I’ve been working a lot on my blog lately. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m working on redesigning it right now. Something about the design process is exciting to me. Soon, I’ll need to find someone else who needs their blog redesigned to keep the excitement going.

Today, as I sat down and mentally prepared myself to get started – you all know how that goes, I’m sure… even exciting things can sometimes be daunting – I first decided to check out my Bloglovin feed. There were a number of updates and I sifted through them, marking several as read even though I didn’t even both to click on them. Then, I reached one from Lindsey at Thriving In Third, someone who I have actually met, that got me thinking.

Lindsey blogged this week about the heavy focus that bloggers place on product promotion. I couldn’t agree more. As I go through my feed each week, many of those that I automatically mark as read are teacher bloggers who I know are simply posting to sell products – ones that I know won’t apply to me because they are a different grade level.

As a result, I headed back to my Bloglovin feed and started to unfollow those blogs that, week after week, I mark as read without reading. There were only a handful actually. As I looked at the remaining blogs – about 60 – I realized that for many of those, I had no idea why I had begun following them in the first place. I ended up going through and unfollowing even more people who I didn't regularly visit their blog. I am now down to following 29 blogs. I still have a few that I think I should maybe unfollow, but I’ll let them stay for now.

As I continue as a blogger and a reader, I hope to remember Lindsey’s post. I hope that as  I create each new blog post, I emphasize  content – what happened in my room that week, what worked, what I need help with – rather than promoting products. I hope that as I visit new blogs, I remember to try to make a connection with that teacher through comments, rather than just being a silent reader. Will links to TPT products be posted? Perhaps. But I hope to remember that it should not be the focus of the blog post.

As I sit here writing this post, I’m reflecting on why I decided a few years ago to begin a blog and why I've continued doing so now. Like Lindsey, I was attracted by the idea of a community of teachers. As I consider what would make me feel successful in my blogging endeavors, I imagine having a tight group of blogging buddies like some others have come to find. 

What about you? What are you hoping to get out of blogging? Is your goal to make it as a blogger with thousands of followers or are you looking for the community? Of course, they don’t need to be mutually exclusive, but what is your main focus?

Reader Bookmarks

At our school, we have moved away from Guided Reading and now have daily Small Reading Groups. From what I understand of it, the ideas are somewhat similar, except that the Small Reading Groups are supposed to be entirely focused on the skills that we are learning during Whole Group rather than skills that we have determined that the students need to progress as readers.

During Small Reading Groups, our team flex groups, so in my room, I have our advanced readers. These readers generally have mastered the Whole Group skills and are ready to expand on them, or are in need of higher level instruction to push them further.

A large part of Small Reading Groups is Close Reads. Nicole from Teaching With Style! blogged this week about a note taking bookmark that she uses for Close Reads. I loved the idea of having dual purpose bookmarks that the students can use as they read.  This idea is also perfect for a lot of the reading strategies and skills that we use with our reading series.


Click on the images above to visit my TPT store and grab these bookmarks. I'll be adding more formats as I continue through the year so that my students can use these for all sorts of reading!

November Currently

I feel like if I at least put up the month's Currently, I'm still blogging. No matter how little blogging takes place outside of that!

So here it is!


Another quiet day here at the house. Silence is golden.


It's been a wonderful PJ type of morning. The husband is out hunting with friends, so me and the dog are enjoying the morning. It'll have to end soon though. Unfortunately, I can't spend all day sitting around.


I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be rolling out a new blog design soon - as in by the end of the year. I already made business cards for the new design which should be arriving in the mail shortly. I need to work on some of the odds and ends for the online design before I am ready to make it active. I'm excited for it though. It's a bit more cutesy that what I have now.


We'll be leaving soon for some good ol' family time. Nothing wrong with that, except that I've also spent Friday and Saturday with family, so I'm kind of all family'd out. I can't just make an excuse to get out of it though, so hopefully we won't need to be there all day.


Have you heard of or done NaNoWriMo? I believe that this is the seventh year that I have participated. I've never won. November is, at least for me, a terrible month to write a book because I am always so stinkin' busy. But I pretend that I will each year anyway. I expect another loss this year again, but I will keep trying anyway. I haven't even come up with an idea this year, though, so my expectations are pretty low.


Kin of related - hopefully I'll be reading nothing. If I actually come up with an idea for writing, that will in theory take up all my time. I'll only have time to read grad school books and work emails.

That's where I am - in a nutshell. What's going on with you?