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Blog Hoppin' Newbies

The newbie bloggers over here on Blog Hoppin' are so excited to be a part of such an amazing group of teacher bloggers. I know I can't speak for everyone, but it seems to be a consensus between the 8 of us! 

There are five questions each of us are going to answer to introduce ourselves which are:
Where do you live?
 A little about your family.
Favorite thing to teach. 
Why I love blogging. 
Tell us about a classroom slip-up.

Without further are your new Blog Hoppin' authors!-Elizabeth

1.  Yolanda Arnold from Oceans of First Grade Fun.

Where do you live?
I live in Birmingham, AL. 

A little about my family.
 I have a big family and we are all scattered throughout the US, from Montgomery, AL and Tennessee to Los Angeles to Brooklyn NY. I have a total of 5 brothers and 3 sisters. They are a talented bunch. We have a basketball coach, a social worker, a doctor of pharmacology, aspiring actors, a chef, a model and even a healthy living and exercise expert! I have a total of 12 nieces and nephews! There was just a new addition to the clan, Olivia!

Here are four of my five brothers

 That's me with the short hair and glasses. Seeing me in a picture is a rare occasion because I hate taking pictures. Two of my three sisters. One is standing behind me in the white and the other is top row, second from the right. The rest is extended family.

Favorite thing to teach? 
I am a trained Reading Recovery teacher so I have literacy in the bag, but I LOVE LOVE teaching math! There are just so many things I can create and so many wonderful activities I can do with my first graders.

Why I love blogging
I love sharing ideas! I am always creating and sharing ideas with the teachers in my building so extending that to the teacher blogging community was so exciting!

Tell us about a classroom slip-up. 
When don’t I slip up! I’m always flubbing something, but my sweeties always pat my hand say, “That’s okay Ms. Arnold, we know what you meant.”

2.Hi friends!  My name is Kelley Dolling and I hang out over at Teacher Idea Factory.  I am excited as all get out to have the opportunity to join the "Hoppers."  I promise to drop in every now and again with some fun goods and easy to implement ideas!  Here's a little more about me.

Where do you live?
I live in a speck of a town in Northern California.  Just to be clear, we're not talking the cool San Fran or even the Sacramento areas here . . . think closer to the Oregon state line.  We are known for our orchards, the fine local Wal-Mart, and the largest 3-Day Ro-Day-O in the US of A!  It's not the most exciting place in the world, but it's home.

A little about your family.
We are a close knit family of two.  Trav and I have been married for 3.5 years and there's never a dull moment in Casa de Dolling.  If one were to peek through the window, they would most likely see us wrestling, throwing something at each other, yelling at the television together (especially during football season), or one of us pullin' some sort of juvenile prank.  All silliness aside, this boy is my rock and I'd be utterly lost without him.  

Oh, I almost forgot.  We do share our home with two "little ones."  Tilly is our 4 year old lab-mix and Lou is our grouchy 10 year old kitty cat. 

Favorite thing to teach. 
This one is a no-brainer.  I love to teach phonics.  Being a "whole language" kid, I didn't get the whole letters and sounds thing.  I was the best "word caller" in NorCal.  Needless to say, I spelled "sail-ER" wrong in front of the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classes during our school spelling bee try outs.  I don't want my babes to go through such humiliation, so I hit phonics hard in reading groups as well as in a whole class setting.  My goal is to create meaningful lessons and games that really "sell the sizzle" of letter patterns.  Whole group phonics time usually ends in kids running around the classroom or wearing some sort crazy "wearable word work" on their heads :)  

Why I love blogging. 
Let's be honest.  Teaching ain't easy and there are days when all the district and federal mandates, extra duties, and obnoxious "politics" can eat you alive.  Don't get me wrong here . . . the kids ALWAYS save me in the end, but I think we all have those days when you feel like you just can't do one more thing.  Blogging (although it may be "one more thing") centers me.  It allows me to focus on the positive.  Sharing ideas back and forth with all of the amazing bloggers and teachers out there keeps the teaching excitement speedometer pegged.

In addition, the lasting connections and friendships that I have made in the past year and a half have been utterly amazing.  I consider many of my blogging 
buddies my dearest friends.  

Tell us about a classroom slip-up.
Last spring I was introducing the last activity of the day and I felt something scratching my neck.  I reached into the neck of my shirt and noticed something was VERY wrong . . . 

In my defense, it was a brand new shirt and it was that hectic week before Open House.  However, I probably also need to be honest and admit that when I put it on that morning I thought to myself, "WOW, the back is kinda low??!!"   

3. Heyyyy Y'all. It's Elizabeth Hall from Kickin' it in Kindergarten

Where do you live? Nashville, TN

 A little about your family. 
I have been married for 2 years to the best guy ever (we've been together for 8). I have a dog named Maggie. My parents and sister all live right around the corner. Can't get much better than that! 

Favorite thing to teach. 
Literacy and anything and everything that has to do with teaching kids to love reading. 

Why I love blogging.
 Connecting with teachers and bloggers all over the country (and world). I had no idea what the blogging community consisted of. There are some truly amazing and dedicated teachers out there! I have made some lifelong friends that I would have never met if it wasn't for the little ol' blog. I also feel like it makes me a better teacher because I stop and ask myself, would I blog about this!?

Tell us about a classroom slip-up.
I may or may not have said something about someone not having enough "balls" to do something. I can't even remember what I was talking about. Every kid was at least 50 ft. away from me. All of a sudden I hear, "Hey Mrs. Hall, did you just say something about balls?" Thankfully, I was able to recover with a story about forgetting the recess balls inside. One of the teachers I was sitting with just said "Busted!" 

4. Hello, hello! My name is Susan and I am a 1st grade blogger over at TGIF (Thank God it's First Grade!) I am so happy to be a part of this new crew and I hope to see ya around often :)

Here is a little bit about me!

Where do you live?
I hail from the northeast... Massachusetts to be exact! I have lived and taught in Las Vegas, NV for the past 3 years before I moved back home this summer and now I live on the MA/NH border.

A Little About my Family:
I just recently got married (September 20th) to the love of my life, Parker, and we are currently on our own "baby-makin'" journey! We would love to start a family as soon as possible, but we know that isn't in our hands... so we are patiently waiting our turn!
*Our special day with our closest friends and family*

Favorite Thing to Teach:
WRITING! If you already followed my blog, then you know I love, love, love to teach writing to first graders. Their progress is monumental and I get so excited for them to learn to love being an author.

Why I love Blogging:
 (1) I am nosy. Super nosy. For years, I have scoured teaching blogs wanting to know what everyone else is up to in their classrooms. I have become a better teacher just by getting a little sneak peek into others' rooms. I thought I would open up my room and let everyone see what I am doing!
(2) The relationships! I didn't start blogging knowing I would form such great friendships with other bloggers, but this has to be the best perk about putting my life out there for all to see. I love my blogging friends and count down the days between our little meet ups!

A Classroom Slip-Up:
So... a few years back I left this little writing prompt to complete while I was absent. I came back and this is what I found waiting for my in the principal's office:
When this little guy was questioned about his paper, he mentioned that I was always really happy and silly and that's how his mom is when she is drunk........
Lesson learned: maybe don't be so goofy all the time.

5. Hey all, I Rachel Lamb from the tattooed teacher. I am pleased as punch to be a part of the Blog Hoppers!

Where do you live?
I have lived in a little town in North Carolina my whole life. I even teach at the elementary school I attended! We don’t stray far from the nest here!
A Little About my Family:
 My hubs and I have been together for half of my life…literally! We have three boys and maybe more one day! Jackson is 14, Jake is 8, and Drew is 5. They keep us busy and grounded! My little sis is having a little girl, so we are pretty thrilled around here!
Favorite thing to teach. 
This changes up every now and again, but I love to teach science. Our second grade curriculum is pretty good, though it is changing up soon! My favorite time of the day is guided reading. We use Fountas and Pinnell LLI kits so it's pretty easy, but I love the little groups!
Why I love blogging.
I am still a little shocked people even read what I post! My teammate even reads my posts and she has to live them! I love sharing ideas almost as much as I love getting new ideas! I feel like my teaching has come a long way since I began reading teacher blogs!

Tell us about a classroom slip-up. 
I’m a goofball. I make mistakes daily. And I am okay with that. I have to back up and reread a lot when I read aloud, I walk around with a blanket around me cause I'm always cold (I think I need a Snuggie!), I have fallen in the lunchroom every year, and that's just the stuff I remember!

6.  Katie Mense from Little Warriors

Where do you live? 
I live in Illinois-NOT Chicago :) (BOOOOOOO CUBS!!! ;) I live just across the river from St. Louis, MO! HUGE Cardinals Fans!!!

A Little about your family
 I have been married to my hubby, Chris for TEN years now!!!! How did that happen?!?! We have THREE Beautiful boys!! 

Brody is 6 and a Kinder!! ;)

My big guy, Grady, is 4:

And my Little Finn is 13 months:

Favorite thing to teach
 I'm just going to have to go with KINDERGARTEN in general :) I LOVE my job!!! I seriously believe that I have the most fun and rewarding job on the planet!!! The progress these kids make in Kindergarten is AMAZING!!!!!!! And, to think that I had a part in accomplishing that is just awesome!!! 

Why I love blogging
 Blogging has been a HUGE blessing to me! I have become 100 times the teacher that I used to be!!! I've been blogging for about 3 years now and I have made soooooo many amazing friends!!!! The blogging community is filled with soooo many talented, amazing people and we all help each other in any way that we can with our own unique skills and talents. I feel soooo blessed to be part of it!

I got to meet sooooo many of my blog buddies in "real life" in Vegas last Summer!!!!

My bloggy BFF, Erin Eberhart, from Eberhart's Explorers also came to visit me this Summer!!!! I finally got to meet her in real life!!! We had a blast! ;)

Tell us about a classroom slip-up:  ALWAYS, always preview your Youtube videos all the way through!!! If you don't, you might find yourself watching a cute little groundhog scurrying across the prairie during your groundhog unit and all the kids will be like "aaaawwwwwwww!!" and then......all of the sudden-you hear "CHK, CHK.....BOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!" You hear the kids saying "what happened?!?!" As you run over to your computer to stop the video. And one of your street-smart kids says "Someone just blew him away!!!"  Seriously, people!!! Preview all the way through!!! ;)

7. Alisha from The Bubbly Blonde

The Bubbly Blonde
Where do you live?
I'm a born and raised husker living the dream in Nebraska!

A little about your family.
I am an unmarried 30 year old with all the love in the world!
I am very close with my siblings, parents, cousins, and aunt.
Currently I am sitting in a hotel room with my brother & sister 

on our Husker road trip venture to Michigan. 
The parents were left back in Nebraska with my two dogs, Mollie & Macey.

Favorite thing to teach. 
Reading and writing are my favorite subjects to teach! Also, anything that my creativity can be incorporated into. I have found the more excited I am for a lesson, the more excited my class is!

Why I love blogging. 
I love blogging because of the connections it has allowed me as a teacher with other teachers throughout the world. I have created long, lasting friendships over the two years. 

And, of course it has made my teaching grow drastically!

Tell us about a classroom slip-up.
Classroom slip-ups? I may do silly things daily!
So many that one doesn't come to mind to answer this because they are constantly happening!

 Laugh. Smile. Joke. Move on:)

8.  Hey Y'all I am Reagan Tunstall from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits and I am the caboose on this newbie train.  I am going to answer these questions in my native language of Texan...just in case we've howdied but haven't shook.

Where do you live?
I am from San Antonio, where it's so hot hens are laying hard boiled eggs, the meat is so rare it walks onto your plate, and the droughts end in floods. 

A little about your family.
 Hubs and I have been married 16 years and we have a daughter and son.  There is just no slack in my rope with an 11 and 13 year old in sports these days!  We spend hours whistling up the wind in this car as we taxi from school, sports, and home.

Favorite thing to teach. 
This one varies.  I love to change things up year to year.  My pattern is to develop something new each year until I finally feel like I am cookin on the front burners.  This year it has definitely been math! 

Why I love blogging.  
Blogging gives me more than I can say grace over.  I used to spend hours on my Sunday looking for ideas and inspiration only to turn up thin as a gnat's whisker.  I felt so alone in my 4 classroom walls.  Blogging has torn down those walls and opened up a world of friendships, resources, and opportunities. 

Tell us about a classroom slip-up. 
Boy you could give me a Big Red and use me as a thermometer for this one.  I blog what I know and I know what I do because I tried it and failed a time or two.
It's been so fun hollerin' down the well with you!

There you have it! 
Be sure to check back in each day this week for our Blog Hoppin' Linky Party


  1. What a fun post! I don't know what I'd do without the ideas & advice from fellow teacher-bloggers! Keep on keepin' on, everyone! We're doing something BIG here! :)

    First Grade Follies

  2. I was blog hoppin' newest thing to do. I got a new blog for my birthday this September. A present to myself. I just stumbled upon this site and am trying to soak it all in. How does this work on this site???? Newbies, linkies? I was hoping a hopper could help:)

    Renee at Science School Yard

    1. We would love for you to join in the linky party! Come check back tomorrow!

  3. Soooooooo excited for you guys to join the Hoppers!!! Can't wait to see what's to come from all this amazingness in one place!!!

    Smiles - Lisa
    Growing Firsties

  4. This is awesome! I would love to become a part of it! I will definitely check for the linky tomorrow!


  5. Yall are all way too adorable!!!!!

  6. Congrats to all you wonderful bloggers! So nice to find out a little more about you all! :)
    Science for Kids Blog

  7. Yeah! Congrats ladies :) This looks fabulous!
    from Well, Michelle?

  8. I love that I got to learn a little bit more about some fabulous ladies I already felt like I know so well! Congrats on all being Blog Hoppers! :)
    Teaching With Style

  9. Sounds like fun :) I'm excited to read through everyone's blogs. Congrats everyone :)