Lately, From The Library

My holds list at the library got a little crazy for a bit recently. I accidentally had a dozen cookbooks arrive all at the same time, then had to have Dann help me get them all home. New rule for the Stockton household: check out only what you can carry on your own. I think it will be a good rule when Abe starts checking out books of his own, too.

The books in this pile came in at three or four different times, so I'm kind of in a sweet spot at the moment. I'm loving The Tsar of Love and Techno, and can't wait to start on Gold Fame Citrus next. Zane and the Hurricane is my latest book for Teachers Pay Teachers, and The Orphan Master's Son came up somewhere online that convinced me I should read it. 

Also, we bought a copy of All The World at Tattered Cover a while back, mostly because it was a Caldecott Honor book. I didn't remember that the Caldecott Medal was awarded to the artists of distinguished picture books, although I'm sure they taught us that in elementary school. I wound up spending a good 30 minutes researching and requesting Caldecott winners from the 1940s and 50s, so that I can find some favorites to buy for Abe before he gets big enough for real picture books. 

Have you read any of these? Reading anything else good lately? Want to be my friend on Goodreads

Teachers Pay Teachers

I once told Dann that I’d always equated the term “business owner” with pantsuits and briefcases. I recall saying something along the lines of “I always thought that if I wanted to own a business it meant I had to become a stock broker” and him cracking up because, for as long as I’ve known him, he’s been a business owner as 1/3 of an indie band.


Have you heard of Teachers Pay Teachers? I first discovered it in 2012 when I was searching online for curricular materials to use in my classroom while teaching Catching Fire as a whole class novel. I came across a comprehensive packet of materials, ready to use, and paid $10 for the entire thing. It saved me hours I would otherwise have spent creating vocabulary lists, writing questions, and dreaming up other ways of getting my students to engage with the text and/or assess their understanding of it. At the time, it was $10 incredibly well spent.

After we moved to Seattle (and I was jobless and pregnant), I started to look into creating my own Teachers Pay Teachers store. I always enjoyed the process of figuring out how to teach a thing, how to get at what a student really understood. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more satisfied than I did when a lesson I created worked, when I could hear my students talking about the things I wanted them to talk about, asking the questions I hoped they would ask, then doing the work they were responsible for doing. I figured I might be able to create something useful for the TpT marketplace, and I started by finding a customer who was in need of questions for something called Battle of the Books. Since March, I’ve written questions for the eight books pictured above, and I’ve made almost $40. I’m literally reading books, writing questions about them, uploading the questions to my store, and getting paid.

When I checked my email for the first time after baby Abe was born, I had a notification from TpT that I had sold a product. We were still in the hospital and Dann said “You just made money while giving birth.” It was the first time it happened, and it sort of blew my mind. Now every time I get one of those emails I tell myself “You just made money while sleeping.” or “You just made money while going for a walk." I think I might be a business owner, and I don't even own a briefcase.

I'm still pretty new and inexperienced in the TpT world, but I'm excited to see where it leads. So far, if nothing else, I've read some great new books (Rain Reign was a particular favorite - written by Ann M. Martin of Babysitters Club fame!) and made a few dollars. Go check out my store, tell your teacher friends about it, and shoot me an email if you're interested in hiring me!

Lately, From The Library

There's nothing like feeling settled enough in a place that it makes sense to start requesting items from the library because you know you'll have time to a) go pick them up before they get put away again and b) finish reading them before they're due back. I took baby Abe on his first trip to a Denver Public Library on Friday, picked up a stack of books, and paid a fine that was more than a year old while we were there. I felt like a whole new lady.

I'm working on reading a bunch of young adult/middle grade novels in an attempt to start a small business/make $50 or more using The Internet before the end of the year. More to come once I get through the pile in the picture. I really enjoyed The Turtle of Oman and have just started Rain Reign. I put that Rumpelstiltskin one on the bottom because I'm hoping it's going to be my favorite. I based that decision entirely on the cover. 

Have you read any of these? Reading anything else good lately? Want to be my friend on Goodreads?