Blogger Interview: Amanda Richardson from Mrs. Richardson's Class



Hi friends!  I'm over the moon excited to get to share with you guys my interview with my dear sweet friend Amanda from Mrs. Richardson's Class.  She is truly amazing and I had the privilege of teaching with her a few years ago here in Houston.  I was super sad when she moved away to start her sweet family, but I can't wait to give her a big ol' hug in Vegas in less than 100 days!!  She has such a heart and passion for teaching and it really shows in her blog.

Mrs. Richardson's Class

Here is my interview with Mrs. Richardson...


I began reading teacher blogs in 2010 during my transition to both a new school and back to kindergarten.  I learned so much from others! It was like this new world of collaboration that I had been missing out on!  The next year I decided that it was my turn to share with others! I just wanted to be a part of the wonderful teacher blogging community!


There is so much more collaboration that can go on through blogging.  We are connected to others outside of our team or teachers in our school.  Blogging challenges me to be a better teacher and helps me be a better teacher just by simply being able to peek into other teacher's classrooms! I think about how valuable it is when I am able to observe another teacher teach--her teaching style, her classroom management, her set-up--it's a lot to soak in! Blogging allows me to step into SO many other teacher's classrooms and just see a tiny glimpse of what goes on.  It challenges me to be a better teacher!


Balance?! Oh goodness! What is that?! Ha ha! Before our little guy was born and our adoption process began, it was so much easier to balance time between school, blogging, and my husband.  As a matter of fact, I knew deep in my heart that I wouldn't be able to have a healthy balance when our babies came home so this year I decided to step out of the classroom.  I miss it so very much, but I know I'm a better mommy and wife when I am less stressed! That being said, I try to manage and keep a healthy balance even with me staying at home.  Nap times are my work times. When my husband comes home, I try to be done with work time so that we can have meaningful family time or time with friends. It's not easy.  It's a constant battle.  


Plan ahead! I used to always just blog when something came up, but lately I have been planning out my blog posts ahead of time.  Even if I don't sit down and write the post until the last possible second, having something planned ahead of time makes it go much faster.  Also, it keeps your blog alive! 


Oh! This is tough! Lately I have been making science units and I am LOVING the way they are turning out!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Insects-1774036
Click on the cover to check out this Science Unit in Amanda's store.

Thank you sooooo much Amanda for taking time to answer my interview questions!  It truly means so much to me!!  I'm super blessed to have you as a friend!  See you this summer!

Now, make sure you head over and follow Amanda.  Her Science Units are AMAZING ... it makes me wish that I taught Science again!  Go check them out!

Mrs. Richardson's Class
Follow Mrs. Richardson's Class here..




Blogger Interview: Tammy Lee from Teacher Tam

Hello, Maja from KookyKinders here! I am interviewing Tammy Lee from Teacher Tam's Educational Adventures. 



 
I had already been offering my materials on TPT for some time and thinking about starting a blog. That’s when Language Stars was looking for parents to blog about their program. I saw it as an opportunity to make my debut in the blogging world! I’ve been blogging for about 3 years now.

 
I don’t know if ONLY blogging has helped my teaching, but preparing
materials for TPT and TN certainly has! It is so inspirational to work in
an environment like TPT where teachers are working together to provide
better educational experiences for our students. Reading other blogs, downloading new and innovative materials, perusing Pinterest for ideas, and editing my products for improvement have all helped me become a better teacher. 

 
At some point, you just have to tell yourself, “Walk away from the computer!” Or, my husband has to say that! It is so easy to want to put the finishing touches on your latest product when you should be doing the laundry! So, I carve out specific blocks of time to work, such as after the kids have gone to bed. But then there’s this sleep problem . . .

 
I hope you will all be better at planning out your posts than I am! I am actually a horrible blogger! I only blog when I have something I think is worth blogging about. I know that I miss many ideas because I don’t stretch myself to post once every couple of weeks. Plus, if you really want to be good at blogging, I think you have to take a lot of pictures. I always forget that! 

 
I love using games in the classroom and at home! I find that students are so engaged! They think it’s all fun and games when it’s really focused practice. So, my all-time favorite product is my “SodaShop Sight Word Sentence Game.” It isn’t one of my best sellers because I don’t think most people recognize the potential of a game. I use them in centers, in small groups, and for homework. Games make it easy to differentiate instruction. The skill each child is working on can be effortlessly addressed through a game. For example, preschoolers and new kinders use letter sound cards. Those learning to merge sounds use CVC word cards. Beginning readers use cards with sight word sentences. INSTANT differentiation! Plus, if you add some little cars or Squinkies™ to your game, kids will beg to take it home!

Thank you SO much Tammy for answering our questions! It has been great getting to know you better!

Please check out Tammy's blog and TpT store!

Teacher Tam's Educational Adventures


Blogger Interview: Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade


Hi, Lauren here! Today I'm interviewing Cara Carroll from the popular blog, The First Grade Parade! She is an amazing teacher, mom, TpTer, and blogger!

 
 

I started blogging in 2010 during my first year in 1st grade.  I was searching online for ideas and there wasn’t very much out there.  I figured if I was searching the internet for ideas, then other teachers were probably searching, too.  I wanted a little space to share those ideas no matter how lame they might have been!  Plus, I wanted a scrapbook of my first year in 1st grade.  I wanted a visual reminder of what didand didntwork.  I love being able to look back and the different things I did and reflect on what I wouldve done differently, etc. 



Blogging has helped me to become a more reflective teacher.  It’s also helped me to become more intentional with what and how I teach.  I love having a visual scrapbook to look through year after year.  It helps me to reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, what needed to be better, what I would do differently, etc.  Before the blog, I would repeat so many of the same activities year after year and halfway through those lessons, I’d remember why it was a flop the year before.  I’m a visual learner, so the visual storytelling I get with the blog helps me to plan more intentionally J 


 
Oh bless.  I absolutely DON’T.  I personally don’t think there is such thing as balance.  What might look like a balanced life on the other side of the screen is genuinely a hot mess.  What you see is the “highlight reel”.  What you don’t see is the 6 loadsor more.of dirty laundry that takes up permanent residence in my laundry room.  You aren’t here on the nights when all I can muster to prep for dinner is cereal and toast. On the days I teach, I might stay up ‘til 1-2 in the morning just trying to have some “me” time while finishing up all the stuff I want to do for my classroom, TpT, the blog, etc.  It’s H.A.R.D to balance everything and it’s easy to feel like a failure when you realize you just can’t do it all.  Balance isn’t in my vocabulary and I’m totally okay with that J
 

  
Remember to be authentic and all YOU.  People are reading YOUR blog to hear what YOU have to say.  When you don’t have anything to blog about, don’t feel pressured to put something out there just for the sake of blogging.  Judy Garland said it perfectly when she said, “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
 

 

 
Oh, this is a hard one!  I put so much blood, sweat, and tears into each one and I feel like I love them all the same!  I love my fluency resources (Rock Your Fluency Pre-Primer 3rd Grade).  I love what they did for my kids and how much their fluency grew when using the resources in this product.  I also really love my Math Missions resource.  Such a fun and hands on approach to getting kids excited to review and practice fundamental math skills.  
 
Thank you so much Cara for answering our questions!
 
Be sure to check out her favorites and other products in Cara's TpT store, and stop by her blog for great ideas and inspiration!!

 
Math Mission {Your Mission...Should You Choose To Accept}
 
Rock Your Fluency ~ The Ultimate Fluency Bundle!
 
http://thefirstgradeparade.blogspot.com/
 
 
www.mrsthompsonstreasures.com
 
 

Blogger Interview: Jennifer White {First Grade Blue Skies}


Hey friends! I am so stoked about who I got to interview. Jennifer White from First Grade Blue Skies. I'm pretty sure I don't need to tell you about ALL her fab creations and ideas, but I must tell you that she is outstanding at what she does. She has a few directed drawings that my kids and I will be making next week that are awesome.

I met Jennifer last year in Vegas. Angela from The Daily Alphabet got my attention and I walked over to speak to her. I saw Jennifer sitting and TOTALLY ignored everything that Angela was saying. YES! I totally had a teenybopper/fangirl moment. She's amazing people so I was like, "I KNOW YOU!"... this was all in my head of course. I'm sure she thought I was a crazy woman, but turns out that she's a super sweet woman. Angela called me out on my fangirl moment which is hilarious as I think about it now. Hopefully, she doesn't remember any of that. I saw her again at the blogger meet-up in Alabama that she hosts and brought my craziness level down about five notches. She is seriously one of the nicest people EVER. If you ever get a chance to meet her and chat for a bit, you'll end it with a smile on your face.




You can grab For Those About to Rock! here


Thank you sooooooo so much to Jennifer to taking the time out of her busy schedule to bring us a little "about her" to our page. If you haven't already, drop by her blog to follow her and see what's new at her store. She has the simplest, yet amazingly fantastic ideas!


Interview with Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits


Hey Friends~
It's Dianna here with you today from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching. I am so excited to be here with you today telling you about my first blogger crush love that I ever followed! Back in the 2011-2012 school year while teaching in Georgia I stumbled upon teacher blogs. Reagan was the first blog I fell in love with. It was the first blog I ever followed as well. From Reagan I was introduced to Teachers Pay Teachers. I had never been on the site until going there from Reagan's blog. So, this inspiration is the reason I ever had a thought in my head of starting to create products for Teachers Pay Teachers or do anything else I've started to do. If you don't know Reagan just yet, prepare to fall in love! 


[Click on the button above for a direct link to Reagan's blog.]

I asked Reagan 5 questions & here are her responses...


I began a parent blog in 2010 to help with my communication and sharing of classroom activities with my students' families. One day I noticed I had gotten comments from teachers asking about items in the background of my pictures. It was then that I realized how incredible it was to collaborate and share through a blog. My silly Tunstall Times parent blog became Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits that day! The URL of my blog is still the old Tunstall Times. :-) 


The most important way that blogging has helped my teaching is by fueling my passion for teaching. I became much more reflective once I knew that I was going to open up my classroom to others. I also felt less alone! Teachers are surrounded by little ones but it is still lonely being the only adult in the room all day. Knowing I had an outlet to talk with other teachers through blogging brought passion back to what I was doing day in and day out! Blogging and connecting with other teachers makes teaching belong to us [not our state or administrators].


Ha! I wish someone could tell me! I have two teens, a husband, and two dogs. Some days we have it all together and other days we are a complete hideous mess.
One thing that does help is to set time limits and stick to them! When it all comes down to it, family has to be first. It's not always easy, but sometimes I just have to let go!


Finding your unique voice and style is important. I can go back through my blog and pinpoint different times in my life and what I was thinking and feeling. It has to be genuine. Followers may come and go and that's totally fine! Just keep truckin' in your own awesome way!


That's tough. I know it isn't anything from 2011! That stuff is hideous. But seriously, usually my latest product is my favorite. Mostly because I was just consumed with it until completion. [I mean whatever I just said about setting limits and being balanced, right?]
My latest product was a living and non-living interactive book of activities. I have really enjoyed teaching it this week!

Click HERE or on either of the photos above for a direct link to this product!

Make sure to head back up to the top of this post to visit Reagan's blog & follow her blog! You won't be disappointed. She has the cutest classroom ever & you'll love to read about all of her lessons!

Click HERE to visit her Teachers Pay Teachers store to shop! Make sure to follow her store as well so you never miss a thing!

I hope you enjoy visiting Reagan as much as I do! Have a great day!