Today, I watched a TeachersPayTeachers conference session about what administrators think about TPT products.
Maria is an administrator and shared some insights from administrators. She polled some administrators and asked what are the (pros and) cons of TPT. Perhaps NOT surprisingly, a majority of them mentioned the products are not really standards-based or not very rigorous.
We looked at a product posted on TeachersPayTeachers to see how it measured up to the different aspects Maria says she looks at when a teacher at her school asks her to purchase something.
Standards -- Preview -- Inclusivity -- Rigor -- Relevance
Standards Make sure, if your product fits any standards, those standards are listed. It's possible the product she shared fit Kindergarten standards, but there weren't any listed. Also, if you're saying it fits standards, make sure it truly does. I know from experience, I've bought something and then had to tweak it to actually make it meet the standards.
I went back to see if my products had standards listed, while a majority of the most recently posted ones do, I still have some work to do in adding that feature to my older products.
Preview Give a clear preview of what the teacher will receive. She didn't push that it had to be a video preview, thank goodness. Just a clear preview of what's in your product.
Inclusivity Make sure your clipart is inclusive. I was surprised by the analysis from Maria. The product we looked at had black and white clipart (basically just the outlines and no colors). She still criticized it as not being considered inclusive.
Rigor Your product should hit different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy or different levels of Webb's DOK (depth of knowledge). You should consider using higher order thinking in your activities when possible.
I should definitely look through my book supplementals and novel studies to see if I put too many of the lower level questions in them.
Relevance I think this is probably the hardest to fulfill as a TPT seller. This is more on the buyer to make sure what they are buying is relevant to their students' ages, standards, and content. Sellers, though, can make sure they aren't using outdated strategies and cultural references and that their products fit the standards.
I need to add standards to products where I don't have them listed, as much as possible. I also need to look to see if I need to vary the levels of thinking in my products.
Hope this gave you some insight into how principals decide to purchase products!