suggested she try TeachersPayTeachers, and gave her a few suggestions as she started to tackle this potential additional source of income.  She's kind of kicking my butt!  I've been registered with TPT since 2007 and she's only two places behind me for all time best selling teacher stores in Ontario! (I'm not griping though, I promise! She's been earning it! Check out her store - she has some great stuff in two languages!) 

I am however very sad that I wasn't pushy and didn't insist that she use my referral link to get signed up RIGHT AWAY while I was giving her advice!  When you use someone's referral link, it costs you nothing extra, and whether you sign up as a premium seller, which does cost you an annual fee, or a basic seller, where you earn less commission, the person whose sign up link you clicked through gets a small portion of what would otherwise be the web site's take of each sale you make for a limited period of time. Just in case you... yes, YOU, reading this is the next Mrs. Mathis or (Mrs. Jump!), please note that I've cleverly provided my referral link for you HERE and above. LOL

So, on with the good stuff.  Since it's summer, that does make using what I swapped a little bit harder as I don't have a classroom of students at my disposal eager to learn ummmm... that I have the pleasure of seeing each and every morning. I do have my own little learners at home, as those of you who follow me regularly might recall. My daughter has been very excited to be featured on my blog a couple of times before, but now, my little guy is starting kindergarten in a few weeks, so I figured I'd let him join in on the fun too!

Mrs Mathis sent me her Canadian Endangered Species Project which is available in English or in French. I asked for it in French, because my daughter is a FI student. In this activity, students prepare a project and make a presentation to show their learning of animal adaptations and human interactions with the environment. It includes a clear project outline, guiding reflection questions to support the students through the process, and a rubric.
For my son, she sent along a copy of her Letter Ways package, which is a fun way for kids to practice alphabet recognition (and is also available in both languages, so it would be GREAT for those of you looking for activities you can use in kindergarten French classes, especially when you are absent!).

It includes a colour version, a black and white version (for those who are a little challenged when it comes to ink-saving settings) and full answer keys. Even though you'd barely ever need them, it's great that she's done that extra work for you so that if you are trapped in bed or the washroom with an illness, it's easy enough to send along a few pages for practice WITH answer keys for the supply teacher.


Although I didn't make my daughter actually DO the whole project, she was game. She selected the animal she wanted to learn about, and wrote some very interesting facts that she already knew (but that I certainly didn't). Reviewing this project also jogged her memory about the learning she did on this topic in grade 2 a couple of months ago. It prompted her to orally recount many, many tidbits of information about most of the animals on the list that Mrs. Mathis provides for students from which to choose.



My little guy LOVED the fact that he had some "school work" to do. He's been pretending that he has homework a lot lately, so asking him to do this pleased him to no end.



Many thanks to Confessions of a Teaching Junkie for hosting this blog hop!  Come join in on the fun if you have a blog yourself and find a partner with whom it makes sense for you to trade items.


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