Instagram Follower Friday: #tptSMsurge

Thanks for being a part of the #tptSMsurge.  We are SO glad to have you!! 

Now in Week 2, the focus is on all things Instagram {IG}.  
It's FRIDAY and that means we are going to take a look at some TPTers doing great things on IG!

While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it's important to find your unique style when creating products, building your brand and posting on Social Media. BUT this doesn't mean we can't take a few pointers from some teacherpreneurs out there who are IG OGs!
SO who is SHINING on Instagram?

I don't think I can write a post about who to follow on IG without mentioning THE Amy Groesbeck. Let's take a look at what is working for her!

  Amy's pictures are animated, active and often, a hilarious glimpse into the life of a teacher. She did a fantastic job documenting her year day-by-day. With the simple addition of text, you see a life in progression. {learn how to add text via IG friendly apps in Becky's post here}

 She posts consistently keeping followers involved daily! Her pictures truly tell a story.

She uses LOTS of hashtags both to get her pictures out there (#teachersfollowteachers) and to make us laugh! She is sharing USEFUL teaching tips in an authentic, fun way : ) Aren't visuals and humor keys to catching our students' attention, too?

Next up is Bridget from LittleLovelyLeaders

Bridget's unique IG account combines school, jewelry and all things pretty!! I really like her balance of organization, fashion, quotes, and products. Her photos are clear and colorful.  Her overall style shines through--and not just her clothes and bling.  Bridget has a variety of posts which help us get to know about all aspects of her life.  While some argue, they don't *need* to know all about the TPTer behind the resources, no one wants to follow an Instagrammer who only posts product covers.
Bridget's advice: "I guess a little rule I made for myself was to have fun with Instagram and not just make it all about work."

Her use of quotes adds lightness and laughs. It spreads good vibes but you can tell she doesn't just post anything.  She is selective which shows her sense of humor.
She shares pictures of her adorable nieces and family making her IG account personable and relatable.  She doesn't overload with too much of one area of her life.  Getting to know one another on such a personal level through Social Media invests us.  It builds community and inspiration.  Did I mention her adorable nieces!?
Instagram is obviously all about the visual appeal.

Jill @ firstgrade_made posts a colorful variety of school related and personal pictures.  Her photos are BRIGHT which gets your attention.  And not just your attention, but the attention of others like @teacherspayteachers who has recognized Jill for her beautifully organized classroom set-up.

I love that Jill interacts with her followers by responding to their comments often! This is truly what makes IG an interactive experience! She tags people in her pics and the people she is responding to! This helps ensure they see what you said!

Jill says "Giving others positive feedback and support goes a long way! That has truly turned into a support system, both inside and outside of the classroom."

And isn't that what it's all about? Supporting one another, connecting and collaborating?

Let's wrap up what we learned from these lovely ladies:

That's it for me : ) Hope you found some useful tips or a new person to follow!

Thanks to Glitter Meets Glue Designs for the adorable IG Icon.


Back to School: 2nd Grade Freebie Favorites

Hey girl, hey!! (or boy ; )

I am here today to share with you my favorite BTS resources.  I started the last 3 school years in 2nd grade.  Mind you, it was three different schools and I was subbing for 3 different teachers.  But that's neither here nor there, this is what I learned in those 3 years and what worked for me!

Let's start off with the end of the day. Because we all know THE most important part of the first day is getting those kiddos home to the right place!

While I didn't use these exact bracelets, per say, I always had a color system of some sort.  So this year I decided to create these to help out with the process.

These are now a *freebie* in my store! 

Maybe your a transportation expert and don't need these bracelets.  But, come on, you surely need some type of arm wear.  I used Read with Me ABC's adorable message bracelets last year.
Message Bracelets for the First Day of School

Yes, they are cute but they are also setting the tone for the school year and a great first positive communication with parents!

We all know that routines and procedures are the PB and Jelly in the behavior management sandwich.  Don't miss anything with this thorough list of procedures by Rachel Lynette.  I keep it handy for the first few weeks and make notes about stuff we will need to review more than once!
Classroom Procedures

With procedures and routines come rules.  Now I may not have read the Whole Brain Teaching book but I still LOVE the rules.  I love repeating them *almost* daily.  And I LOVE these free posters : )

Whole Brain Teaching Rules Posters FREEBIE! {Chalkboard Theme}

Next up--gotta have some stuff to keep them busy engaged and learning.  Let's face it, there's a lot of mumbo jumbo going on before you can dive into teaching place value {which is what I feel I did for about the first two months of school straight}.

Here's some great free printables! {click on the pics to take you to download}
First Day Back Mini Activity Pack

First Day of School {FREEBIE}

Back to School ABC Order Cut and Paste Printable---FREEBIE

Back to School NO PREP FREEBIES!

Can't forget about that first day of whatever grade pic!
Humpf.  I can't seem to find where I found this exact one.  If you know, please tell me!

FREE 15,000 Follower Gift - First & Last Day of School Pho

Here's an alternative by Jen Jones.

Last but not least, I actually had my kids do real work on the first (or was it the second?) day of school. I kinda, sorta, maybe impressed my colleagues who said "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WERE SO AMBITIOUS TO HAVE THEM WRITE!"  And you may be thinking "That's not that ambitious" but we had a very challenging group of kiddos last year.

Anywho, we made these!!
Back to School Craftivity Bucket

Alright, I think that is about it for me!  I have a TON of new freebies on my to use list so maybe I'll be back to share what I actually end up using after the BTS craziness dies down.  But in reality I will wait until next year at BTS time because who wants to read that post in late September early November?


My favorite picture

Hey friends, it's been awhile! After the #tptsellerchallenge, I fell off the blogging map again.  I wish I had some great adventures or vacation stories to share but really, this summer has been all about grad class, baby prep and staying cool in the AC {womp, womp, boring!!}

I just saw this cute link-up with
so I thought I'd join in!

My favorite picture:

This is me and my husband almost 5 years ago on our very first date (September 2010)!
 I just love him so much and this picture makes me infinitely happy : ) {Oh to be that tan and skinny again}

We had an instant attraction and it didn't take long for us to be spending every day together.  I just love to think back to those days--I can still feel the excitement and butterflies.  

September will be our two year wedding anniversary and we are expecting our first child, a baby boy in just 5 short weeks!

I am sure this picture will always be one of my favorite although I have a feeling that very soon there will be many favorite pictures of Harrison James : )

I am heading back to the link-up to check out the other favorite pictures! You should link up, too : )