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HTML Tips and Tricks!

Well, it's been a while!!  Not only have I been busy creating new resources, but I have been taking time to update ALL my resource descriptions on teacherspayteachers, especially the earliest, to reflect current advice from the experts!  Whilst doing this for myself, I thought maybe I should share some tips with you. 
Whether you are a new seller on teacherspayteachers or a 'veteran', a little bit of change is always good!
I won't say what I have done in the past, as I really don't want to think about it - *cringe*, but I have found a system that works for me and may also offer some guidance for you too!
HTML is not for everyone, however a little bit of basic HTML is easily mastered and makes a world of difference to the look of your product descriptions - clear structure allows potential buyers to see the important bits at a glance!
So sit back, relax and read on!
Before I get to the body of product descriptions, I just want to tell you a little bit about snippets.

Below is an example of a 'snippet' - apparently these are very important!

These snippets contain three lines.  As a buyer browses a page of products, the first thing they will see from your description is these three lines.  It is essential to pack as much information as possible into those three lines to try and engage your buyer.  Not a waffly paragraph, but something that shows the nuts and bolts of your resource.  This text should also be keyword rich to push your resource as high up in the search rankings as possible - every little action can have big consequences!

How you present your product to potential buyers is of extreme importance - this is your chance to showcase your resource in all its glory!  If a buyer has narrowed their search down to a couple of products, they are likely to choose the product that has a clear and concise description as well as all the relevant detail - they can see clearly what is included in the resource.

If you have a look at a range of products for sale on TpT, you tend to see 3 styles of description:

STYLE 1: The 'I don't have time, I can't be bothered, one line will do' style.  An example of this would be:  'I have created a phonics resource for you'.  Not that rich in detail is certainly an understatement!

STYLE 2: This is the extreme opposite of style 1 - paragraph upon paragraph of non-essential detail.  The buyer just sees hundreds of words and is almost afraid to dive in there in case they get lost!  With no structure, no formatting, the buyer is left wondering how much of it they have to read to get to the important stuff.  Or indeed whether all that waffle is covering the fact that the resource itself is not that wide-ranging or engaging.

STYLE 3:  This is the one we should be aiming for.  The description will be clear and concise, have appropriate detail (think if you were searching - what details would be important to you as a teacher looking for a resource), a structured format where the most important bits jump out at the buyer, where they can easily see at a glance what is included in the resource.  All the while, the description should be written with key words in mind - you want your resource to be found, after all!

So..... how do you achieve Style 3?
My own personal preference is to write a couple of short paragraphs at the beginning of the description, then move on to clear and detailed lists.
Section 1: a general summary of what can be found in the resource.
Section 2: a general summary of skills covered and why in relation to the curriculum
Section 3: a list of actual content
Section 4: a list of related products that might interest the buyer
Section 5: an informative statement about following my store, giving feedback and contact details.

Obviously what you decide to include and how you include it is entirely up to you.  I would say however, that you should keep to the same format for all of your listings - how you style yourself is part of your brand.  Buyers who recognize and like your brand will become repeat buyers.

This is where HTML comes in.  Adding a little bit of code will help make essential detail stand out and catch a buyer's eye.  You can create the following text effects by copying the HTML code below.

Depending on how many products your store has, you may not have any related products to add.  However, many sellers create a series of resources and will have multiple related products to include.  
Just copy the HTML below to enable you to add the desired related products.

Now to the fun bit!  When I list the actual content of my resource, I love to add bullet points - the buyer's eye will often go straight to that section to see what content is included.  Rather than the traditional bullet, I like to change it up, depending on the resource.  For example, a Valentine's resource may have heart bullets, a St. Patrick's resource may have shamrock bullets, a weather resource may have umbrella bullets etc. 
Below you will find the HTML to create lots of fun bullet points.  Don't overdo it, but it's nice to show a little creativity!

So.....here endeth my tutorial!  I hope it has been of some use!  
Please feel free to share this information with anyone who may need it!

Bye for now!

Final Freaky Friday!

Hey folks!

Yes, I am still alive!  I had to take some time away from online ventures as life has been pretty crazy these last few months!  Where to start?!

Well, let's begin with the best news!  Baby Harry, grandchild number 10, was born on Sept 13th.  Such a mix of emotions, but such a blessing!  If you follow my blog, you will know that our youngest grandson Jay passed away from cancer just after his first birthday.  Everything went as smoothly as could be with baby Harry's birth and we now have the most gorgeous addition to our family!  

Please welcome Harry! Isn't he just adorable?!

Next up, we have been renovating our home, both inside and out - long overdue!  The house has been like a building site for almost 2 months.  Although we were only making small changes, we have been hit by delays.  In the midst of this, we had some family members to stay for a few days, straight after being brought down by the most awful shingles!  Four weeks and still ongoing nerve pain, but much improved!

Now you can laugh freely at this bit - we are having a gym built!!  We made part of our garden into a courtyard area and laid foundations for the gym - now delayed by a number of weeks!  I can't wait for it to be finished and kitted out!  Although the pic doesn't show it, there is a lovely fishpond and fountain to the right of the area shown.  We have since added some lighting and birdhouses - hubby has the tripod and camera at the ready!!  There are still some bits and pieces to finish off completely, but you can see the foundations (back right) where the gym will be.

So, that's it on the personal side!  We are hoping to have everything finished by Christmas, so we can relax and enjoy the holidays!

Back today and straight into a great promotion!  This is the final week of Freaky Friday deals, so be sure to check them out, as you don't want to miss a great bargain!  By clicking the first link below, you will find over 40 $1 deals to snap up!  The second link will direct you to my contribution! 
The deals are only available today.

LINK 1:  All $1 deals on TpT: http://bit.ly/2eGKEO2

LINK 2: Discussion Wheels: http://bit.ly/2ejyE40

I hope you find something useful - have fun browsing!

Speak soon!

Why Teach Cursive Handwriting?

I have had a number of requests to create a cursive handwriting workbook – this has been on my list for such a long time. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have finally completed this. I can be a horrible perfectionist and those guided lines nearly drove me crazy – I had to redo them a number of times before I was satisfied. However, now that this baby has been launched, I am glad that I saw the process through. 

Just click on the image above to find this resource in my store.  
The good news is that I have set it at 50% for 48 hours!

This Cursive Handwriting Practice Workbook was created for both second and third graders. I hope it proves to be both challenging and fun for your students as they practice reading, tracing, and writing in a progressive manner, as well as learning some unusual country and animal names!

This workbook would also be suitable for fourth and fifth graders who may require further practice. I have only included Dolch second and third grade sight words, mainly because the resource would otherwise become quite large and therefore more expensive. However, if you wish to purchase with fourth and fifth grade Dolch sight words, please contact me at teacherstoolkitblog@gmail.com and I will add these to the document for you, without any increase in the purchase price.

The structure of the main workbook comprises 4 practice pages for each letter of the alphabet. These pages can be printed ‘back to back’ and stapled together to make a complete workbook. The workbook can be finished off with the workbook cover on Page 4.
Please note, I have added a second set of pages for the letter X, should you wish to use more familiar words ending in X.

You will find a useful ‘Contents’ page which informs you of which pages to print depending on what you wish your students to practice. I have included a range of add-ons – these can either be practiced separately or included in the workbook. Please note: I have added some nouns for formatting purposes.

So, why teach Cursive Handwriting?

My last post focused on the importance of teaching handwriting – you can read the post {here}. I wanted to follow that up with a little information about cursive handwriting, as it is this knowledge which prompted my original plan to create the duo of workbooks – the print manuscript and cursive.

To summarize my last post: Advances in technology have made the process of writing more convenient for many. However, evidence is mounting that putting pen to paper has benefits that typing just cannot replace. Researchers have found that writing by hand has led to improvements in language skills, memory and critical thinking.

According to the neurologist William Klemm, in an article written for Psychology Today, the neurological benefits of writing by hand are compounded when writing in a cursive hand. “Cursive writing, compared to printing, is even more beneficial because the movement tasks are more demanding, the letters are less stereotypical, and the visual recognition requirements create a broader repertoire of letter representation.”

Furthermore, the researcher Diane Montgomery, in her article “The Contribution of Handwriting and Spelling Remediation to Overcoming Dyslexia’, noted that the connected letters and fluid motion of cursive handwriting are especially beneficial to students with disorders such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. Other reading experts are in agreement it seems. According to an article in the Washington Parent, "the connections between letters required in cursive writing may reduce letter reversals."

Cursive handwriting also has the added benefit of being extremely artistic and highly personal – the process of acquiring an expressive and unique cursive hand is an important step in developing individual personalities. It should therefore be a requirement for educators to utilize tools that encourage students to develop their own style and voice in a confident manner.

So, I hope I have persuaded you that teaching cursive handwriting should feature in our yearly plans -regardless of what may or may not have been said by those at CCSS Towers!

I am adding a little video here, so you can see exactly what this resource includes - I hope you find it beneficial.   

And last, but not least, the winner of the rafflecopter giveaway - many congratulations, Elizabeth! An email with an attached handwriting resource is winging its way through the ether as I type!  
Thanks to everyone who took part!

Speak soon!

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