Back to School

One of the important things I learned through my National Board Certification was the importance of spending time at the beginning of the year to build a strong classroom community.   There are many ways to do this.  One of my favorites is by playing a game of catch with my class.  I throw out a squishee ball and when someone gets it, I ask his/her name.  I then write his/her name on the board and assign points telling him/her what an awesome job he/she did of getting/catching the ball.  I usually give 10 points to the first student.  I repeat the process but tell the students that they can only get the ball once.  As students get the ball, and I write their names on the board, I ensure that the scoring has nothing to do with his/her skill.  So if a child totally misses it, I might give them 100 points.  The next student that misses might get 5 points.  I make sure that the score is making absolutely no sense whatsoever.  I even give a student a million points!  By the time we finish, the kids are all frustrated and Continue reading “Back to School”

Hello world!

My Very First Post!

Well…here goes nothing. I’m taking a huge step for me…I’m becoming a blogger. Yep! Right now. This is it. You are reading my very first post. It’s very scary! It’s not like I have trouble talking (ask my husband!), it’s just that I’ve never really put myself out there in cyberspace like this before. I do love helping others so hopefully that part will come naturally. I must say that it does feel a little easier knowing that my intended audience are mothers and fathers (parents are our future!), educators, and teachers of all kinds, because I know these are all also caring people. So that makes me super excited to get to know my followers (I keep hearing that I WILL have followers so I’m trying to think positive.) I’m hoping that this blog will be a place to help others by connecting and sharing information.

Why I’m Blogging

I am an EXTREMELY passionate third grade teacher. I spent one year teaching kindergarten (bless those teachers and pay them more!!), then RAN to third grade where I have remained for the last 12 years. I hold my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and I also earned my National Boards. I love teaching, and I love learning. I started a TPT store (Engage and Bloom) last summer. It’s been a REALLY long learning process as I didn’t have anyone to help me along the way. I read and read, and read and read some more. I read everything I could. I spent almost my whole summer trying to learn how to share my lessons with others with the opportunity to earn some compensation for my time on a TPT site. By October, I had created some great products and made a few sales, but I felt there was so much I didn’t know. So I decided to sign up for the TPT annual conference the following July which leads me to this week.


This week I attended the TeachersPayTeachers annual conference in Orlando, Florida. I’m setting a pattern because I was a bit nervous about attending all by myself so this was another first. I booked the conference last fall, but neglected to book the hotel so I ended up offsite about 4 miles away. That required ANOTHER first for me…learning how to use Uber! (Otherwise I had to pay $20/day for EACH hotel thereby spending $40 a day just to park my car!) So after checking into my hotel, the very first thing I did was google “Uber” where I learned I needed to download the app onto my phone. Check…I could do that! I allowed the app (it prompts you) to use my location, and then I input the address for the conference. Then I hit “request”. Woohoo…so easy except….WARNING: Be sure you’re almost ready to go before hitting the “request” button because WOW…a Continue reading “Hello world!”