Are you a Teacher Blogger?

I just went back and looked at my VERY first blog post. It was July of 2011.

First, ouch! Yeah, I have grown as a blogger.  Thank goodness!

Second, I was really blown away with how much blogging in general has changed over the past five years.  When I began it was just a place to dump classroom photos and share ideas.  Nothing elaborate. Now blogs seem much more polished, images are much more professional, and there are actually suggested blogging TEMPLATES for structuring posts!



While I am by far a blogging expert (although I should be after all this time, LOL #lifegoal.  Wait no, my life goal is actually #morenaps), I HAVE picked up a few tips and tricks over the years. Hopefully, these will help you.  If you are not a teacher blogger, then you will either be amazed by all the things that happen behind the scenes or will be totally bored.  Either way, I apologize for revealing "the man behind the curtain."

Post Ideas
I have notebooks full of random ideas for blog posts,  I tried writing everything down in one notebook, but the notebook also held my to do list for the week, grocery list, and a variety of other junk.  My blogging ideas were quickly lost. I also realized that this was just creating extra work me.


Now I try to brainstorm in Blogger!  So much time saved!


I even outline my posts!!

Getting Organized
I have written in the past specifically for bloggers.  In this post, I share how I organize files on my computer for each post.

For each blog post I create a folder WITHIN my blogging folder.  I keep any images for each blog post in the folder. . For each blog post, I usually make some kind of image or button, Facebook image, Pinterest image, and sometimes headers to divide the post.  Here is an example of a post with headers.


To make things as fast as possible, I try to keep templates of all my social media images in power point.  This makes it easy for me to update all the images needed for each post. 


You can get a folder of ALL my social media templates in ppt by clicking on the image above!


Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Oh My!
As a blogger, it is all the "other stuff" that I find overwhelming to keep up with. I try so hard to stay on top of social media, but it is just another thing on my plate.  I find that the more organized I am, the better I do.

For Pinterest, I HIGHLY recommend Tailwind.  I love it. It makes it so easy to make sure I find and pin quality ideas.

For Facebook, I have another system. I shared about it over on the collaborative blog Classroom Tested Resources.


I also use a planner to keep myself on track.  I mark off when I schedule on Facebook so I can make sure I do it on a regular basis.


Even though I write my post ideas in Blogger, I actually write when I am scheduling posts in the planner, so I can see the whole month at a glance.  I write the posts right on the calendar.


I also right down any of my "to do lists" right in the planner so it is all in one place.


I also use it to track all my Tpt Stats and earnings. This helps me with goal setting.

You can pick up the blog planner here.

I printed mine at home and had the cover laminated and the spiral binding done at Staples for $10!!

I hope this helps you if you are struggling with blogging!

 If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to catch all the freebies and ideas and more!

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The Next Step in Guided Reading : Chapter 2 (Assessment and Grouping)

I hope you guys are enjoying this book as much as I am.

I am loving how so many of these ideas that she talks about are a nice mix of some of my favorite educational ideas and researchers! I knew Dr. Richardson was obviously a bright lady, but she is also PRACTICAL about the classroom, which I adore.


In the second chapter, Assessment and Grouping, she discusses assessment, the PURPOSE for assessment, and how to USE the information from assessments.  I am all about that.  I am not all about assessments for the sake of assessments sake.  I doubt ANY teachers are! LOL



Richardson says that assessment should answer the following questions:


Richardson actually had a suggested list of assessments. Many of the schools that I worked in had a required list of beginning of the year assessments.  I found it very interested (and validating) that many of the assessments I was required to use and the ones suggested overlapped.

Here are the ones she suggested for primary students:


Your school may provide some of the following assessments.  If not, I did find several appropriate and FREE assessments on Teachers Pay Teachers. Click on the pictures to see the freebies!



Purpose: Sort out any letter confusion.  Strong knowledge indicates visual memory and discrimination abilities.  Poor knowledge is related to experiences prior to kindergarten.

Purpose: Helpful for grouping kindergarten students mid-year and first grade students. Recognition of sight words indicates the child is strong in visual memory and should be able to read the sight words in running text. 


Purpose: Determine how students processes and hears sounds, as well as letter formation.  Think about the following questions:

Does the child hear consonants?
Does the child hear sounds at the beginning or end of a word?
Does the student hear any vowel sounds, digraphs, blends, or endings? 


Purpose:  Assess the child's phonemic awareness and analyze language structure, vocabulary and concepts of print.


I do not have an freebies for actual running records, because I am assuming that this is something provided b your district. Analyze running records are essential to determine the appropriate level of text for instruction, as well as strategies and skills that need to be taught.

These freebies are great to help analyze running records and also just coding and scoring running records.


The assessments for transitional and fluent readers are a bit more streamlined.  


Purpose: Can pinpoint areas of instruction, especially for transitional readers.

Richardson also shares her procedure from streamlining assessments for older students.  Much of what she suggests is easily applied to district approved and required running records and reading assessments.

She also included a FREE comprehension interview that can be copied directly from the book.  It was amazing. She states," The purpose of the interview is to identify which comprehension strategies the student has internalized and which ones still need to be taught.  Information from the interview is useful in grouping students for guided reading." She also says that she doesn't grade the interview- she just uses it as a formative assessment.

I shared on Facebook LIVE about the chapter and shared systems to organize your assessment results. I 





Are you ready for the rest of the book study?  Here is the schedule!


Do you feel like you need more help with reading instruction?



  Sign up to have specific tips and strategies send straight to your email for FREE! You can sign up here! Please note, this is an additional, BRAND NEW newsletter that is separate from my blog newsletter.  If you want to get these tips, you have to sign up here!

Use this image to pin for later, and visit Erin on Wednesday for Chapter Three!


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The Next Step in Guided Reading

I am so excited about my next adventure!!  I am going to lead a book study with my good friend, Erin from The Elementary Darling!  I have never actually led a book study, much less an ONLINE book study, but I am going to try hard.  I have been to lots of book studies.  In person.  That counts right?



We will be reading and discussing the book The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson.


(Affiliate Link)

Starting on June 22nd we will discuss a chapter every Monday and Wednesday. We will skip Monday, July 4th for the holiday.



Here is a schedule to prepare and join us. We really, really hope you guys will jump in on the discussion!



To celebrate, we are giving away TWO copies of the book!  The winners will also get a $15 gift card to either Amazon, Target, or Teachers Pay Teachers- winners choice! Two winners will be chosen on June 20th!

Enter below!  We hope to see you on Wednesday, June 22nd!


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