Prior to taking the plunge into blogging myself, I was an avid blog stalker. I scoured Pinterest and TeachersPayTeachers for the latest products, ideas, and activities to help make my teaching and classroom management more effective. During this time, I fell in love with Jennifer Findley from Teaching to Inspire with Jennifer Findley! Whoa! I just used the words "in love" and "stalker" in the same paragraph. But seriously, check out her blog and you'll understand why I found her blog extremely helpful throughout my first year in fourth and fifth grades.
Jennifer: I decided to begin blogging after learning about Professional Learning Communities. I wanted to expand my collaboration and collaborate with teachers all over the country and world. I loved the idea of getting a glimpse into other people’s classrooms and teaching and I wanted to offer others a glimpse into mine.
Jennifer: Blogging has made a great impact on my teaching. I have always been a reflective teacher, but blogging has made me even more reflective. It has also given me the push needed to make sure that almost every lesson I teach is engaging and meaningful. Reading other teachers’ blogs has been amazing, too! It is almost like participating in mini professional development sessions from the comfort of my couch each time I read a blog post.
Jennifer: This is the most difficult aspect of being a blogger and educational author. I admit I sometimes have a hard time balancing the three. One of things that has helped me balance has been joining monthly linky commitments. These monthly commitments give me a go to blog post each month. In addition to these, I try to create to do lists and schedules to keep myself focused. With all this being said, my family always comes first. I try to wake up before they wake up to work, and I often stay up later than they do to finish up posts or resources. This way, I am still getting work accomplished but not sacrificing my family time.
Jennifer: I try to get pictures and image posts ready whenever I have free moments. Sometimes I will prep the images of 3 blog posts at a time. Then, when I do have time to sit and write the post, the images are ready to go. The blog posts come from what I am doing at school, so the additional prep time for the blog post is not as extensive. An idea I recently had that I have not had the chance to try out is to have student take pictures at the end of the day of any anchor charts, interactive notebook elements, and other work completed during the day. This would be so helpful in getting those much needed photos for posts.
Jennifer: My favorite resource is my Differentiated Fraction Tasks and Challenges. I love this resource because of the two levels for each challenge. All of my students can be challenged but at their own individual levels. Also, the theme of chocolate is very appealing, too (to the teacher and the students)!