Friday, June 27, 2014

Guest Blogger

Next week I will be a guest blogger over at The Learning Chambers. I will be discussing ways to organize Guided Math Centers and manipulatives. I will also be giving away some Freebies!  Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blogging on a Budget

When I started this blog my goal was to build it myself.  There are so many great professional blogs out there and I wanted to emulate their quality without blowing my budget. First I did some research as to what platform to use, Bloggger Vs. Wordpress. I decided to go with Blogger because it is perfect for beginners and very user friendly. I also found more web tutorials and videos for Blogger so I could create a DIY Blog. Here is a look at starting your own blog on a budget.

The hardest part of starting my blog was selecting a name. I wanted a name that said something about me as an educator, pick something that represents you. After that, the rest was easy. I found some great websites that offer professional looking free backgrounds.,,
These sites are so helpful. You select the background you want to use, copy the code they give you into your blog's layout section and you have a professional looking blog in minutes. Of course these backgrounds are free to anyone so you do run the risk of having the same look as someone else. You can always upgrade to a custom background when you begin to generate more traffic.

Next I had to create my header, similar to your logo, it must say something about you and your brand. the above mentioned sites offer really cute header templates, but I wanted to create this part my self. I found some super cute clipart on Etsy that I incorporated in my design.(Please contact your clipart creator directly to ensure that you can use their images on your blog and in the creation of your header and logo.) I then used this tutorial to create my image... fake-me-out-photoshop-part-1 I know many people use Photoshop or Picmonkey, but I stayed true to my TPT roots and used good old Powerpoint.

Now I had a great frame for my Blog. I was able to add embellishments and gadgets to market my blog. The next thing I did was create a blog button. I used the same image I use on my TPT store. I followed this and it worked like a charm. Now other bloggers can grab my button and link readers directly back to my site. Check out my Blogs I Love section to see some of the buttons I have grabbed.
As a TPT seller I wanted to market and advertise my shop. I created gadgets that link directly to my TPT store and my pintrest boards. I purchased my button images from... TheBloggerBar I could have created the images myself the same way I created my shop button, but her images were perfect, why recreate the wheel. I used this site to generate my code...Widget Builder and then inserted into my layout. Once you have everything set up it is time to start writing.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Reading

School is out... now what?


I can't believe my second year in Kindergarten is over. It went by in a whirlwind of popcorn words, math facts, and finger paint. The room is finally packed up and course I'm already planning ways to make next year even better.


My class knows my book obsession very well. Many of my students generously gave me Barnes & Nobel gift cards so I can build up my leveled library.  I decided to splurge for something for myself. I was looking for the perfect summer book to inspire my teaching.  I am a huge fan of Debbie Diller, so naturally I picked up her Math Work Stations book.  Click the link to order your own copy.  I can't wait to see the innovated tips she has for me this time. I will update you with a full review when I am finished.


 Enjoy your Summer!!