Blog bonanza - a special celebration!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Welcome to the #TransformEdFreeGiveaway!  

This is a special contest and blog post, as it celebrates my blog exceeding over 2 million views!  I have been planning a blog bonanza since our big milestone in February, however, had more to coordinate than I realized!

It began as an effort to highlight the work of my favourite bloggers, while also giving away some freebies that I knew educators would love. Contacting all of these amazing individuals and organizing their information became a little tricky (especially with my baby's sleeping schedule and my course load), so I decided to write it from my own perspective instead.  Hopefully they don't mind!

I will therefore, be featuring my favourite blogs and of course explaining how to win the giveaway!

What is included in this summer giveaway?

  • Bouquet of flowers for your classroom donated by Lolo Floral
  • Gift certificate for a professional learning workshop donated by ECCDC ($50.00 value)

How can you win?

  1. Follow me on instagram and like the contest giveaway picture @joannebabalis
  2. Leave a comment here (below) sharing with our online community the blogs that you recommend and why you appreciate their content.    

Winners will be notified within the blog comment section on Monday, July 18th, 2016.  Since there are 6 prizes, there will be 6 lucky contestants!  Everyone who leaves a comment of their blog suggestions will be entered into this random draw and mailed their item(s).  

Don't forget to spread the word about this giveaway to any educators or parents!

Good luck!

What blogs do I feel inspired by?

There are so many bloggers that I love and admire!  I decided that the best way for me to introduce you to them, is by genre. In case I miss someone, please add their amazing link to the comment section below.  I am sure that there are many blogs out there that I haven't even had the chance to read.  My hope is that this post can be a space for us to refer back to together, as a resource!

In each section I have intentionally chosen only one blogger to place the spotlight on their commitment to the blogsphere. These blogs are updated on a weekly/monthly basis and each of these 10 incredible people are committed to posting rich content for their audiences.  Some blogs have been around for years, while others are newer to this online platform.  Regardless, it inspires me to see their dedication, especially since most of them have full-time careers and young families.  For those of who are writing blogs, you can very well testify that they are almost like a job in themselves!  To me, however, it will always be an enjoyable hobby!!! 

So here goes...

Please note that there is no specific order and that many of these bloggers can be represented in multiple genres.  For the purposes of this post, I have selected one area that they specialize in!

Early Learning Blog
  • Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research - I appreciate this blog, as it engages my passion for the early years.  Diane has a way of sharing important topics that many of us in the field are wondering about!  She grounds her posts in current research, and communicates her thinking in a way that is clearly understood by the readers.  If you are an early childhood educator you will discover a lot of information here.
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"To think critically is to examine reality beyond the surface - to see and think more deeply.  When you think critically, you ponder questions of who, what, where, when, how, and, most importantly, why.  Everyone has the ability to use the power of their mind to integrate thinking and practice... It is your professional responsibility to think deeply and be a disrupter of the status quo!"

Photography Blog
  • Anna with love - Each photo truly tells a story and I love how real Anna is with her writing!  She will captivate you and take you to dreamy destinations on a weekly basis!  Not to mention that every image is filled with creativity and flair! This blog always brightens up my day and sends positive vibes my way!  I hope that her genuine personality and design details make you smile too.
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"The world is filled with beautiful, kind people if you're looking for them! Smile at a stranger, wish someone a good day or simply hold the door open for someone else... I want to focus more on sprinkling on the kindness in the little moments each day and incorporating it into the blog.  Bringing light to all the wonderful people in this world and focusing on them! Kindness is contagious...pass it on!"

Education Blog
  • Living Avivaloca: My many musings on life and learning - I love this blog's energy and consistent content.  Sometimes it boggles my mind how Aviva finds the time to share her sincere journey with others.  If you are an educator you will find plenty of food for thought here!  I also appreciate that each post has links for further readings and research.
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"For documentation today, we decided to spend more time watching individual and/or small groups of students. We are working on interrupting less and watching/listening more.  This is an area that we continue to focus on, but by really spending time with different groups today, we noticed interests from before re-emerging, and students building on prior learning to create new learning."

Art and Creativity Blog
  • Handmade Charlotte - If you enjoy diy projects, crafts and recipes, then you are in for a real treat with this creative blog! I don't know where Rachel finds the time with five children, but she certainly makes it look effortless!  Once you visit her blog, I am sure that you will feel motivated to make something fun with your family!
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"Can you imagine letting your kids decorate their own room? And the whole house? ... [They will] find creative and original solutions and [they will] turn [a] home into a unique space."

Leadership Blog
  • The Higher Education Revolution - Debbie Donsky - Whenever I am in need of some updates around educational issues, I know where to go!  The quality of writing and thinking within this blog always leaves me reflecting about learning, leadership, innovation, and creativity.  As a fellow academic, her journey inspires me not to give up on my own, and I love how she has incorporated her own visual representations within many of the posts!  
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"Innovation happens when people take risks with their creativity, problem solving, and actions.  If innovation is encouraged in schools, then the leader's job is to create the conditions where it can happen... It is wonderful to have opportunities for inspiration with colleagues but in the end, an idea is nothing but ether if it is not tied to action within your organization."

Lifestyle Blog
  • Bonjour Bliss - When I find myself in search of ideas for any/every area of my life, I visit Roxanne's blog!  She writes about her home decor projects, recipes, fashion, beauty tips, travel, events around Toronto, and experiences with her two adorable children.  I love her visual layout, relatable content, and how each of her posts has you craving for more! 
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"On the family front we are all doing well, the kids are growing like weeds and to be honest it's fulfilling yet heart wrenching..."

Fashion Blog
  • Bijuleni - If you love fashion and colour, then you have come to the right place!  I love this bloggers fun style and well planned posts.  From her cute accessories to the stylish backdrops, she will have you curious for more!  Eleni is super sweet and makes her audience feel as though they know her. Overall I love her fresh perspective and honest advice!
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"The only person that will give you exactly what you want is yourself.  You know what you want, you know what you need, you know what will make you happy and what will not. Romantic love will embellish your life, but you do not need romantic love to bloom.  Let's learn to love what is within first.  Be kind to your inner core, understanding to your needs, give your wants a little joy, be forgiving to the mistakes you have made, be loving towards the image you see in the mirror."

Food Blog
  • Dine and Fash - This foodie's blog makes the simple act of eating always look like a gourmet experience.  My mouth literally waters every time that I read her posts!  I love how thoughtfully Krystle captures each moment that she highlights from her dining experiences, outfits, or travels.  If you are ever looking for a new restaurant to visit in the TDot, she has written several reviews with photographs of both her meal and the ambiance.
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"We are constantly being bombarded with information and there is so much to filter through from various channels, so the few minutes it can take to read (or scroll through) a blog post alone can be a lot.  Admittedly, I never really paid attention to anyone's blog until I started my own.  Now, I find myself actively seeking blogs out, since I can really appreciate all of the hard work that goes on in the background to put together even a short post."

Technology Blog
  • The Spicy Learning Blog - This is more than a techie blog, even though I must admit that it's why I first started following it!  Royan provides an interesting perspective of our changing times from the point of view of an educator and father.  I am currently loving his #MyWorkflow series where various educators who are active creators on social media are featured to share how they do their work.  I recommend that you join in on the conversation!
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"Should our schools and systems leverage their own students as actual teachers of the adults? If education in this age demands a learner's stance from all stakeholders, then when will we actually formally (not just through poetic observation) learn from the students? Are they not capable? Are there not certain things they are inherently better at teaching us than our middle aged peers and colleagues?"

Parenting Blog
  • The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood - The writer of this blog, Jacquie is an artsy mama to three precious girls! I absolutely love how she posts about her family, art/design ideas, recipes and photography so seamlessly together.  It is obvious when you visit her online space, that blogging has become her creative outlet.  I feel so grateful that she is willing to share her projects online!
- Posts I adore - 

- A quote that remained with me -
"I posted a photo on instagram of the empty bookshelf, hoping my friends and family would want to give me a few books to fill it up.  The response I got from that photo was astounding. Everyone wanted to donate books!  Thus was born Gracie's Gift of Words in honour of my kids, but mostly as a way for me to personally say thank you to the hospital, the doctor's and the nurses who have given us incredible care."

* * * * *

Collectively all of these bloggers have inspired me in some way and I have certainly learned a lot from them.  I continue to admire their commitment to blogging and enjoy reading about their passion.  

Sending a whole lot of blog LOVE their way today, and always!!!

What blogs are currently inspiring you?  

Are you reading a variety across genres, or focusing solely upon education?  

Before ending this post, I would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU for your ongoing support and readership to my blog!  As many of you know, I started off writing about my early learning and kindergarten journey.  Now I would like to think the blog is a space for passion for the early years, creativity, and a piece of documentation from my own life.

Without you, we would have never made this incredible milestone!  THANKS 2 million + times over!!!  I promise to continue to blog as much as possible!

Enjoy the contest and of course your very well-deserved summer vacation!

A flower does not think of competing with

the other flower next to it.

It just blooms.

                                                                                                 -Unknown author


  1. I love because it's done with her students at the end of the day and it shows inquiry and exploration learning perfectly. Plus, the author is such a nice, sweet, bubbly, friendly person!

  2. Fun!

    Firstly, your blog is an essential!

    I am also a fan of three of your aforementioned blogs! Looking forward to checking out the others that you mentioned.

    To add on, I would list these notable blogs:
    Darla Myers' blog always inspires me with her cross curricular project based approach. Be sure to check it out at:
    Inquiring Minds: Mrs. Myers' Kindergarten

    I am also inspired by the blog: Passionately Curious Educators-Connecting Lifelong Learners.
    Their Reggio Inspired focus and great math facilitation advice has helped me along in my own process.

    Trista Dutt's Kindie Corner is also a great read!

    I could go on....but I'll leave it at that.☺

  3. I agree that your blog is essential and has really made an impact on my practice. We are in our first year (starting second in September) of FDK playbased curriculum in Newport Oregon and I found your comprehensive and detailed blogs were a life saver as we began our journey. I also follow Trista Dutt for the same reasons. Diane Cashin always has compelling and interesting articles to read as well. You ladies are paving the way internationally and I cannot thank you enough for your wisdom and commitment to children and inquiry based instruction.

  4. Christine ParkerJuly 10, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    One of my essential reads is Elevating Child Care by Janet Lansbury because she is so reflective and respectful in her practice.
    Another favourite is Teacher Tom, because he is such a strong advocate for children, and helps me reflect on my own practice.

  5. Thanks so much for this generous contest! I follow you on Instagram I'm @kellora

    A blog that I enjoy (other than your of course) is

    Lots of Reggio inspired ideas. She says that her blog reveals a journey where students and teachers "build up our minds, muscles and imaginations together through inquiry, exploration, investigation, problem solving and teamwork!" Her classroom is truly child centred. The projects/activities/provocations are thoughtful and really encourage inquiry, critical and high level thinking. Her posts inspire me as a first time FDK teacher to push past my comfort zone and embrace the inquiry process.

  6. This summer has been a summer of reflection and planning as I desire to move more to a student-led, inquiry based, play based environment in my kindergarten classroom. I truly enjoy reading your blog and have gained so much information from it. Other blogs that I love are Fairy Dust Teaching, The Imagination Tree, and, as someone mentioned above, Inquiring Minds. Thank you so much for this opportunity and for sharing your favorites. I will definitely be checking them out.

  7. Joanne...your blog has been such an inspiration to myself and my colleagues as we journey through FDK! It was the first blog I ever read when I was assigned my FDK class two years ago. After being in Special education for 14 years I was ready for change and looked to your blog for guidance. Since then I've followed Evolving Educator, Darla Myers, and Kindie korner to name a few.
    Thank you for continuing to inspire me...I'm already looking forward to September! ☺️

  8. I discovered Janet Lansbury's blog after my second son was born and my oldest was having a lot of difficulty with this new transition in his life. I love her thoughts and reflections - always centers me! She also has a podcast as well as two books which I constantly refer to!

  9. First of all, thank you so much for the kind words that you shared here along with the link to my professional blog. Blogging is an important piece of reflecting for me, and I look forward to sitting down at the computer to blog. I've been a long-time reader of your blog, and I love what you share. Thank you for sharing all that you do!

    The educational blogs that you shared here are all ones that I love reading. I tend to read primarily educational blogs. Here are some of my other favourites.

    1) Doug Peterson's Blog - - I love Doug's diverse content and how he connects Ontario educators (especially through his Friday posts). I would check out all of the blogs on his Ontario Edubloggers list.

    2) Dean Shareski's Blog - - I appreciate Dean's sense of humour, but also how he makes me think. He often inspires me to comment.

    3) Anamaria Ralph's Blog - - Her posts always tell a story and her documentation of life and learning in her Kindergarten classroom is incredible.

    4) Jocelyn Schmidt's Blog - - She doesn't blog often, but I love how she shares her inquiry journeys/learning in her posts. I enjoy reading all of the posts!

    5) Tracy and Cheryl's Blog - - I love how these two educators question a lot, and make me question even more as a result. The ideas they share in their posts are great.

    6) Sue Dunlop's Blog - - Sue is a superintendent in our Board, and I love how a superintendent shares so openly and honestly in her posts. She also inspires me to comment a lot, and often write my own posts. Sue's post on sleeping even got me to go to bed earlier, which is its own little miracle. :)

    7) Kristi Keery-Bishop's Blog - - I've known Kristi for many years in different roles -- from a teacher to a principal -- and have had the pleasure of working with her in these roles as well. She asks hard questions, in the very best of ways, and has helped me out in countless ways over the years with all of her amazing ideas. Just like Sue, her blog posts often inspire me to comment and sometimes to blog too. A couple of times we've actually written similar posts on the same nights with no pre-planning either (strange, but true). I also think that Kristi has some of the best blog post titles around (I particularly love the one about the pink elephant riding a bicycle).

    Thanks for starting this conversation, Joanne!

  10. I love Passionattely Curious Edicators Tracey and Cheryl share very practical advice for Fdk... Topics cover different areas that are important for planning and programming.

  11. I am totally in love with It's A Kindergarten World. It is a Reggio inspired, inquiry based classroom where two teachers have combined their Kindergarten and Grade 1 classrooms into one giant beautifully inspiring space. I especially love seeing the Grade 1 aspect of their program because inquiry based Grade 1 is not very common in all schools. See the link below!

  12. You're blog is one of the first I started following and I can't tell you how inspiring it has been. I know follow lots of blogs including: Mrs. Myer's Kindergarten, Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research, Pationately Curious Educators, The Imagination Tree, An Everyday Story, Interaction Imagination, Deep Space Sparkle, The Artful Parent, Meri Cherry, Teacher Tom, Moments a Day, Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies....

    It is amazing how these blogs and other social media (Instagram, Twitter, etc) have really inspired and influenced my teaching!

  13. A few of my favourite blogs are:
    - Thinking and Learning in Room 122. She shares her classroom inquiries from start to finish lending many great ideas!
    - Inquiring Minds, Darla Myers. Darla is so inspiring. She has so many fantastic ideas that reflect the interest of her students and creative ways of embedding literacy and numeracy.
    - Passionately Curious Educators. I like how this team uses their blog to educate educators in a user friendly way. For example sharing how they document and assess in their classroom. I take away something new every time I visit!

  14. Honestly I discovered you on Instagram and have already saved many of your beautiful posts to use in my ELKP classroom in September :). Of course that lead to your blog which I am going to take time over the summer to fully discover, it's fantastic!! Another blog I love is It is meant for moms who love to photograph their children. I have learned so much about photography from is and am always inspired by Drews amazing work :)

  15. I have to admit - I am more of a Twitter follower than a blog follower. But that has more to do with time - when I find an educator (or team) that I resonate with, I then like to check out their blogs to get more detailed and depth learning (because let's be honest - I consider myself a learner more than my students some time)! I am constantly trying to improve my own teaching practice, and here are a couple of my faves:

    1) passionatelycuriousinkindergarten - Tracy Pickard and Cheryl Emrich are an amazing FDK team out of Kitchener whom I have actually had the pleasure of meeting at a documentation and assessment workshop (that I drove 5 hours to attend - it was that worth it!). I love their honesty in admitting what has worked and what hasn't worked for them, as well as the time they take to document and learn about each one of their students. The collaboration they demonstrate as they co-plan and co-teach is enviable, and I hope to one day have that level of collaboration and teamwork with my own FDK teams!

    2) - Deanna McLennan is a (new to me) FDK educator who not only inspires her students to think critically, but also teachers! By following her blog this year, I learned about her problem solving questioning she did with her class, and it inspired me to thing about my own teaching style more in depth, especially my math teaching. She has since gone on to create a Facebook group for teachers and educators about math in inquiry based play, as well as lead a book study for educators around Jo Boaler's book "Mathematical Mindsets".

    3) - this is my go-to blog on all things makeup and hair! I am the first to admit that I need all of the help I can get when it comes to doing my own hair and makeup. I follow the KISS method in everything I do - Keep It Simple Silly! I love the tutorials Kate does with regards to her hair and makeup, and have been able to replicate a lot of them myself. She has a sense of style very similar to my own, so I can really relate to her posts. She also challenges me to think outside of the box a bit - I tend to stick to more neutral colour pallettes, but am willing to try bolder colours if she has demonstrated a look using them.

    Overall, the blogs I follow challenge me to think outside of my comfort zone, be it either education related or for my own personal interests. Thank you Joanne for inspiring me to do the same - your blog was one of the first I began reading, and I love that as your own life has changed, your blog has reflected that as well! Congratulations on 2 million views!

  16. Anamaria Ralph's Blog - - This year I'd like to reflect and deepen my understanding of Early Numeracy. Anamaria's blog has insightful posts on numeracy within an inquiry and play-based learning environment!


    1. Also wanted to add teacher Tom and Janet Lansbury also

  18. Joanne, your blog is one of my go to's! I also really enjoy following Mrs. Albanese's blog: The inquiries she gets into with her students are so well thought out and documented.

  19. I agree with many of the comments that I really enjoy reading and following your blog. But another blogger I love to follow is called it is a team of educators Caroline Thornton and Shirley Silva. They "are a team of two educators whose mission is to provide a quality, enriched, and welcoming learning environment for the children and families in their classroom community." They believe that, " a team approach is key to the overall success of their program. Each educator brings very different skills, experiences and ideas to the classroom; although different, complementary to each other and the program overall."

    All in all I have been following them for a few months and they have helped me with making students work visible and the importance of it, documentation, inquiry and play based learning and the most important that they helped me through the importance of math through the early years. They have suggested rally good resources that I just purchased and started reading this week entitled "Learning and Teaching Early Math – the Learning Trajectories Approach by Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama."

    So thank you Joanne for your great blog because I'm learning through your journey and also to Shirley and Caroline. You all inspire me to keep learning and searching to do better. I appreciate all your hard work.

    I hope this helps and if anyone is not following any of these lovely ladies you should start!!!

  20. Other than your blog Joanne, I also love "Miss Reggio".
    Like me- she finds that the approach is all about "being with children" a quote that really hit home with me that she posted not long ago was:
    "Being present and staying connected with the children". Just that one line.... I have supplied enough before spending most of this past year in one classroom, to notice the difference in children when they have educators who are there souly for them and wanting to see them be successful the way they can be - individually- it really is them teaching us in many ways... I learn so much from these young minds- it is a sharing process and is always evolving. <3

  21. I've been teaching FDK since its inception in 2010 and have enjoyed reading your blog as well as others over the years. I tend to follow blogs that support the Ontario FDK program. I've had the pleasure of attending a workshop presented by Tracy Pickard and Cheryl Emrich focussing on emergent and inquiry play based learning. Tracy and Cheryl are an amazing team of educators and their blog provides classroom examples of how they use Reggio and project based learning to inspire and teach early learners.

  22. As a growing international school, I am always finding inspiration from teachers throughout the world. Blogs that offer some of the most inspiration for our school include Teacher Tom, Janet Lansbury, An Everyday Story, Let the Children Play, A Toddler in the Trees and Susan Stacey.

  23. One of my favorite blogs is which gives great inspirational art ides for children, also the Artful parent.

  24. Hi Joanne,

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I've been following your blog for some time now and really appreciate all the time, dedication and effort that goes into your blog.

    Since I noticed we already follow a lot of the same blogs professionally, I'd like to share a few that aren't teaching focused but compliment what we do and also give me balance outside of work.

    1. Because everyone loves good food, is one of my favourite food blogs. Angie Liddon is from Burlington, Ontario and her specialty is vegan recipes. We love making things from scratch at our house and her granola bars, smoothies and soups are favourites with my preschooler.

    2. - Lisa Canning is a Toronto-based interior design consultant and mother of (soon to be) 6. Her blog is chalk full of design ideas, the design process and I especially love when she shares personal advice. Lisa talks a lot about maintaining balance as a mother and professional by establishing priorities and also making time to do what you love. I find her incredibly inspirational!

    Finally, is another blog I'd like to share (as others already have). She is a parenting educator who I really look up to. While her focus is on infants and toddlers, I find her advice also applies to older children. I have used her approaches at home and also in the classroom. She's amazing!

    Hope you enjoy reading through my suggestions as well as everyone else's. Thanks again for everything that you do!

    Jasmine Pereira

  25. Thanks for this great contest. I love learning and helping my kindergarten class grow using ideas from your blog. Keep up the great work

  26. Hi Joanne,

    First off, Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to your work.

    I dabble in many different blogs, use different ideas from many different bloggers and websites. Some of them include,

    Anamaria Ralph's Blog -
    Yukari -

    Whats up Mom -

    Trista Dutt -

    And many more!

    I am always inspired with the D.I.Y.s I see on Pinterest and on tv (city line, the view, etc). Now that it's summer, there's more time for this kind of stuff!

    Good Luck to everyone and I hope I win!


  27. Your blog was the first blog I had ever visited many years ago when I started researching the classroom environment and reggio inspired learning. Your blog re-inspired me and helped me reflect on some valuable changes to our program. As a result of visiting your blog it also opened me up to many other amazing resources, websites and blogs. Some of these have already been mentioned but I have found the following blogs to be really inspiring - Inquiring Minds - Darla Myers and Crayons, Wands and Building Blocks. Another I just recently visited is Passionately Curious in Kindergarten. I look forward to exploring this blog.
    Thank you to everyone for sharing their favourite blogs!

  28. Hi Joanne!

    Thanks for the great contest :) Apart from your blog, (which I visit ALL the time), I love education blogs that give an honest and reflective look into their classrooms. Education blogs, particularly with an early years focus, really help me feel a part of a community, when sometimes teaching FDK feels like a world of it's own :) Some that I frequent often because of their creative and open-ended approaches are:

    Inquiring Minds: Mrs. Myers Kindergarten

    Kindie Korner: Trista Dutt

    Passionately Curious Educators: Connecting Lifelong Learners

    And then when I want to take some time to focus on things other than the classroom (usually makeup, sports and food lol), I go to:

    Glowwgirl - She's a newer beauty/lifestyle blogger that's budget/health conscious, with a Canadian focus (Yay!)

    Bluebird Banter - The Toronto Blue Jays, need I say more :)? Quality content, with a hilarious take on the sport.

    Oh She Glows! Angela posts healthy and delicious vegan recipes, that are easy to make (and eat).

    Thanks for the opportunity! Now I'm going to go scroll through the comments, and see what other blogs I can add to my reading list :)

  29. Education wise I love your blog and love their information.

    Creative wise as a scrapbooker I love for her simple memory keeping awesomeness. Big Picture Classes where I teach scrapbooking

    As a whole I love she has amazing lifestyle posts, an amazing planner and podcast that I just love.

  30. Hi Joanne. I just love your blog and Instagram posts - always so inspiring! Here are a few other blogs that I enjoy reading:
    My favourite post from this blogger is about self-regulation in Kindergaren. Amazing ideas that I have incorporated in my classroom!
    Excellent blog for beautiful art inspirations! I also love how she incorporates literacy in so many areas and how the outdoor environment is an extension of the classroom.
    My favourite post from this blogger is about MSI (math and science investigations). Check this out if you haven't already done so! I also love how technology incorporated in the children's learning whenever possible.
    This Kinder teacher inspires me with her documentation and curriculum links to the investigations and inquiries going on in her classroom.

  31. Thanks for this opportunity to share such wonderful resources.
    This mom and teacher covers parenting, entertainment and education. Authentic content that is practical, funny and easy to put into practice


    Love her posts about documentation, and her attention to providing an environment that is authentic.

  32. I have so many blogs I love! These are some of my top choices: Allie Pasquier has been one of my favs for about 5 years - I discovered her on vimeo. :)
    This one gives me a lot to think about!

    I have been following Jean (artfulparent) and Rachelle (tinkerlab)since my daughter was a baby... so many useful ideas and ways to engage her in learning fun!!

    And, I would be remiss if I didn't list Teacher Tom...

    Just a few of my heart's closest favs! I love many of those you've listed, too, and now I will add some new ones to my roster! Thanks for this contest!!


  33. As a recent graduate of my B.Ed, I was inspired by many blogs... so many, in fact, that I decided to make my own!

    They include:

    Kindie Korner: Trista Dutt

    Passionately Curious Educators: Connecting Lifelong Learners

    Jocelyn Schmidt's Blog -

    You can find my very new blog at - I am very excited about it and have you to thank for inspiring me to start this online blogging journey! With a B.A in English Literature this is truly the perfect avenue for me to continue my love for writing and showcasing my journey as a new teacher!

    With thanks,


  34. Hi:) since I loved feeling refreshed and excited about teaching ( and sometimes it is much needed after a long and hard day) I enjoy
    Thanks everyone for the wonderful suggestions!

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. I'm very inspired by the blog Interaction Imagination ( Suzanne has a genuine respect for children & her blog posts & ideas are fabulous. Her passion for early childhood jumps right off the page. I also enjoy Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research ( Diane has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers. And of course, Transform Ed ( I love all of the beautiful photos. They draw me in.

  37. The one blog I continuously read both as an educator and a mom-to-be is which is a Reggio-inspired Home School blog from Australia. Kate not only gives us a glimpse into her life as a Mom and home-school educator but also provides us with great materials that her children love and also gives insight into her life as a parent of a child with Autism. She is very honest and tells it like it is.
    Julie May (unsure how to change the account name from my maiden name!)

  38. Our Kindergarten Journey & Our Kindergarten Family continue to inspire me by giving me new ideas for provocations & documentation. These bloggers are inquiry based and child centered. My favorite happens to be TransformEd. I continue to return for the beautiful colors, photography, & basis for establishing Reggio based principles and provocations.

  39. Our Kindergarten Journey & Our Kindergarten Family continue to inspire me by giving me new ideas for provocations & documentation. These bloggers are inquiry based and child centered. My favorite happens to be TransformEd. I continue to return for the beautiful colors, photography, & basis for establishing Reggio based principles and provocations.

    1. Oh, I forgot Inquiring Minds - Mrs. Myers Kindergarten too!

  40. Hi Joanne! So excited to participate in your contest! Your blog is my favourite and I also enjoy mrs.myerskindergarten.blogspot. She has so many awesome ideas and is very passionate about inquiry, exploration, investigation, problem solving and team work. Both of you have helped me to grow in my own journey as a teacher of inquiry learning. Parents and students have been appreciative and excited with this new way of learning. Thanks for all your insight and passion for kindergarten!

    Jody Bevaart

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Hi Joanne,

    When I started in FDK two years ago, I didn't know where to begin. Your blog, along with the following blogs helped me gain my footing in my new role.
    I am so grateful to these amazing blogs for helping me understand and implement a better learning environment for my students. Prior to kindie, I taught art (planning time) and Deep Space Sparkle ( gave me some amazing ideas.

  43. One of my favourite blogs is https://inquiryspacesandwonderingplaces.blogspot
    Michelle VanHeugten is an incredibly reflective and creative FDK teacher. I had the privilege of visiting her classroom this year and was really inspired. Her blog makes clear the emphasis on co-constructing learning,on beautiful spaces, on documentation and on creativity.
    Ingrid Smith

  44. This past year was my first year back in Kindergarten and I feel very inspired by the inquiry play-based approach. I immediately started seeking help online and this site provided incredible information and inspiration (along with your workshops). Another that I found to be very useful was:

    I'm so grateful that there are educators who take the time to share their ideas and experiences online. Thanks!

  45. Congrats on all your hard work Joanne! I'm a big fan of your blogs and Instagram page πŸ˜€One of my favourite blogs to follow is from a fellow teacher and DECE that I worked with the past year.
    It's They are an amazing team full of wonderful ideas and the learning really comes alive for all students. Awesome ideas related to the FDK curriculum and inquiry based learning. πŸ˜€πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

  46. Joanne! Thank you SO much for including me on this list - YOU continue to inspire ME everyday!!

  47. Thank you for your generous contest. I haven't started using Instagram, but I really enjoy your blog and appreciate all the hard work you put into it.

    Some other blogs or websites that inspire me:

    All the Wonders -- - So much information here about children's books, authors and illustrators

    Brain, Child magazine - Intelligent, thoughtful writing about parenting issues - Inspiring stories of people who overcome life challenges

    This Kindergarten Life - Stories of the happenings in a kindergarten classroom, with questions, thoughts and inspiration

    Teacher Tom - - because it makes me question and think

    There are so many inspiring things to read, it is hard to keep up sometimes!

  48. Wow, what a contest! Congratulations on your journey and for inspiring so many readers of your blog. Just imagine all the little ones that continue to benefit from the many teachers you are reaching! I continue to come back to your blog over and over again for confirmation on my own beliefs and how it all fits into the public school setting and the community that I serve!

    I also so enjoy:

    Inquiring Minds: Mrs. Myers Kindergarten

    Trishylishy over at

    Thanks again for your hard work and inspiring, honest reflections!

  49. Congratulations on 2 million views!
    What an accomplishment!!
    Another blog which I particularly like to follow is the curious kindergarten!
    Her posts are always so inspiring and her provocations and inquiries are so thoughtfully put out for the children to explore with a variety of learning materials!
    Her posts offer so much inspiration for my teaching partner and I throughout the school year. I love that she uses some personal experiences in her blog posts.
    As a DECE I love reading up on your blog posts as well as others that always provide for continus learning.


  50. I just started following your blog because I am returning to fdk this year. You have inspired me to start my own website to document my journey and share what I am doing.
    I hope we will have a chance to share resources and ideas

  51. Congrats on this huge milestone Joanne!
    You continue to be such a great resource and network for so many educators, including myself.
    Blogs I love (aside from yours of course):
    Just as you said, every post puts you in a good mood because of her clean and vibrant photos.
    Fashion-Life Style blogger from the GTA. Her posts are both beautiful with the photos and her writing style is relatable.
    As for educaton blogs, Mrs. Myers, tYrista Dutti, and Passionaly Curious in Kindergarten.
    Thank you for continuously being inspiring!

  52. Hi Joanne,
    Congratulations on your continued success with your blog. It was instrumental in helping me when the FDK program was rolled out and continues to inspire me today. Here are a few others I have followed and enjoyed:,,,,,,, artful,,,,, So many great blogs on everyone's list. I am excited to check out a few new ones that were unfamiliar to me.

  53. I love because she has many great ideas of integrating projects and inquiry based learning into her kindergarten classroom. I teach kindergarten in the US, so I love seeing things she does in her public school!

  54. First of all, I'm really thankful to you, as you and your blog introduced me to the world of Reggio and documentation! It's been 5 years now that I have been revisiting your blogposts and I'm always finding something new to every time I read them.

    The other blogger that I admire and inspired by is Deanna Pecaski. Her blogposts around math and art always encourage me to do things differently. She has also inspired me to the world of emergent curriculum.

    My list won't be completed without mentioning Tracy Pickard's blog. Her posts around teamwork, documentations and flow of the day are one of the finest posts out there when it comes to early years.

    All three of you are great speakers and presenters too! Thank you ladies for inspiring us!

  55. I just started following your blog and I am excited about having such a great resource. Congratulations on your milestone.
    Another blog I love is

  56. I just started following your blog and I am excited about having such a great resource. Congratulations on your milestone.
    Another blog I love is

  57. Suzanne MocherniakJuly 13, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Hi Joanne,
    Thank you for the time and effort you put into sharing your knowledge and learning with others! It is truly inspiring! I follow many of the blogs listed above (especially Passionately Curious Kindergarten), but I also follow:

    George Couros - He is an educator and leadership consultant who has written a book entitled "The Innovator's Mindset". He encourages us to be leaders and innovators, even in the smallest of ways in our schools. He also challenges us to constantly reflect on how we lead in education and that we need to embrace technology both personally and professionally. He can be found at:

    Another one is:
    Natural Curiosity in FDK - Tracy Sali is an educator who is inspired by inquiry-based learning. A busy mom who takes the time to share her learning and wondering with us! She can be found at:

    Suzanne Mocherniak

  58. HI. I am so happy i found your blog. I had a chance to check out your favorite blogs and i fell in love with a few of them. One blog i like is I love her for her printables. She makes my life so much easier when it comes to organization!

    xoxo, Angie

  59. Hi! I love learning with you through your blog. Blogging is a great way to reflect on what we do. There are many blogs that I enjoy reading, here are a couple of them:
    Playful Learning in the Early Years
    Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research
    Passionately Curious Educators: Connecting Lifelong Learners

  60. Hi Joanne,

    I've been following your blog for a few months now and it has definitely inspired me to continue inquiring and engaging in reflective practice. I am in the process of writing my Masters thesis and also just gave birth to my first child. Reading your blog and following you on Instagram have buoyed me through difficult days. Other blogs I am inspired by are and Both present the process visually through photos and I find it extremely helpful.


  61. One of the teachers who most inspires me has not launched her blog yet. She teaches Pre K / Jk and her school has just started using the Reggio Emilia approach. Like me she was initially intimidated by the approach and all the change it would bring. However, after using it in her classroom to a certain extent she has seen all the positive aspects it adds and her excitement has been contagious. Her blog should be launching in the next few months and when it does I will share the link.

    All the best,

  62. Very excited to delve deeper into the blogs you've shared!

    Here are some of my favorite blogs

    1. Kate's blog, An Everyday Story at
    This was the first Reggio inspired blog I came across a couple years ago and have been hooked ever since. I love the layout and organization. Her posts are very inspiring and thought provoking. She tells a story in pictures and words that can spark inquiry for a Reggio inspired homeschool or public school.

    2. Sally's Fairydust Teaching blog is
    I have utilized Sally's blog for professional development workshops in early childhood education. They are fantastic! I also find lots of inspiration like creating an indoor fairy garden in the winter snowy season. Pretend playing house in the dirt indoors was just one of many great ideas I gathered from her blog.

    3. A sensory table inspiration blog that I absolutely love is Tom's Sensory Table blog,
    Once you visit this blog, you'll be building sensory table apparatuses in no time!!

    4. Last but not least, a blog I'm working on is one of my favorites because it's become a fun hobby for me. It began as a small Reggio inspired homeschool group and now I document my daughters play and emerging interests. I hope to start a Reggio inspired school some day... Until then I live the reflective journey I'm on and this season of motherhood. The blog is

    5. Okay one more, for my artistic inspiration I love Meri Cherry's blog, A Reggio Alterista who just released an awesome new ebook! You will look at materials in a whole new light!

  63. Once upon a time 12 years ago, I was a new teacher. Thinking I could teach every child to love learning. This past year I completed my first year teaching IB PYP inquiry based learning. Now I come to school each day wondering what my students can teach me. My wonders begin with the inner child in me that wants to be a student in my classroom. I found your blog which has given me ideas to try in my classroom-'world room'. Honestly, your blog gives me confidence to trust in the new discoveries from taking time to think longer, explore more deeply allowing additional questions to linger and possibly be answered. Thank you for your journey as it has been my guide. Kindly, Erin Augusta Kelly Furby

  64. This is such a great contest! It's great to see a "round up" of sorts of inspirational kindie blogs! My favourites have, of course, already been mentioned (passionately curious educators and wonders in kindergarten), but I'm looking forward to checking out the ones that are new to me. I thought I'd mention a couple of parenting/motherhood blogs I find inspirational and/or hilarious. I love the blog Birth Without Fear and pretty much anything else January Harshe does. She's a huge advocate for education, options and support for pregnant women and new moms as well as self care. I also the blog Pregnant Chicken for a hilarious and helpful view on parenting. I also like The Ugly Volvo for a witty take on living with littles.
    Thanks for offering such a great giveaway!

  65. In addition to many of the amazing kindergarten blogs listed above that I read and follow on Instagram and Twitter, I am a follower of Enjoying the Small Things at Kelly Hampton is a mother of 3 and photographer who captures everyday living through words and photos. She reminds me to always be present and grateful at home and at work. When feeling overwhelmed at moments by the chaos of life at home and in my kindergarten classroom, bringing myself back to the present helps me refocus. A quote of hers that has stayed with me: "While we may think that reality is what happens without the camera, and glorified truth is the product of a perfect photo captured within that reality; perhaps it's the other way around. Amid the not-so-pretty-moments and rough-around-the-edges days, a viewfinder closes in on the glorious truth we might have missed had we not captured it in it's fleeting moment." -Kelly Hampton

  66. I enjoy you blog and here are some others I often read to get ideas and share thoughts. Mrs. Myer's Kindergarten, Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research, Pationately Curious Educators, And The Imagination Tree.

  67. My favourites are Teacher Tom, Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research, Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes (, George Couros (, and Wide Eyes and Wonders ( Each of these gives me motivation and "big idea" thinking. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and minute-by-minute. These refresh me and remind me of the big "Why".

  68. Hi Joanne,
    Lately I have really enjoyed Her blog is called Playful Learning in the Early Years. Amazing blog posts and lots of practical inspiring things to try in the classroom. She is Reggio Emilia inspired and encourages a collaborative online community to learn about emergent curriculum. Love all her posts. Hope all is well!!

  69. There are so many great blogs to inform and inspire us. Many of the blogs that I follow have already been mentioned. One that I did not see is the Art Bar blog by a graphic artist and art teacher mom. There are a lot of colourful photos of the children's masterpieces as well as practical tips for educators.

  70. Hello! Lately I have been greatly inspired by which is an amazing homeschooling blog following the Reggio style and always has great insights.

  71. Hi Joanne,

    As a proud ECE and teacher your blog, Instagram and Snapchat accounts are always inspiring and informative. As a teacher I am always looking for new ideas, resources and provocations I can introduce in my classroom. Also being Reggio inspired I find your blog to be a hub of knowledge and a library of all things Reggio, child centred and emergent curriculum. With this said I also follow other blogs because I find that the more we educate ourselves, our everyday practice and pedagogy changes and evolves. I am the forever student and a proud lifelong learner and hope to inspire my students to be the same.

    I follow many blogs like Mrs. Albanese Class (Alessia was my associate teacher during my B.ed) and Passionately Curious Kindergarten The blog I choose to highlight is one of my new favourites.

    Vanessa Bianchi
    Evolving Educator

    I am fond of Vanessa’s blog because I find that she expands inquiry based learning past kindergarten and has introduces it and practices it in her Grade 5 class. Vanessa has integrated concepts I have learned back in my early childhood education course work like the environment as a third teacher and has wonderfully documented her success in doing so. Vanessa inspires her students to be owners of their learning and gives them the responsibility and the tools to create their own classroom environment. Her blog documents her thoughts, pedagogy, best practice and her ever evolving and changing views on her practice. I enjoy reading her reflections and hopes for her class and students. Any student would be lucky to be in her class and as a teacher I would love to have her as a colleague.

    Blog Posts that stand out …
    *Creating a Makerspace
    *Too (Louise) Cool for School
    *Exploring the action potential lab
    *Design for learning: An innovation

    A quote that resonated with me …

    “I want (my students) them to feel as though anything is truly possible and to arm them with the tools to create things as well as change. In allowing students to see their thoughts come to life in the space around them and the curriculum being studied, we tell them that their thoughts matter, that they can impact the world around them and show them the road to make those things possible. In cultivating a space that allows for creation, tinkering and play, I hope that the students feel valued and able to dream, make and try.” Bianchi, V (2016) Design for Learning: An innovation

  72. Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter this blog bonanza giveaway!

    With the help of my 6 month old son here are the random selections:

    Jana Millwe
    Jody Bevaart
    Carla Shaws
    Erin Furby

    See the draw live on my snapchat- joannebabalis

    If you were selected please email me:

    Thanks again to everyone!

  73. Congrats to the lucky winners!
    Also- a big thank you to all!!
    Wow - the reading I have enjoyed while at camp!!! Lots of great blogs- and so many more to check out! ❤️

  74. Congrats Joanne on your accomplishment. After using your blog as a resource in my own learning and teaching I am not surprised that you have received this many views.

    I am a little late with this post and know I have missed the contest but looking through the blogs I saw that some of my favourites were missing and thought that I would still share them.

    The first is
    This is a blog written by Taryn, an international teacher who through the PYP program at a school we worked together in Kuwait, had a shift in her approach to teaching because of a new role. (This is the primary level of the International Baccalaureate, a Kindergarten to Grade 6 program that some international schools and schools here in Canada use
    She describes her blog best:
    "...this blog is my small attempt to continue to make sense of the PYP, of inquiry and of how to make a real difference in the world through education. Please bear with me as I muse, struggle, make mistakes, take risks and reflect on my own understanding and the things we are trying at our school… and hopefully along the way we can grow, share and build a better understanding."

    A blog that I like to read for fun is Joanna Goddard's It has a great series on "Surprising things about Parenting" from different cities around the world. She talks about motherhood, current events, and has a weekend roundup that I always look forward to. is a blog written by a PYP guru Kath Murdoch. Although this is her older blog there are lots of great points that get me thinking. She challenges readers to think about their inquiry planning, environment and approach to learning. This was one of the first posts that I read on her blog: is a blog that constantly has me reflecting on my own teaching.

    Thanks again for encouraging sharing for this contest. I love gathering new resources and having new perspectives to learn from.