Wednesday, July 8, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge: Week 4

I am joining up with Sparkling in Second, Third in Hollywood, Teach Create Motivate, and Peppy Zesty Teacherista for the fourth, and final, challenge in the weekly TpT Seller Challenge.  This week's challenge is called "Follow Frenzy" and it asks us to share the newest friends that we have connected with during this challenge.

This challenge is the hardest one yet because I didn't really get a chance to meet new people during this challenge.  Apparently I am a blogging hermit - don't worry, fixing this issue is at the top of my to-do list!  So instead of talking about the friends I met I thought I would instead talk about some amazing bloggers that I found along the way.  So here are five bloggers that I started following along the way and the reason(s) why I started following them.

 Once Upon a First Grade Adventure
Once Upon a First Grade Adventure
I was drawn to this blog during the "Make Your Masterpiece" challenge in week three.  She created an incredible set for teaching sight words - which is something that I am going to have to spend a lot of time doing next year as the Reading Teacher.  I liked this product so I headed over to her TpT store and I was amazed.  She has so many resources that I will be able to use next year and they are all on my wishlist.  :)

Kindergarten Squared
Kindergarten Squared 
This is a blog that I stumbled across when I was searching Instagram for #TpTSellerChallenge.  I just loved their blog ideas and found so many useful resources that I will be able to use next year - especially because I do not know much about Kindergarten.  Plus, their cute blog design drew me right in!

Inspired to the Core
Inspired to the Core  
This lovely lady is someone who I was already following, but I had to give her a shout out because she is fabulous and I love her!  It is because of her that I even found out about the TpT Seller Challenge.  It is also because of her that I discovered the world of cute fonts and clipart.  Before she started working on my first grade team I created boring worksheets.  Then, I met her and she got my creative juices flowing and helped me find the cute aspects to make my products more appealing. 

Rowdy in First Grade
Rowdy in First Grade
I also found this blog while searching #TpTSellerChallenge on Instagram.  I went to her blog and started browsing - and discovered that she has so many great ideas and products!  I love seeing all of the wonderful ideas that other teachers have.  Many times I find myself reading someone's blog post and thinking "This is genius! Why didn't I think of this?".  That is something I thought many times as I was looking through this blog.  I am excited to follow her this year and use all of her great ideas.

The Teaching Texan
This is another blog I found on Instagram (I am starting to sense that I may need to take a break from this app...)  I stumbled across his "Make Your Masterpiece" post and immediately knew I had to have it.  He created an entire pack of reading interventions and explained how he uses them in his classroom.  This is exactly what I will be doing next year!!  What a wonderful resource to find :)

I have found so many wonderful bloggers during this challenge, these were just a few of my favorites.  This challenge was a wonderful experience because it pushed me to blog over the summer, update and create new products and meet new people.  I am sad that it is over!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Weekly Summer Link-Up: Where I Was Five Years Ago

I was browsing Instagram and found this wonderful Link-Up and just had to join in on the fun.  Miss Monica over at I Heart Grade 3 is hosting a weekly summer link-up and this week's topic is where you were 5 years ago.

The summer of 2010 was a big year for me.   I hope you are ready to hear all about it :)

So I have to start out with a little back story...I graduated college in May of 2009 and by the grace of God managed to land a teaching job in Illinois.  I was hired to teach fourth grade a week before the first day of school.  In the middle of the school year, my school district announced that all non-tenured teachers would be 'laid-off' and only those with more than three years of teaching experience could interview to try and get a position back.  What?!?!  Alright then.  So I started job searching.  And guess what I found?  Nothing.  Yep - there were NO teaching jobs open within a 100 mile radius of where I lived.  So I did the logical thing and expanded my search - country wide.  I came across a district in Tennessee with lots of openings and applied.  I was asked to come down for a job fair and was offered a first grade position on the spot.  Yay!!

So that brings me to the summer of 2010.  I cleaned out my classroom, packed up everything from my parent's house and started the journey to Tennessee with my boyfriend (who is now my husband).  Tim drove the 12-foot moving truck with his pick-up on a trailer behind it while I followed.  The 8 hour trip took us 11 hours - ugh!  But we finally got to our new apartment.   We moved the mattress in and Tim went to sleep while I managed to unpack everything else (except the furniture).  I was just too excited not to!  
We had to store my school stuff behind the couch because I couldn't get into my classroom yet :)

A few weeks later I was able to get into my classroom.  I replaced a teacher who had been there for over 15 years and she had left me quite a bit of materials.  It was overwhelming to try to go through everything and get the room organized to the way I wanted it but it was exciting at the same time.

It was a scary time in my life because I moved away from my family and friends to a new place that I knew nothing about.  Luckily, it was the best decision I could have made.  We have made incredible friends here and I couldn't be happier at the school that I am at.  It is amazing to look back and see how far we have come since moving here - and it has only been 5 years!

What were you doing five years ago?