Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What the heck is a Liebster?

This morning I received a blog comment telling me that I had been nominated for a Liebster Award. What in the world? Then I began to think...
Hmmm, this sounded a bit familiar.

As I read through some previous comments, I discovered that in fact, another blogger had recently told me the same thing! Since it's rainy & gloomy outside and I just made a fresh cup of coffee, I decided to look into this whole Liebster thing. So glad I did, it's pretty neat!

The idea is: you are nominated by a fellow blogger. You write a blog post listing 11 random facts about yourself. You then answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you. Next, you develop 11 questions for the people you're going to nominate. What I really like is that you nominate 11 people with 200 blog followers or less and link them in your post. Being in the beginning stages of what I hope will be a successful blog, I can appreciate any networking tools that allow me to gain followers and get to find some great little blogs. 

I can't imagine teaching without blogging and internet resources! 

The sweet ladies that nominated me are on with the show!

11 Random Facts About Myself

1. I am an office supply junkie. Sharpies, post-its,'s ridiculous. I think this is one of the reasons I became a teacher! :)

2. I like almost anything banana flavored. 

3. I long to see western America. Not cowboy-western (although that would be cool), but the pacific northwest and California. I'm afraid I'll love it so much I would never come back home.

4. I wiggle my toes while I'm watching t.v. The more intense the show is becoming..the faster my toes go..I don't even notice weird!

5. I love old movies! Some of my favorites are Breakfast at Tiffany's, An Affair to Remember, The Snakepit, and Spencer's Mountain. 

6. I share a birthday with my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs Hachey. Each year I think about what she might be doing. She was the first teacher to expose me to Shel Silverstein's poetry. She read it with was really inspiring to me!

7. Speaking of childhood memories, my favorite childhood book is "One Morning in Maine" by Robert McCloskey.

8. I grew up in Maine. What an experience! Wouldn't trade it for anything!

9. I once met Duff Goldman (The Ace of Cakes) in a restaurant I worked at. I noticed him immediately. I waited until he was leaving and asked him for an autograph & menu. He signed it "Mmmm, Feta!" (our restaurant served Greek food). I have both the photo & menu page framed in my office at home.

10. I got to open a Big Boy Restaurant in Cairo, Egypt. Crazy, right!?! It was in 2000. I was there for 3 weeks. What a time! 

11. I'm gradually beginning to practice yoga. I really admire those who make it look easy! 

Whew! Okay, enough about least for that section! 

Since I was nominated by 2 fellow bloggers, I will respond to 6 of Lindsay's questions and 5 of Brittany's questions.  Here we go...

1. What made you decide to start blogging?
I decided to start a blog 2 summers ago. I was taking classes at a local college and our instructors were discussing all the great resources you could find on teaching blogs. We actually devoted an entire afternoon to finding and sharing great blogs. I signed up with blogger that summer but didn't do a whole lot. Last summer I got a new blog design and have since posted more regularly. I love it!

2. What was your first job?
The Golden Arches! I was 16- they hired my friend and I for the sumer. Minimum wage was $4.75!

3. How did you meet your oldest friend?
My oldest friend is named Heather. We met during the first week of Kindergarten. We lived on the same street. While waiting for the bus, our moms realized that they each had a 3/4 year old, and a newborn at home. Our families soon became friends...more like family. Those "newborns" are now 27 years old! 

5. What is your favorite dish to cook?
Hmmm, that's a good question because I LOVE to cook! I love to cook big meals for my friends & family.

6. Do you live near your hometown?
Well, kind of. I was born in a town 25 minutes away from where I live now. My Grandparents have always lived there and that's where I spent some summers as a kid. I grew up in central Maine, though, which is about 800 miles from where I live now!

..and now for Brittany's questions:

7. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
Does Chipotle count? It IS pretty fast!

8. Complete this sentence... My classroom runs on love and ____________________. 
 LAUGHTER! My first-graders crack me up! 

9. How many siblings do you have?
I have 2 siblings. A brother and a sister. Both younger. Both unique, amazing people!

10. Mac or PC?
I go back & forth. I have an iphone, an ipod, and hopefully soon, an iPad. My computers at home & school are PCs. I expect that I'll be fully Mac before long. 

11. What was the last book you read? Do you recommend it?
 I've been such a reading slacker lately! In my defense, I'm working through my master's degree and it seems like the only books I'm picking up anymore are read-alouds to my class or textbooks for my graduate classes. Yesterday I read "Pete the Cat Saves Christmas" to my students, which they LOVED! If you don't know about Pete the Cat, check him out! He is AWESOME! 

 Geez, that's a lot about me! 

Okay, now on to the questions I created for my nominees!

1. Is there special significance behind your name?
2. How many grades have you taught?
3. Favorite song? Why?
4. Classroom pet?
5.  Favorite childhood book or character?
6. Favorite restaurant?
7. Favorite scent? This could be a real scent (my Grandma's kitchen) or a perfume.
8. Do you make your bed each day?
9. Words to live by?
10. How long have you been blogging?
11. Do you stay home or for the holidays?

Drumroll, please! My Liebster nominees are:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Freebie Friday Place Value Craftivity

It's FRIDAY! Hooray!

It's cold & rainy here in Ohio, but even rain won't get me down's Friday, and I"m SO glad! 9 more school days until break & it can't come soon enough!

To celebrate, I've created (with inspiration from my teaching partner-in-crime, Tristin) a place value craftivity that has students representing a number with "tens" and "ones" in a holiday light bulb. 

We did this activity last week in our first-grade classrooms and it was a hit! They look great in the hallway and brighten up our space! 

Grab one HERE

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December "Currently" and a Christmas Countdown

Although I have never met her, I think that Farley and I would be friends! She is so fun & charismatic, her students are lucky to have her for a teacher! I love the "currently" templates she puts out each month. 
What a neat idea!

Soooo, here is my December "currently"

The RAK (Random act of kindess) is the perfect feature for this time of year. I am always so inspired when I hear stories of people who truly capture the spirit of giving. I've really been trying to stress to my students that Christmas is more than presents and toys.

Speaking of students, are you counting down with your's yet? We have a paper chain of links that represent days of school left until break. We are down to 10 today! Woohoo! It's become a fun part of our morning routine.

Christmas break is also significant because it signifies that the school year is HALF over! The end of our 2nd grading period coiincides with this much-needed break. I plan to spend at least a whole day in my room over break getting things organized and ready for the second half of the year. 

I recently read that this is an exciting time of year becuause you can really see measureable growth in your students. It's so true! Although they're a wild little bunch- they are really becoming little learning machines! I'm seeing big gains in reading, math, and general school habits like staying organized & working independently. Does my heart good! 

Working on a Freebie Friday for tomorrow! Stop back & check it out!