August 2013 Archive
*NEW* Products!!! Go Team!
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So the last round of products for back to school have officially launched as of this morning and I am so excited about them.  Some of my favorite pieces are included in this round, including these adorable desk organizers for your classroom or your home (this GLITTER one is amazing in person).  I actually had a lot of requests recently to do something in your alma mater colors.  We love our teams here in our house (Go Buckeyes!), so it just felt right to create something to show some school spirit.  When I was in the classroom, I had a tray on my desk at school, but it wasn’t as pretty or fun.  SO the desk organizer was born!  I had so much fun designing and creating these pieces with your school colors in mind (even you, Michigan fans).  And do you know that schools typically have “brand guides” where they give a specific CMYK code for their school colors?  Well they do and I was able to color match the perfect crimson to the perfect gray and the perfect navy to the perfect burnt orange, etc!  It was SO fun!  And If you don’t see your school colors, contact me and I’ll get you all fixed up in time for kick-off!

The trays are now available in 14 color combinations and three designs, and are perfect for collecting paperwork at school, arranging your desk supplies on, or serving up some chips, guac, and drinks during the big game!  I have this scarlet and gray one and also this black and gold one to use during the Commodore and Buckeye games!  I plan on posting some photos of them in action on Instagram (@cjayneteach) this weekend!

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And by popular demand, we now have PERSONALIZED DESK CALENDARS and POCKET FOLDERS!  I am in love with our simple desk calendars.  I use one at home to schedule meals, appointments, and office hours.  And it’s only Monday through Friday!  So it forces me to NOT plan any school work on the weekends, which is ah-mazing for our family.  I tend to stretch myself too thin at times and this is a nice subtle reminder.  Plus with my name at the top and a cute polka dot, what’s not to love?

The pocket folders are a way for your to customize your Teacher Anchor.  I had many requests to monogram the Anchors and it just isn’t feasible (bummer, I know).  So, these folders are an inexpensive way to organize your Teacher Anchor to hold all of your important papers or extra blank data sheets.  And with 10 designs and your monogram, it’s just the personal touch you may need!  Plus you have the option to hole punch, should you want to just use it as a folder for your desk or even for your students!

And… we now have Gift Cards!

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Now you can give the gift of C. Jayne Teach all year round with our e-gift cards!  Sold in increments of $25 and $50 you can buy one (or two) for all of your favorite teachers!   Perfect for Back-to-School gifts or teacher birthdays!

I hope you all have an amazing long weekend that is filled with lots of friends, family, and football!  Go out, enjoy the sunshine, and NO school work, ok?  You deserve a break because I know how hard you’ve worked to get your classroom and your students ready (or your family ready to start back to school).  So enjoy yourself, do a little shopping and GO TEAM!

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PS:  Big hugs to Jen for her sweet feature about C. Jayne Teach!  Jen writes for the middle grade set, so I’m thrilled to see a feature in that age level!  Thanks Jen!

Blog Love + Gift Cards
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I can’t tell you how excited I am to partner up with another amazing blogger this week!  Abby from The Inspired Apple was the very first teaching blog I ever followed and her candy corn bandit packet was the very first purchase I ever made from TpT.  So to say I was thrilled and honored to be featured on her website is a bit of an understatement.  But Abby could not have been more kind and generous to review my products and to do an amazing blog write up about them.  She is the sweetest gal and one of the most creative and talented teachers I know.  So a big thank you to Abby!  PLUS we are giving away a $40 gift card to the C. Jayne Teach shop over on her blog this week!  That’s the biggest gift card giveaway we’ve ever done!  So head on over to her blog to enter right away!

Also we are now featuring gift cards in the shop.  Sold in increments of $25 and $50, now you can give the gift of C. Jayne Teach all year long!  Yippee!!!  Don’t forget to stop back tomorrow to see all of the *NEW* products we’re releasing.  Let’s just say a few of them are quite appropriate for the kick-off of college football this weekend!  Yeah!

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Blog Love + Sneak Peek of NEW products
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I am so excited about these next two blog features from The Teacher Diva and Queen of the First Grade Jungle!

I’ve been a fan of Ashley’s from The Teacher Diva for quite awhile now.  If you follow me on Instagram (@cjayneteach) then you know I recently mentioned my fashion blogging past.  Although teaching has always been my passion, I say that if I could have a second career, it would be in the fashion industry.  I love LOVE it.  I follow lots of fashion blogs and subscribe to Elle and Marie Claire right along with my Real Simple.  And Ashley’s blog is no exception.  I love her fashionable style and her mix of high/low price points.  It’s exactly how I like to shop and I her inspiration is spot on.  Plus I think our aesthetics are very closely matched… clean, simple, sophisticated design.  So I was thrilled to hear that she wanted to partner up to review some of my products.  She’s showing you a sneak peek into her classroom here and has a few C. Jayne Teach products on display!  Her photography of the products is really great and I’m so excited to be featured!  Thanks, Ashley!

Katie from Queen of the First Grade Jungle is another blog I’ve followed as a first grade teacher (not to mention she is just as sweet as pie).  Her ideas are really great for all of you elementary teachers and she has some super cute cute cute things in her TpT store (um, that superhero B2S unit is awesome!)  I had asked Katie to brainstorm some things she’d like to see in the shop and one of the things she mentioned were desk calendars.  I was actually already working on a desk calendar idea and she gave me the additional encouragement to go through with it!  So I’m excited to announce that Katie is giving away a brand new, not even released yet, desk calendar on her site!  Head on over to enter to win.  And I’ll be releasing a lot of fun new products this Friday, August 31st just in time for the full Back-to-School swing of things!!!  (Because maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t feel like school time until Labor Day)

So here’s a little sneak peek of some new products to hit the shop later this week.  Enjoy!

Personalized Desk Calendars ($32)

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Personalized two-pocket folders ($7.95)

With ten different designs and colors, these are sure to fit your personal classroom style.  And these are sold with the option of hole-punching them to use IN your Teacher Anchor!!!

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And one of my very favorite new products…

Paper Trays & Desk Organizers (starting at $39)

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How amazing is that GLITTER??? Ah!  And you can customize colors and monograms to fit your classroom design (or your living room/home office)!  Plus, I always had a “turn-it-in bin” in my room.  This one will hold lots more paper and is waaay cuter than the old flimsy black one I was using.

Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter (tinyurl.com/cjayneteachnews) to be notified as soon as these beauties hit the shop and our Etsy store THIS Friday!!!  Yay!

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Social Media + Your Classroom = More Involvement
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We live in quite the social media age.  If you are an “in-touch” teacher, you may be wondering how to incorporate social media into your classroom in a positive way.  You may also be wondering how to maximize the interaction between you and the parents of your students (or maybe even the students themselves).  School can be a place full of “extra stuff” like reminders, notes, forms, photos, and tons of parent-teacher communication.  Social media is a way to strengthen those parent/teacher lines of communication while also keeping them in the loop.  When I taught first grade, even some of my students had social media accounts*.  So it’s something that you can use at basically any age for either your students or their parents.  Here are some ways to use it to your advantage for both types of audience.

*I don’t advocate first graders having social media accounts, but it’s a fact.  All of these suggestions below, however, are more appropriate for you to use with the parents of your students or with your students if you are a middle school/high school teacher.

Twitter

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[This is a fake account I created to show my college kiddos.  I was demonstrating the power of this social media tool in the classroom.  See the lock next to my name?  That means it’s private, so only those who I confirm can see my tweets.]

Twitter is a great way to get direct messages to parents and students immediately.  By signing up for a private Twitter account, you can have your parents or students subscribe to your Twitter feed to get reminders and updates.  Then all you have to do is tweet from your computer or your mobile device when you have a reminder or a message to relay to them.  This is also an invaluable tool in an emergency.  The town I used to teach in was hit by a tornado during my first year there.  Thank goodness we weren’t in school that day, but if we had been, I could have easily updated parents via Twitter that we were okay and were in our safe space.  It’s also a great way to post links to your class newsletter or class blog for them to easily click on and refer to. (Follow me on Twitter @CJayne_Teach)

Instagram

When I was in the classroom, I had a class blog, but to be honest, I would post the newsletter and would often neglect to post photos.  It was a pain to upload them from my camera or my phone and I felt guilty that the parents weren’t seeing what awesome pics I took of their students in the classroom.  If only I had created a private class Instagram account!  Most teachers I know are snapping photos on their iPhones during an activity or lesson, when they want to take pics.  How awesome would it be to upload a few during your planning or at the end of the day for the parents of your students to see?  You could write a quick caption and allow for the parents to gain instant access to all of the fun!  Genius.  Plus, like Twitter, you can lock your account so you must approve people before they follow you.  This would allow you to only give access to the appropriate people.  (Follow me on Instagram @cjayneteach)

Facebook

So if your parents or students aren’t tweeters or ‘grammers, don’t worry.  I’m almost 100% sure that they have a Facebook account.  Some teachers can opt to not do either of the first two options and put all of their reminders and photos directly into a private Facebook group.  I like Facebook for the reason that you can created a “closed” group or a “secret” group.  The difference is that both are private and people must be invited to join, however, a “secret” group would not show up on your NewsFeed or on your Timeline.  A closed group may.  So it can be extra secure, which is nice. (see image below)

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Facebook is good because you can post entire albums full of photos and not just one at a time, like Instagram does.  So if you took 95 pics at the pumpkin patch, go ahead and upload all of them!  Also Facebook has some cool features in their groups like “Ask a Question” where you could poll your students.  The “add an event” feature is where you could create a calendar event, such as the Valentines Day party, and it immediately gets added to the group members iCal.  You can add files and documents so that if you need to quickly get a document to your parents (like a flyer you forgot to pass out or the newsletter) then you can upload it right to the group.  And you can also add video which is fun!

The downside is that other members of the group can also post.  I believe that you can disable this feature (and I would) so that you can have complete control over the content.  Personally I think a Facebook group would give you the most subscribers, allow you to get the widest variety of content and media to them, and in the most compatible way.  You can see an example of my page below.  (And click here to like C. Jayne Teach on Facebook!)

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Remind 101

I’ve mentioned this app before, but Remind 101 is a really awesome tool to use.  We all know that I don’t recommend giving your cell phone number out.  So this tool allows for you to communicate with your class via text message without actually giving out your number.  Here’s how it works:  the parents text a number (that is provided by Remind 101 and is NOT your actual number).  They sign up by typing in your keyword (mine is @mrsverbic) and their full name, so you know who it is.  Once you have a full list of subscribers, text away!  They can get reminders and messages easily and immediately and this would also be really helpful in case of an emergency to get a hold of parents quickly.  But the best part is that they don’t have access to your cell phone or your free time otherwise.  🙂

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Here’s a sample of what Remind101 looks like on your phone:

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I’m always anxious to hear how you use social media in the classroom.  So please comment below with any good suggestions!

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More Blog Love!

I am so excited to be featured on two amazing websites this week: What the Teacher Wants and Erica’s Ed-ventures!

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Rachelle and Natalie from What the Teacher Wants were so sweet to do a product review of some of the C. Jayne Teach shop product line.  I especially enjoy that Natalie keeps two to-do lists: one for home and one for school!

Erica also had some kind words for the product line PLUS she’s hosting a giveaway!  Hop on over to her blog to enter to win a $20 gift certificate to the C. Jayne Teach shop and a $20 credit to her TpT store.  Yay!

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