Some Favorite Podcasts

    Click an image to visit the pod's URL!

 

Click an image to visit the pod's URL!

Since I currently get to stay home with baby Abe and he's not supposed to have screen time in the same room until he's two years old, we do a lot of listening during the day. Lots of music (this is a particular favorite at the moment), but also lots of podcasts. Do you have any idea how many podcast options there are these days? Truly there's something for everyone!

I'm still listening to This American Life and Nerdist regularly, but the other pods pictured above are some newer discoveries. Rachel tipped me off about The Writer's Almanac, which I love. Each episode is only about five minutes long, so it's not too much of a commitment even though it's intended for daily listening. I downloaded this episode of On Being based on Molly Wizenberg's recommendation, and I found at least ten others I'm excited to listen to as I scrolled through the archives. I think Chelsea Peretti's pod is the only one I've heard every episode of, and I'm not ashamed to tell you I've tried calling in a handful of times. She's hilarious and insightful and just fantastically entertaining.

I started listening to The Longest Shortest Time while I was pregnant, and it continues to be a source of encouragement and solidarity in the day-to-day newness of motherhood. The Nerdist Writer's Panel is interesting because of all the insider information it allows the listener to glean, and OMG, if you listen to no other podcast for the rest of 2015, please God give Another Round a chance. I promise you won't be disappointed.

What about you? Got any favorite podcasts? 

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

Books I Bought

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It's no secret that I love reading. I'm guessing it's no secret that I hope my boy grows up to love reading too. I try to make time at least once or twice a day to sit and read to him. Outside of bedtime, that is. He always gets read to at bedtime. 

Reading to a baby may seem silly, but it really is good for them. And lucky little Abe got a book from the doctor at his 6 month checkup last week, because our outstanding pediatrician's office participates in this.  

And I'm here today to tell you about this book that our little guy just absolutely loves. He will sit and look long enough for me to read this one three times straight before he tries to eat it. I think the contrast of the colors is really what he finds most intriguing, but oh man is it fun to watch his little face light up with the turn of each page. The first time we read it he squawked like a little pterodactyl from beginning to end. 

If you're in the market for a baby book, this is one I can highly recommend. And I think it'll be one of my go-to baby gifts for the foreseeable future.  

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.

Anyway.

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!