Hi everyone! Jessica here from Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten, and I am so excited about what we have in store for you here at the Elementary Entourage for the rest of the month. Last year we interviewed some amazing teacher bloggers, and had such a great time learning about these fabulous bloggers that we have contacted a whole new batch of amazingly talented bloggers. We interviewed them to find out a little bit more about how they do what they do. I chose to interview the sweetest friend that I was lucky enough to meet this summer at the TpT conference in Vegas, Miss Giraffe of Miss Giraffe's Class. Want to know more about why you should check out her awesome ideas? Read on:Miss Giraffe: I absolutely love writing! I've had journals since I could hold a pencil. I also love taking pictures, trying to find creative ways to teach/do/organize things, and sharing ideas with people so it really just combines all of the things I'm passionate about.
I finally started my blog when it hit me that I was writing NOVEL sized email responses (I like to talk :)) to people who were emailing me asking how to teach this or how to organize that. When I started to get the same questions over and over, I realized a lot of people must have these questions so I thought why not have a place where I can go in depth in my explanations and share pictures and be able to help even more people!
Miss Giraffe: Having a blog has definitely made me push myself to be more creative and think of hands on activities to teach different concepts, especially math! As weird as it sounds, I now think about what an activity would look like in a blog picture and if it excites me, then I know it'll excite students too! Plus I get to talk to teachers from all over the world that I learn SO much from!
Miss Giraffe: Oh gosh, I don't! Balance is something I've always struggled with. It is so hard to fit it all in but I try to make sure spending time with family and friends is a top priority. My husband and I alternate who plans date night each week so that helps - even if it's just playing some board games or binge watching a show we like, it's good to have 'unplugged' quality time.
I also set timers when I work at home! It gives me a sense of urgency to get the things I need to get done accomplished (I am a professional procrastinator otherwise!) because once the timer goes off, I'm not allowed to work anymore so it makes me hustle to get things done and not waste time dragging out tasks by checking my notifications every 5 minutes.Miss Giraffe: Share what you know and don't be afraid to start! Every teacher has so many good ideas and tricks for what works for them and their classroom and they're all so different. You have so much valuable knowledge to bring to the world so jump in and join the fun!!
Miss Giraffe: It's so hard to choose but I think my First Grade Math Unit 18 about fractions is my favorite! You can see some of it in action in this blog post: Fractions in First Grade!
Fractions are something I personally struggled with in school so I put a lot of thought and love into making the activities fun and accessible so EVERY student could enjoy learning about fractions. My math units are always differentiated into 3 levels (on level, below level, and advanced) so all students can feel successful yet challenged which is really important to me. Plus I love all the math centers for that unit and the Fraction Flowers craft is one of my favorite activities so it's definitely one of my favorite resources!
I have to give a big THANK YOU to Miss Giraffe for taking the time to answer all of my questions. Show her some love by visiting her blog or TPT store here :)