We’re so happy to introduce Hadar, the creative force behind TpT store Miss Kindergarten Love. When asked about her favorite activities, Hadar had this to say: “Aside from teaching, I love organizing, crafting, doing DIY projects, baking, watching TV, going to the beach, and bargain shopping.” What fun! Here are some more terrific tidbits about Hadar, including how she began blogging and which resources she considers her favorites.

1. You’ve created quite a popular teacher blog. What got you started with blogging, and how do you keep it going?

Thank you! I guess you could say I started my teaching blog by accident! During my first year of teaching, I wanted to find a way to take my non-stop mind off of teaching. I found a really fun fashion blogger over Thanksgiving break, and decided I wanted to try my hand in fashion blogging. I spent the next day with my sister, taking tons of outfit pictures, and that was that. I realized six months into my blogging journey that I was sharing more about what I was teaching than what I was wearing! So I changed my blog name, changed my focus, and even started my own TpT store.

Four years later, my teaching blog is still going strong! I love sharing pictures of my classroom setup, fun crafts that my students create, and ideas to help other teachers set up centers and small groups as well as organize their classroom. I’m constantly reminding myself to blog for me, as a way to remember what I do year to year and not get too caught up in the traffic or the numbers.

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Some months are more overwhelming than others, and my blog tends to get put on the back burner. However, I’m still able to keep up and interact with my friends and followers through my Facebook page and Instagram account. These avenues allow me to post a quick picture and share a fun activity or idea while still feeling like I have time to breathe. I sure love the blogging community, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it!

2. You mentioned you started your blog before you became a Teacher-Author on TpT. How did you discover TpT, and what do you enjoy most about being part of it?

When I first started my blog, there weren’t very many teacher bloggers around. When we found each other, we all formed a bond and found a way to stick together. So when I started seeing other teachers in the blog world finding and posting resources on TpT, I knew I had to check it out. I posted my first free resource and a few $1.00 items. I wasn’t yet brave enough to upgrade to a Premium Seller account and was just thrilled with every single cent I was making. Approximately six months and several positive feedback comments later, I realized TpT could really be something for me! I upgraded my account, uploaded some more “meaty” products, and haven’t looked back since! If I could do it over, I would have signed up as a Premium Seller right from the get-go. One of my favorite mantras is “Believe you will succeed, and you will!”

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What I didn’t know I would make on TpT was lifelong friends. I’m so lucky to have met such amazing, talented teachers that share my same passions. Two of my best friends that I met through blogging and TpT, Kristin and Michelle, are even going to be bridesmaids in my wedding! If you told me that three years ago, I would not have believed you!

3. Where do you find ideas for new resources, and what programs do you use to create them?

As I mentioned earlier, my mind never turns off! I’m constantly thinking about innovative and engaging activities for my kinder kiddos. I glean tons of ideas from my students themselves. Whether it’s a concept that I notice they’re struggling with, or a math manipulative that they’re constantly drawn to during center time, I use their interests to help me create. One of the greatest feelings in the world is seeing the huge smiles on my students’ faces when they feel successful completing a task that once seemed impossible and knowing that I helped make it possible for them.

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I’m very much a paper and pencil type of thinker so I always start out creating my resources by hand. I write out my ideas and draw up some templates. That’s the longest part of the creation process for me. Once I have an idea of what I want my product to look like, I put it together in Microsoft PowerPoint.

My favorite thing about PowerPoint is that everything is so easy to manipulate. I can move the text boxes and clip art around easily until it looks exactly how I want. I’m constantly learning new tricks in PowerPoint, and I almost don’t even have to think anymore when using it! Maybe one day I’ll venture into an actual design program.

4. What are some of your favorite resources that you’ve created?

Sight Word Writing Practice BUNDLE PackOne of my very first, and all-time favorite resources, is my Sight Word Writing Practice. I created these fun printable activities for my students to practice the tough sight words we were learning and to help reinforce the words in their reading and writing. I’ve adapted it over the years to meet my students’ needs as well as the needs of many other students around the world! I love that I’m able to use this resource over and over again. One of my favorite things about TpT is the ability to update resources and offer the updates for free to the people who’ve already bought them. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving.

All Done! Now What? {activities for fast finishers} BUNDLE Pack!Another one of my favorite creations is my All Done! Now What {activities for fast finishers}. During my first year of teaching, I really struggled with the students who were “done” before I even finished handing out the assignment! I spent the year creating fun and meaningful activities that they could work on when they were through with their task. This resource has also evolved over the years and now includes over 21 activities!

Fluency Families {freebie}My most recent favorite resource is my Fluency Families Freebie. This was one of those heartwarming activities that brought a smile to everyone’s face as we worked on it during reading groups. Even my little learners who came to me knowing zero letters and sounds were able to read the word family words. The look on their faces when they realize they’re able to read is absolutely priceless!

5. Besides being a TpT Teacher-Author, you’re also a teacher, a blogger, a TpT conference presenter, and you’re planning a wedding! How do you balance it all?

I’m often asked how I “do it all” and my response is always that “I do what I love.” I’m so lucky this year to be able to teach part-time with an amazing kindergarten teacher. This allows me the opportunity to do ALL that I love. I would also much rather play with clip art on my computer for hours on the couch than watch TV or read a book. I have the greatest friends who understand and support me.

I don’t go a day without talking to one of my greatest blogging buddies, Tara, who writes the blog Little Minds at Work. She helps me wrap my head around my ideas, looks over my rough drafts for me, and always makes me laugh. It helps to have friends who understand and are going through the same struggles as you!

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My biggest supporter and honestly the reason behind my successes is my fiancé, Tom. He always listens to my ideas and stories, even when they aren’t all that interesting. He recognizes all of my friends by their blog names and sits by me on the couch — me on the laptop, him on the iPad. He encourages me to keep going when all I want to do is give up! I definitely could not do it all without him and am so excited for the day that I get to be his wife!

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Thanks for spending some time with us, Hadar! Did you know Hadar is a presenter at this year’s Teachers Pay Teachers conference, Come Together, Go Further. She’s presenting Instagram Your Brand One Picture at a Time with Michelle Griffo! Be sure to follow both Miss Kindergarten and @Teachers Pay Teachers on Instagram to see what the future holds!