Thank you to the two
bloggers who nominated me for a Liebster Award! This award is for bloggers on
the "newer" side and just a fun way to get to know the person behind
the typing. One of the rules for accepting
this nomination is to answer questions given to you by the nominating
blogger.Here are their questions and my
Describe your current teaching role and what things you enjoy about
What’s not to love about 5 year olds?Kindergarten is a load of fun! You never know
what they are going to say!The best
plans can take a turn at any minute. There are teachable moments just lurking...
Why did you pick teaching as a career?
I sort of stumbled into teaching.I was coaching and it was pointed out to me
that I should consider teaching. I hadn’t given it a thought before. …but am
glad I was turned on to it!
How did you get interested in blogging?
I have always been interested in creating. I had the opportunity
to learn about working with a wiki from a colleague and that lead to more… and
What do you think your best skill or personality trait that you
bring to teaching?
I have high expectations. I expect independence. I love the magic
of convincing students that they are capable of anything. Because of course
they are and I love when they believe it.
What interests do you have outside of teaching?
My girls, I love watching them and marvel at how they develop, grow and
What is more important teaching skills or teaching how to learn?
Hands down, teaching “how to learn.” I model “thinking aloud”
all the time. I tell them why they are
learning new information.I give them
language and “big, fancy teacher words” for what they are doing.If you know the how and why, the “what”
falls into place… the “what” has meaning.
Have you read any good books lately? If so, would you
I am struggling to find that perfect summer read.Right now I’m reading a biography about Marie
Antoinette.I really love historical
fiction, but, reading a biography has a different feel & voice.It has taken a bit to get into.
What is your favorite thing to do on vacation? Where do you
like to vacation?
I like “stay-cations” best.I love just being home relaxing (although with a toddler, that hasn’t happened
lately)! I love to have time to read without the pressures of “something has to
be done” looming over me.
If you could own any vehicle what would it be any why?
…ummm, I think a VW bug, just because ...and it should be a
Do you have a favorite sport (team?)? To play? To watch?
In my house it is the Yankees or you can move out. ~This are my
husband’s rule. He is already brainwashing the kids.
What kinds of foods do you like to eat?
I like anything with melted cheese, Mexican is a favorite.
Although the idea to
teach came much later, I had an amazing high school Social Studies
teacher.He always had a creative twist
to assignments and a larger than life personality.
What is your favorite
subject to teach? Why?
I always am drawn to
teaching reading.However, more and more I have fallen for Mathematical
thinking. I love to explore and challenge students to solve problems in
different ways.When engaging in “Math
Talk” I feel like I can see into a child’s mind.
If you weren't in the
field of education, what would you be doing?
I’d be a stay at home
mommy.I even think I’d home school my
Where would you travel
to, if money were no option?
I would like to see the 7
wonders of the world.But if I had all
that money, I build a house in a beautifully treed area and just stay home in
How many hours of sleep
did you get last night?
Hard to know. I have a lot
of interrupted sleep lately. Either my mind is racing or the baby is stirring.
What is your favorite television
My daughters would tell
you “Bravo” is my favorite “show.” I have a guilty addiction to all things
Bravo, but have to sneak in my favorite shows because they are not kid-friendly
most of the time.
Who is your favorite
Philippa Gregory.I love historical fiction.Once I read “The Other Boleyn Girl” I read
all of her books on the Tutors and more.
What is your favorite
Fall. I love the crisp
air. I love the smell. I love not wearing a jacket, but not sweating.I love the colors.
Are you a morning person
or a night owl?
Neither right now.I am not too personable in the am, but with
little kids at home I am dog tired at night.I’m in survival mode.
What is the best
dish/meal that you make?
Probably, good ‘ol
fashion meatloaf and mashed potatoes. …the best “food group” next to cheese.
Why did you start
I’m not exactly sure, but
now I like having something that is just “me.” No boundaries, no District or State
What have you learned
Blogging just reinforces my
“It takes a village” motto.I love the
social networking aspect and the collaboration best.That has been an unexpected perk of this
Fun so far? I’ll be back to share my
nominations for the Liebster Award, my questions for them and to share 11 random facts about me!
I love opening the year with list writing.During morning message (or anytime during the
day) I model writing lists.Sometimes it
is to hold an idea, reminder for later... sometimes it is something I can write
about in Writer’s Workshop.I have found
that emergent writer’s love list writing too!
Last year I created some list paper and picture card
prompts.I found that I had a few
reluctant writers, but with a little nudging or prompting they would partake in
list writing.Of course, the best lists
are created by the kids with ideas generated all by themselves… but a little
framework around the tasked really helped them take off!
To keep interest I introduce one new list per month.Students quickly move to writing their own
themed-lists each month. Some even liked to draw their own picture prompts for others to use! Think of all the skills
they are strengthening when list writing!
~recording sounds they hear, applying phonics skills they know,
generating ideas, categorizing, language… the list is endless!~
I have decided that this year I will make List-Writing
a feature in the Writing center. Since
my writing center is housed in an area labeled “Wild about Writing,” of course,
I themed my file folder storage using some fun animal print.
I bought these cheap hanging file storage units.Then I labeled each folder using cute clipart...and voilà!Here is the latest addition
to my Writing/Literacy stations!
I have struggled
with this over the years and have had used many methods.Here’s what I am currently doing and it has
been the best system for me so far!
After deciding on
how many baskets would fit onto my shelves (and a massive book sort) I grouped
books by theme, concept, or sometimes even series.I have a different section in my library area for
leveled books for students to choose from when they need a “just right” book to
read independently. This is for my general fiction and nonfiction collection.
Here are the
organizational tricks for keeping the library in order:
1. Each Basket has a
label with a word or two that describes it contents.
2. Each label also has a number.
3. The basket labels in each row are mounted on
a piece of colored paper.
On the back of each
book (see below) there is a sticker with the name and number of the basket written in
the color matching the paper the label was mounted on.This way the
students can return the book using word, number, and color clues.
A class lesson at
the beginning of the year on how to choose and return books to baskets is all
it takes for my Kindergarteners to maintain this space.They learn how the “codes” on the back of the
book work quickly.
Some mornings I will have a
pile of books at each table that need to be returned or hand a few books to a
student to return during transitions. This way students get a lot of practice using the system early on in the year.
Another quick tip: Each student
has a clothespin with their name on it.They simply clip it to the basket when they are using a book and remove their
clothespin when they return it.
I also like to assign students a basket to be in charge of.Just give them a little responsibility and they will police themselves! There
are so many ways to find a book's proper basket with this system.
especially love making sure all of our books are in perfect condition.I have a basket for books that need a little
It is next to impossible for the library to get too mixed up! It is even easy for parent volunteers to quickly reorganize if needed.
is simple to create and maintain. Adding color and numbers to the system you already
have is a quick and easy way to build in even more organization to your current system with our starting from scratch.