Thursday, December 13, 2012

Liebster Award

Mandi over at MOORE Fun in Kindergarten nominated me for a Liebster Award - given to small blogs (less than 200 followers) to encourage them and keep them writing.  Here are the rules:

Rules to follow:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog (oops, too late), but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.


Random Facts:
1. After being born, I have never been a patient in a hospital, never had surgery, and have never worn a cast.
2. I was raised as an only child until I was 10, but I have 6 half brothers and sisters.
3. I've never had a pet that wasn't a cat or dog.
4. The first food I learned how to cook on the stove was scrambled eggs.
5. I still have all my Beanie Babies.
6. I have sung in Carnegie Hall.
7. I once skipped school and stood in line outside at 4 in the morning to see the band Hanson perform 3 songs inside a mall.
8. I think being a twin would be so cool.  My childhood imaginary friend was an imaginary twin sister named Amy, and I want to have twin girls very much, but twins don't run in my family.
9. By third grade, I knew all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody 
10.  I sleep with my feet sticking out of the covers
11. I have never had to share a bedroom in my life, not even when living in the dorm.     
1. What was the first blog you started following?
The first teacher's blog I started following I think was A Cupcake for the Teacher.  I had considered calling my blog that, so I looked to see if it was taken.  Honestly though, I don't think I can remember what blog I started following way back during the genesis of blogging movement - probably something goofy like Stuff White People Like, or maybe a blog of an author whose books I love.

2. What is your favorite thing to cook?
Tortilla Soup - it's healthy, it's tasty, and I just throw everything into a pot and let it simmer for a while.

3. How many years have you been teaching?
I've only been a graduated-from-college, certified teacher since May, but I began working in preschools at 17, so 10 years.

4. What is your favorite website to shop at?
Old Navy for basics that never go out of style, but I recently discovered the dresses on eShakti - they are so cute and vintage-looking!

5. What is your favorite app?
Shazam - I'm the worst at hearing a song and thinking it's someone else when it's not, so I need this.

6. What was the name of your first pet?
I am a dog person.  I like cats too, but forced to choose between the two I pick dogs every time.  By the time I was nine, we had already had 5 dogs - Brandy, Spunky, Shad, Kasey, and Tessa.

7. What is the one thing you would like to have with you if stranded on an island?

Do all of my books count as 1 thing?  I mean, if the island has a supply of food and drinking water, all I need is something to read.

8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
See question 7 - I am a voracious reader.  I'm talking get a new book and finish it in a day, set calendar reminders when favorite authors have a new book coming out, wish I could get locked in a Barnes & Noble overnight kind of reader.  Aside from that, my hobbies are shopping (I am a fierce bargain hunter) and on a smaller scale, crafting and making things for Teachers Pay Teachers.

9. What is your favorite time of your school day?

Since I am a substitute right now, it can vary depending on what class I'm in.  In general, I feel like the clock runs slower between 9 and 10, but maybe it's just because I'm not a morning person and I don't really feel awake and on my game until about 10:30 or 11.

10. Do you do Daily 5 or literacy stations?
Our school (and when I say that, I mean the one at which I currently substitute and at which I wish to get a classroom position more than anything) does Daily 5 in K through 2nd.  I love the way the Kinder teachers especially have theirs set up.  They have created boxes for Word Work and Writing, and when a kid chooses that station, all they have to do is get out the box, and put everything back in when they're done.  It means there are a set number of students who can work at those centers, which helps to control everyone choosing the same thing.

11. Which celebrity would you love to meet?  (Living or deceased).

Audrey Hepburn.  She was beautiful and glamorous, but she also had a huge heart for giving, and wanted a family more than anything.  A kid-friendly biography of her is currently on the list of books nominated for a Bluebonnet Award, and I have been trying to get the 3rd through 5th graders to read it and vote for it.


A word on nominees - I have no idea what I'm doing.  I *think* I'm doing the right research to find people that don't have too many followers or haven't been nominated before, but I may make a mistake, and if that's the case, my bad! 

1. Tim's Classroom Musings - we could definitely use more teacher blogs from a male perspective
2. Delighting in Him
3. Hope in Pain
4. Okay so guess what happened today
5. Miss Lynch's Class
6. Peace, Love, Learn (a fellow Hanson fan)
7. Landing in K
8. Becca
9.  Educating the Child
10. The Classy Teacher
11.  The Loop

Questions for Nominees:
 1. Why do you blog?
2. What is an issue facing education that you are passionate about?
3. Take the letters of your first name.  For each letter, tell something you like/a favorite thing.
4. Do you have/want any class pets?
5. If you're a Pinterest person, have you ever completed something you found?  A craft, a recipe, etc.?  Was it a success?
6. What are 3 of your favorite smells?
7. Favorite children's book?
8. What's your go-to, "I don't feel like cooking tonight" restaurant? 
9. Do you have a favorite meme?
10. Where would the Sorting Hat put you?
11. What super-power do you want?      

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Artistic Visions

I will be the first to toot my own horn and say I have great ideas.  I will also be the first to bring my inflated ego back to reality by reminding myself that my follow-through rate on my ideas is woefully low.  Were I more versed in sports, I could express it as a depressingly low RBI.  Sometimes, though, the clouds part, the chorus sings and I get an idea and enough time to put it down on paper (electronically speaking).  I was substituting a couple weeks ago and the kids were working on map skills, so I thought of an activity that 2nd graders could do to use those map skills on the higher levels of Bloom's, such as creating and analyzing.  I typed it up, saved it, and today I turned it into a product on TpT.

I like creating things for Teachers Pay Teachers - I think it's a great site with a great mission.  Problem is, while I've got the ideas, I've never been very artistic.  My documents are just Word documents, my graphics are just clip-art that someone else has made.  I have steak but no sizzle.  Professional TpT'ers like Clutter-Free Classroom, Miss Cupcake, Amy Lemons, etc...they all have mad graphic skills to jazz up their products and/or someone who contributes the artwork.  I'm jealous, I hope someday to have someone to collaborate with on things like this.  It's not that I'm interested in the money - I don't think it'll ever be more than a hobby/side-project.  It's that this is a community of awesome people and I'd like to be a part of it.  Also, if I'm going to devote time and energy to something, I want to be learning and improving while I do it.

I'd also eventually like to collaborate with someone on a more polished look for my blog.  What I have now is just me spending a lot of time carefully customizing the template that Blogger provides.  Someday I'd like something more personal, professional but still fun, and all my own.

Monday, December 10, 2012

12 in '12 Linky

I'm doing the 12 in '12 Linky Party, brought to us by A Teeny Tiny Teacher and Miss Kindergarten.

12. Favorite movie you watched:
The Lorax

11. Favorite TV series:
How I Met Your Mother - this year I have watched every episode in order twice.

10. Favorite restaurant:
On the Border - I am in love with their stuffed avocado, and their tortilla soup is the best (besides my own)

9. Favorite new thing you tried:
Adventures in decorating - painting my bedroom, putting up a 12ft. curtain rod, building my desk

8. Favorite gift you got:
I received the gift in 2011 but I didn't use it until 2012 - a cruise with my cousin!

7. Favorite thing you pinned:
A recipe for Wassail - took me back to high school and really made it feel like the holidays

6. Favorite blog post:
If I'm picking from my own posts, I only started this blog this year, so I don't have enough posts to pick a favorite.  If I'm picking my favorite from someone else's blog, I would say it would be a tie between every single one of Clutter-Free Classroom's Classroom 360 series.  They got me SO PUMPED to have my own classroom someday.

5. Best accomplishment:
Graduating College!  

4. Favorite picture:
3. Favorite memory: 
 The great time I had driving my grandma to and from a family reunion - it was real quality time.

2. Goal for 2013:
Organization, preparedness, and a thicker skin

1. One Little Word: