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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Liebster Award

Wow! So, I was lucky enough to be nominated twice for the Leibster award by two great TPT Author/Bloggers. Earlier in the week I was nominated by Shanon from OCD in First and then yesterday by Jennifer from Stories and Songs in Second. The Leibster award recognizes new bloggers with less than 200 followers. Well that would be me! :)

About my Nominators:

Both of these women are part of a group that I belong to on Facebook. This group is one of the most welcoming, encouraging and supportive groups to which I have ever belonged. I truly appreciate the support of this group.

I first met Shanon because her 17 year old daughter designed my blog! I figured anything had to look better than what I would have created! Her daughter, Courtney from Blogs Fit For a Queen blew me away. 
Stories and Songs in Second-button

Jennifer is an active member of our group. I enjoy reading her insights and following her Facebook page and blog.

Shanon's Questions:

1.  When did you decide to become a teacher?
Growing up, I originally wanted be an archaeologist. Blame it on a love of all things Roman and Greek. By the time I had finished high school, I was debating between two things, acting and teaching. During my last year of high school I found the most amazing university program at University of Windsor called Drama in Education. It only accepted 25 people a year...and I was lucky enough to be one of them. It gave me an opportunity to do the two things that I loved, as well as to play animal tag, and to run around the room acting like a child for four years. :)

2.  What's the biggest ticket item you've bought for your classroom out of your pocket?
I've been pretty lucky. I haven't ever had to buy a big ticket item for my classroom. However, I do have a couple of obsessions that have cost me a fair amount. I love things to look pretty! When I was teaching Grade 7 and 8, Visual Arts, (one of my first jobs) I had a giant classroom with ten large bulletin boards across the back and around the rest of the room as well. My guess, between fadeless paper and bulletin board trim, and bulletin board letters, I probably spent almost $200. Please don't tell my husband!

My other teaching obsession is stickers! I can't pass them up. Whenever I see stickers I have to buy them. I have no idea how much I have spent on stickers through the ten years I have been teaching...but since I just spent $10 the other day when I found a Dollar Tree while on vacation, I can only imagine it would be a pretty big number.

3.  What do you find the hardest part of being a teacher?
I guess the hardest thing for me is balancing work and home life. I have tried really hard over the last couple of years to leave the stresses of school at school. I used to be miserable around report card writing time. I think I have finally gotten to the point where I don't think my husband knows when I'm writing report cards anymore. 

The big thing I am working on now is having patience at home. My daughters are the same age as the students that I teach, which makes life interesting. I feel like the issues I deal with all day at school are the same issues I will be dealing with at home.

4.  What snack do you have next to your computer at all times?
I'm not really a snacker. I do love peanut m&ms and Chicago style popcorn, but I don't have them around at all times. But I am a Diet Coke addict. Yes, Mom I know it's not good for me! 

5.  When you walk into the dollar store, what section do you head for first?
The craft supply section. Last year, I was unlucky enough to have a visitor in my classroom closet at school, and had to throw out 8 garbage bags full of craft supplies that I had accumulated over the years. Who knew that mice like to eat googly eyes!

6.  Do you have anything in your classroom that you should part with, but just can't seem to bring yourself to do it?
Thanks to my friend the mouse I  no longer have that problem. Ask me again in five years and I'm sure my answer will be different. :)

7.  Are you a coffee drinker?  If so, all day or just morning?
I actually don't drink coffee. I had my first cup the other day at Starbucks. It was a White Chocolate Mocha. I am a tea drinker. Right now, English Breakfast tea is my favorite. Mainly I drink it in the morning only. I like to have a warm cup in my hand to start the day.

Jennifer's Questions

1.  Who was your favorite teacher?  How have they influenced your teaching today?
Ms. Baltus was my favourite teacher. She taught me high school drama. She was one of the most patient teachers I had ever met. I was very quiet growing up (what am I talking about, I still am), but she was one of those people who was able to pull me out of my shell. 

2.   What is the best part of your teaching day?
I love first thing in the morning. I feel lucky when I watch the smiling faces of "my" kids  walk into the school. I love hearing their stories of what they did the night before, or hearing about how they lost a tooth.

3.  What is the worst part of your teaching day?
I'm not sure that I have a worst part of my day. I don't always enjoy yard duty and staff meetings are questionable, but that's about it.

4.  What are your hobbies, or how do you unwind after working all week?
I enjoy knitting, sewing, and reading a good book. I also find creating resources for my classroom and TPT relaxing. I know it's weird, but honestly it's my favorite thing to do.

5.  How do you spend your summers?
We usually spend part of our summer at my parents' cottage. This past summer for the first time, my girls went to day camp for two weeks. I felt like the worst mother ever, but I have to say I really enjoyed the alone time that I had, since my husband was also working. 

6.  What type of adult literature do you like to read when you have time?
I am a romance junkie. Enough said. :) I'm embarrassed now. 

7.  What new instructional practice have you found success with?
Over the last couple of years, my school board has really pushed the use of Learning Goals and Success Criteria. I think, that because it is clear for the students what they are learning and the things that they need to do to be successful (i.e. Success Criteria), it is helpful for my students. However, I wish sometimes it was more authentic and realistic.

8.  Do you love and use technology in your classroom, or are you sometimes intimidate or frustrated by it?
I am actually the computer contact person for our school. I'm not a computer wiz by any means but I love using technology in my school. I do all of my calendar activities on the SmartBoard this year. Which has been a learning experience. When it works, it is fantastic but when it doesn't...my kids are used to hearing, "Well I guess we'll try again tomorrow." My favourite piece of technology that I have in my room is my document camera. I love all of the possibilities it presents. Read Alouds are now big enough that everyone can read. Art lessons are way more effective since students can easily see the steps that I'm demonstrating. As well when I am demonstrating proper printing is easier for the students to see and to practice. I am also experimenting with iPads in the classroom. I wish that I could have my own set of 4 or 5 that I could keep on hand.

9.  What is your favorite type of treat to eat?
I love salt. Chips are my favorite.

10.  What is the most exotic place that you have traveled to?
We went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon. That is about as exotic as I'll ever get. :)

11.  Do you have pets?  If so, what kind?
We have three cats. When my husband I first got married we made a compromise. I wanted a cat...he wanted an artificial Christmas tree. So we each got what we wanted. Our first cats name is Rocky (I refused to have a kid named Rocky so I was proactive and named the cat Rocky). Well it ends up that my husband loved Rocky so much, that he got Daisy, followed by Holly. And last year for Christmas I got a real Christmas tree. Pretty sure I won. :S

My Nomination

A Teacher Mom

I am nominating a Teacher Mom. I recently met Abbey when we were buddied up in the "Trade and Grade" that is coming up this Friday.

Questions for Abbey
1. What is your favorite holiday or celebration?
2. What is your biggest pet peeve?
3. If you were an animal what would you be?
4. What is your favorite season? Why?
5. What is your favorite sport?
6. What is your favorite food?
7. Is there anything that you say to your child(ren) that your parents used to say to you that makes you cringe?
8. What is your favorite subject to teach?
9. Who are your favorite sellers on TPT?

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