Budding Bloggers Showcase: The Bender Bunch

Hi all!  I'm SUPER excited to bring you a budding blogger today! You are going to LOVE Traci!!  Especially if you are a new blogger yourself.  She has this awesome series that she does on Sundays called "Bloomin' Blogger Sundays" where she gives blogging tips for new bloggers.  Where was she this past summer when I needed her!?  :)  Hop on over to her blog to see all of the great things she has to offer.  Leave her a comment to let her know you found her from the Budding Bloggers Showcase and that you're a NEW FOLLOWER {that's right, click that little "follow" button while you're there!}

Name: Traci Bender
Blog: The Bender Bunch
Personal info (state/familypets/interests): I am from North Carolina, but now reside in Nevada. I have been with/married to the most wonderful husband and best friend for 20 years. We have a daughter that just turned 18 and a son that is 15. Oh, and our huge dog, Hershey, who is part Rhodesian Ridgeback. As a family, we enjoy nature. We love to camp, hike, and go off roading. We really enjoy the outdoors. In my own spare time, I enjoy planning and making things for my classroom and home, pinning, and blogging. You can check out my pins {here}. 
Grade You Teach: I am a special education teacher and teach 11 students ranging from grades 1 - 5. Their disabilities are either Autism, Downs, MR, ED, or OHI (other health impairments). 
How long have you taught? This is my fifth year teaching......wow, how time flies when you're having fun!! :)                                                                                                                                                             What is your favorite subject to teach? Writing. Writing is a difficult task for so many students. I enjoy showing & teaching them how easy & fun it can actually be. You can be so creative when teaching writing. I use a method called "Step Up to Writing." It uses a stoplight; green, yellow, red, to guide the students through the writing process. I love it! I also love how you can be so creative with writing projects. You can make little booklets and covers in different themes, shapes, and colors, make paper accordians, flip books, and one the kids really enjoyed is when they wrote their stories on cash register tapes. You can click {here} to go directly to the "Step Up to Writing" website if you'd like to check it out. 
What would we likely see if we popped into your classroom unannounced? There is no telling in my classroom, which is what I love so much about teaching special education. Every day is a new challenge and never the same. But you would like it. My classroom has a very positive atmosphere and the kids are absolutely w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. You would fall in love with them. 
What gets you through one of “those” days? My kiddos and my fabulous aide---Ms. Fulton. My students are so amazing.....that is what truly gets me through each and every day, and my aide is always at my beckon call (bless her).Of course a little caffeine & chocolate always adds a finishing touch!
What is one “can’t live without” teaching resource? My flashdrive. It has my life on it!! It may not seem like a teaching resource for some of you....but mine is loaded with all of my teaching resources, including my TpT stuff. My new thing is purchasing my teacher resources and reproducibles on ebooks now and those are on my flashdrive(s) as well. I really need to back these materials up somewhere else, because if I lost them, I would definitely cry.  
Give us a glimpse of your teaching style by sharing a brief summary of a favorite classroom activity/project. Since, I love to teach writing....and I love poetry, one of my favorites in the classroom is poetry week. Every day we will read, and those that can, will write a different form of poetry. We make up our own funny poems, sing nursery rhymes, and I even parents and other volunteers sign up to be "mystery" readers and pay surprise visits to the class and read poetry. The kids get so excited as they never know who will be popping in to read. I always give the mystery readers popcorn on their way out that says, "Thanks for popping in!" 
What is one of your blogging goals for this year? I have many actually....but since Amanda asks for only "one"...........one of my blogging New Year's Resolution's was to give back more to my fellow bloggers by sharing at least 1-2 things with my bloggy friends every week!                                                       
To fulfill this resolution......I just created "BLOOMIN' BLOGGER SUNDAYS," a featured weekly post every Sunday where I will share 1-2 blog design or blogging tips and how-tos for you every week. Be sure to stop by my blog and check it out!
Thanks for reading everyone....and thanks Amanda for featuring me! I hope you'll all stop by and visit my blog!


  1. I have been following Traci and SO appreciate her Sunday tips as a new blogger!! :) Glad to see her featured!
    ideas by jivey

  2. Thanks for featuring me Amanda!!!


  3. Thanks for this post! As a fairly new blogger myself, I am always looking for tips from the veterans out there.
    More Than Math by Mo


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