Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Teacher Blog Tuesday!


New Teacher Blog Tuesday

Feature Teacher:   Cherie aka Rie

1.                     Name of blog and link: Hip, Hop Hurray! Tales of the Reading Rascals!


2.                  Why did you start blogging?
I started blog stalking and found so much inspiration, good ideas, and great stories. I stalked blogs for the last year and thought I wanted to try. So one night I got up the courage and began my blog.

3.                 Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I have been teaching for the last 11 years in GA. I graduated from college in TN and came to GA to teach. I have taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade over the years. I love teaching 2nd grade the most, but am falling in love with 1st grade.  I have always loved to read and to teach reading. I got my reading endorsement 3 years ago and have been obsessed with reading every since. That is the subject I love to teach..

4.                   What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
I have an eclectic collection of music as you will see, I think these would be on the soundtrack of life in during different situations and times.
Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield
Raise Your Glass by Pink
I Got A Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
Yesterday by Mary Mary
Not Afraid by Eminem
When Doves Cry by Prince
Live Your Life by T.I.

5.                  Whats the hardest thing youve ever done?
Taking the leap of faith to leave my first teaching position and find another one. I was truly unhappy in the school I was in and was scared to leave. It was my first teaching job and school ever and I didnt know anything else. I finally got up the courage to leave and found a great school with wonderful people. In the end I was so happy with my choice and grateful that God was looking out for me.

6.                  Whats your favorite TV show?
So dont Judge me, but I am obsessed with Criminal Minds, Rizzolo and Isles., and The Closer I know its a little strange, but I swear if I wasnt a teacher I would work for the FBI or in forensics.

7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
DJ Inkers, Times New Roman is sooo boring. I love trying new fonts and mixing it up.

8.                  Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?  32 candles

9.                  What was the last book you read? I just finished reading The Daily Five, like several other people in Blog Land.  I am following all the book studies that go with the book too. I love reading others ideas on Dauly Five because this will be my first year doing it in my class. I also am reading the Fifty Shades of Gray : )

10.              What chore do you absolutely hate doing? The one I hate the most is probably cleaning out the car. I know some people probably have exquisitely neat and shiny cars, not me. I have a 4 year old daughter that loves to bring in toys, notebooks, and crayons to play with in the car. Dont forget the snacks and juice boxes we drink and eat on the way back and forth that is the worst and the looks I get at the car wash, Im so ashamed. 

2nd Feature Teacher: Layla Wiedrick Henry

1.                  Name of blog and link:
 Fancy Free in Fourth


2.                 Why did you start blogging?
One of my best friends started her teacher blog this past year, Apples and ABC’s. I have seen her grow so much professionally. She has challenged herself, networked with other teachers, and started her own store on TPT. It really inspired me to start my own. I am at a point in my career where I feel ready to take on this new adventure.

3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.
This is my 5th year teaching. I was hired at the school that I student taught at and taught 5th grade for 2 years there. Then I was laid off for a year and worked as an admissions counselor at my alma matter. I was happy to receive a callback for the 2010-2011 school year, but I had to make my way up to Junior High! I taught 6th and 7th Language Arts and Social Studies. Boy did I learn a lot! This past year I was able to go back the elementary level, and braved a 4/5 combo class.  This coming year, I will be at a new school teaching 4th grade- and I am so excited!

4.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Sky Blue Sky- Wilco
Such Great Heights-Postal Service
Home- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
The hardest thing I have ever gone through was being pink slipped from teaching. It was hard to know that I couldn’t teach for a year, that there were no jobs and that I would have to find a way to supplement my income in a non-teaching way. I was scared I would never teach again, but the year passed and I am back doing what I love doing!

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show?
My favorite T.V show is Top Chef! My husband and I love to cook and are total foodies!

7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
DJ Inkers! I love the cute, bubbly and happy way the letters look and make you feel!

8.                 Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
Well, my birthday is coming up this Saturday, July 14th… I will see 28 of them!

9.                 What was the last book you read?
I just finished Gone Girl and Divergent, both were excellent!

10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I don’t mind doing laundry, I just HATE putting it away!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Starting the Year with Daily 5

I feel like such a blogger failure...I have only posted 4 times since August 6th.  That was the day I-dunt dunt dummmmmmmmmm- went back to school!  I have missed blog stalking soooo much.  :(  Anyways, I decided to quit grading papers and sneak in a few minutes of blog time.  I've spent a little over a week with my little 1st grade darlings and it's been great.  They are a sweet bunch!  I am trying several new things this year with them.  Thanks to all of my blog stalking this summer, I learned all about Whole Brain Teaching and The Daily 5.  I read so much about both and downloaded so many files that I just couldn't wait to give them a go in my room.  I have posed several times on Whole Brain Teaching, if you missed them, click {HERE}.  It's safe to say, I love it and so do my students.  They memorized the rules after 2 days!  They LOVE the class response aspects of it and teaching their partner.  It is going really well.  I am currently constructing a post dedicated entirely to it in my head, so stay tuned for that.  Maybe by the weekend...

I started Daily 5 on Monday.  During one of our in service days before the students started back, we had a teacher talk to us about Daily 5 and her experience with it.  It was awesome.  I've read 1,000 blog posts about D5, but to have a live person to discuss it with was even better!  She shared a resource with me that I had not seen before- it's called Daily 5 for Dummies and it is AMAZING.  I had practically highlighted the entire D5 book and was preparing to type up my script for each lesson and then I was introduced to this lovely little document.  It comes from the ProTeacher Website and was posted by "Whittlesey".  I am trying to give as much credit as possible, because he/she deserves it.  You can access the page {HERE}.  You have to be a member to download the file, but it is free and easy!  I HIGHLY recommend that you get yourself a copy.  It is basically the script the sisters give in the book, but typed out nicely and divided into 25 days.  I renamed my own copy to "A Teacher's Guide to Daily 5" just so my firsties wouldn't learn to spell the word "dummies" from my notebook! HA  Get my cover {HERE}.  We are now in Day 3 of D5 and have reached 2 minutes of stamina.  I am taking it slow and really practicing the correct/incorrect way of doing each little part, I am hoping it will pay off in the near future!  Somehow I ended up kind of being "in charge" of a Daily 5 book study at my school.  I am currently working on a study guide for each chapter and outlining the meetings we will have in the next month or so.  I have based my study guide on the questions from the on line D5 book study along with a few ideas from various sources.  I plan on asking each participant to bring an idea and/or activity for each of the 5 components.   I will love you forever if you will leave me your thoughts.  What do you think?  What would be beneficial to you if you attended a PD on The Daily 5?  How would you do it?  PLEASE help me make this successful!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Teacher Blog Tuesday!

Welcome to another edition of New Teacher Blog Tuesday!
Today I'd like to introduce you to Heather from 

1.                  Name of blog and link:
Kickin’ It In Kinder http://kickinitinkinder.blogspot.com

2.                 Why did you start blogging? I am in love with the blogging world! I have been stalking reading teacher blogs for about a year now and it has truly changed my teaching. I love to talk and share my ideas so I thought I would give it a shot. So far it has been a lot of fun but there is SO much to learn! I am one of those people that wants to know everything right now. So it is killing me to not know how to do certain stuff!

3.                 Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
DJ Inkers… who wants boring old fonts when there are so many pretty ones to choose from?

4.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background. I went to college at the University of Cincinnati and worked as an ESL teacher in Ohio right after I graduated. However, me and the hubs (also a teacher) couldn’t find full time jobs and we had an invitation to go visit a cousin in Texas… so we went! We interviewed and went back to Ohio to wait, wait, and wait. After a million, some phone calls, we were hired in the school district that we really wanted!!  I taught second grade for one year and then moved into third grade ELA. After 4 years of that, I moved into third grade math and science. Since I have taught third grade for the last 7 years, I was ready for a change and asked my principal to move me into the open kindergarten spot. I couldn’t believe it when she actually did! She is kind of awesome like that!  I am so ready to begin this new adventure!

5.                 Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake? 32 but I turn 33 in August. I seriously feel like I am in still in my young twenties though. It is so weird whenever I get a reality check though, like seeing the lines on my forehead L You know, from that mean teacher face we make…

6.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Packed up and moved away from all my friends and family to move to Texas. I love it here, but I really miss my family and high school/college friends. I grew up getting together with my LARGE extended family for every occasion. It was scary to move so far away.


7.                  What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I am so blessed to have a husband that does the bathrooms and most of the laundry (don’t hate me). Personally, I can’t stand dusting. Seriously, the stuff is back before I even finish!

8.                 What’s your favorite TV show? Friends will forever be my favorite. Currently though. I love House, Criminal Minds, and Vampire Diaries. Yumm-O

9.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? I am a musicaholic. I cannot seriously explain how much I love music. It makes me happy, sad, excited, passionate, reflective…. So this question is too hard to answer. I have many songs that I associate with every memory of my life! But for the sake of playing along J I will try to name a few!
Elementary school: every thing from Madonna, to the Beatles (my daddy’s music), to Whitney and of course NKOTB!!!!
High School: Crash (the whole album, um, make that any Dave albums), Come on Ride the Train, Let me Clear my throat, Jewel and Brittany.
College: Anything that could be considered late 90’s rap or pop. Biggie, P. Diddy, DMX, Jay-Z, and of course, Tim McGraw and the Dixie Chicks.
Wedding: What a Wonderful World, and Piano Man (my husbands fraternity brother’s all danced in their boxers to it at the reception….Oh my)
Moving to Texas: Wide Open Spaces
Baby #1 Daughters by John Mayer or All American Girl by Carrie Underwood
Baby #2 Let Them Be Little
I also have to mention I am obsessed with musicals. I could listen to the Les Mis or Wicked soundtrack everyday. I could perform a one women musical for Grease, West Side Story or the Sound of Music. Eclectic much?

10.            What was the last book you read?
Clearly I cannot follow directions very well. I can’t name just one of anything! I sort of have a decision making problem! I read the whole 50 Shades series- HOTT and I just finished Divergent/ Insurgent and loved them as much as the Hunger Game series. I am also currently rereading Daily 5 and Math Workstations while eagerly waiting for my copy of In Pictures and Words to arrive.


And now please welcome Leah from 


Learning 4 Keeps
  1.  Name of blog and link: The name of my blog is Learning 4 Keeps. You can find it at learning-4-keeps.blogspot.com.
  1. Why did you start blogging? I started blogging to connect with other teachers and to create an outlet for me to talk in big girl language! LOL I am a stay at home/homeschool Mom who used to work in the school system, so there are times I miss the “teacher talk.” So I decided to enter the bloggersville and connect with other people who love teaching like I do!
  1.  Tell us a little about your teaching background. I student-taught in first grade and fell in love with it! So after I got my degree in certification, I got a job in first grade and stayed in that level until I decided to work at home with my girls. First grade is an amazing level that allows you to see so much growth over a year’s time. Love it!
  1.  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? “We Are the Light of the World” by Kari Jobe would definitely be one. Another would be “Let My LifeSong Sing to You” by Casting Crowns. “I’d Rather Have Jesus” would be an oldie that would make the soundtrack as well. The rest would be Praise and Worship. :)
  1. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? CHILD LABOR!!!! No seriously... Carrying them, delivering them, and raising them are definitely the toughest challenges I have ever faced. But it is also the most rewarding and beautiful!
  1. What’s your favorite TV show? White Collar! Neil Caffrey (swoon) At a close second is Psych. Oh, how I laugh at Shawn and Gus!
  1. Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why? Wow! This is a toughie! I love the DJ Inkers collection because I am a first grade teacher!! I love cutesie, frilly, and girlie! But at the same time, I love organization and neatness. So in that way, I am a Times New Roman girl.
  1. Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake? A big 3-0!

  1. What was the last book you read?  I am a HUGE reader! However, over the last few weeks I haven’t read anything but my Bible and a lot of blogs! The last book I read was about a month ago and it was a Christian fiction novel called The Believer by Ann H. Gabhart.
  1. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning my showers! Ihave asthma and all of the cleaners are so harsh! So I will admit, my showers get cleaned... ummm... not as often as they should be... ;)

I hope you will visit these ladies and come back next week to meet  Rie and Layla!  If you would like your blog featured, email me at dml8609@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Teacher Blog Tuesday


New Teacher Blog Tuesday

Feature Teacher:  Brigid FitzGerald

1.                 Name of blog and link:


Brigid’s Daily Lesson Log      http://brigidsdailylessonlog.blogspot.com

2.                 Why did you start blogging?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
I started blogging because I wanted to share my passion of teaching and creations from my classroom.  I love the thought of being able to receive suggestions and share your own. I also like being inspired by other teachers!  I started blogging last summer but had to stop due to a severe head injury that put me in the hospital for days with memory loss.  I did this playing recreational, coed softball.  I would recommend a helmet to anyone who plays!!  Anyways my memory is back & 9 teeth are fixed so I was happy to pick up where I left off.  I am sooo excited and realize that it takes time to build up your blog!  I love to talk, create, and share experiences from my life so hopefully everyone can enjoy it just as much as I do!

3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.

I have been teaching for the past 7 years at the same school in Missouri.  I really cannot believe it!  During my first year teaching a friend at work told me that in a blink of the eye you will be here for 5 years and look back at how fast everything has gone…it’s sooo true! So word to the wise, enjoy every year!  I am certified 1st-6th, but have only taught in a first grade classroom for those 7 years.  I have also received my Masters in Curriculum & Instruction.

4.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

Great question…I love music!  Music is playing everyday, especially in the summer! ;) My soundtrack would have various genres!  Where do I start?!?!  I love anything Country first of all, but I also love Pop, Rock, Hip Hop & R&B! However, in the classroom we put on Jack Johnson, Classical music, Children’s music that makes them move, Jim Cosgrove (kids love), and IZ (Over the Rainbow) as well.  There are many more!

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Oh goodness…hmmm there have been a lot of hard things, which is ok because those situations make you stronger!!  Well the loss of my grandparents was really hard, but I would have to say the most recent was this past school year!  We lost our grandpa from alzheimers and I missed a lot of days of work dealing with post symptoms from my severe head injury (however it was one of my best teaching years…crazy!).  Also, during this time my sister lost her job and my mom was diagnosed with a rare cancer, Sarcoma!  Through all of these situations dealing with the news of my mom having cancer was REALLY HARD!  1% of cancer patients are those with a type of sarcoma.  It is very rare and how she found it was even more rare!  My mom had foot surgery and couldn’t breath one day, due to pain meds, although the doctors wanted to make sure it was not a blood clot in the lungs, so they took an x-ray and sure enough they found a spot in her abdominal cavity.  She had no symptoms of cancer! Someone was watching her from up above! Random, scary, and overwhelming all at the same time!  She is still dealing with post symptoms from radiation, but every day we see mom getting stronger!  We will continue to pray and take each day as it comes.  Love, family, prayers, faith, friends, positive thoughts, and support: are all words that sum up how you can get through the hardest of times! 

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show?

I love to watch reality shows…yes I admit it & there are a lot! ;)  However, I love Revenge!  I also like cooking shows, Private Practice, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men (w/Charlie Sheen), The Today Show, GCB, and Hart of Dixie to name a few!

7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
Out with the old and in with the new!  DJ Inkers for sure!  I love all of the creative, cute fonts that you can find out there.  I also love the fact that there are so many teachers that are willing to share their wonderful creations!

8.                 Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?

30! Yes 30!  I was worried, but now I realize it’s just a number!  I can enjoy my thirties just as much, if not more than my twenties!

9.                 What was the last book you read?

Phonemic Awareness: The Skills that They Need to Help Them Succeed by Michael Heggerty

10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Taking out the trash…hands down!

--Brigid currently has a Classroom Tours Linky Party going on!--



Feature Teacher:  Vera Corbett
1.                 Name of blog and link:
The name of my blog is Bedford, Love and Teaching or BLT as I like to call it.  You can find it at http://bedfordloveandteaching.blogspot.com/.

Bedford, Love, and Teaching
2.                 Why did you start blogging?
I have been a faithful blog stalker for about 6 months now.  When I found out that I would be moving to Boston, I decided to start a blog for a couple of reasons.  1) A blog would be a great way for me to stay in contact with the family, friends, parents and students I will be leaving behind in Texas.  2) I thought a blog could serve as place to organize my ideas and help me grow and develop as a teacher.  3) I wanted a place to share my activities I make or plan on making.  4) I am a social network junkie!  I wanted an opportunity to make new friends!

3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I received my BA in Psychology and History in 2005 at Austin College in Sherman, Texas.  I stayed an additional year at Austin College to earn my Master’s degree in Teaching.  In 2006 I started my teaching career in Austin, Texas at Ridgetop Elementary.  I have taught kindergarten and first grade.  This summer, I will travel to my new home, Bedford, MA where I will be teaching kindergarten. 

4.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Most of my friends can tell you without hesitation, that Elvis Costello is my all time favorite singer.  I LOVE HIM. 
Song I want to walk down the aisle to:  She- Elvis Costello
Song that reminds me of El Paso:  What I Got- Sublime
Song that reminds me of one of my closest friends:  For Good-Wicked Musical
Song that reminds me of Mr. Roboto:  Thank you-Ditka

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
I must say in my 29 years I have not had to overcome too many hardships.  I live a very blessed life.  However, I know that this move from Texas to Massachusetts is going to be one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  Although I was born out of the country, I was raised in Texas, went to school in Texas, and started my career in Texas.  My friends, family and memories are in Texas.  Soon, I will start a new adventure in Massachusetts.

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show?
I’m pretty much a reality TV junkie.  I can’t get enough of the Housewives of -anywhere!  I also just finished watching four seasons of Mad Men and six seasons of Supernatural on Netflix.

7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
I’m a DJ Inkers gal. I’m a little funky and love to have fun.  I can get the job done but still put enough sass in it to make it one of a kind!

8.                  Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
In May, I celebrated 29 years of fun!

9.                 What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was the first book of the Hunger Games series. I am currently working on book 2. 

10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I hate dishes.  I loathe them.  I think they are gross and slimy and disgusting and I hate them.  Mr. Roboto is wonderful for many reasons but mainly because he will do the dishes.  All the time!  Our disposal is broken which makes doing the dishes even worse than before.  Ugh!


---Vera is currently having a 100 follower giveaway!--


Thanks for visiting and I hope you will check out these new bloggers!  Please join me next week in welcoming Heather from Kickin' It in Kinder and Leah from Learning 4 Keeps.
Learning 4 Keeps
If you'd like to be featured, email me at dml8609@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My First Day of Whole Brain Teaching!

It's over.  We all ate lunch and made it home.  That's a successful first day in my book.  This year I have 15 little darlings excited about being a big kid.  They are a sweet little bunch and I am looking forward to experimenting trying out some new things on these kids... :)  Over the summer I discovered Whole Brain Teaching.  If you are not familiar with it, please check out their website {HERE} or some of my previous blog posts on it {HERE}.  Our first day was all about procedures.  We went over everything you can imagine.  How to sit at a desk (they sat at tables in K), how to go to carpet, how to line up, go to the bathroom, and unpack their things.  How to do morning work, turn it in, and what to do when finished.  How to walk in the hall, where to sit in the cafeteria, and playground rules.  I am familiar with all of these procedures.  I am comfortable with them and know what they look like.  What I was unfamiliar with was teaching Whole Brain Teaching Rules and setting a foundation for learning the Whole Brain way.

I watched Coach B's webcast on the first hour of WBT, but adapted it to fit my needs.  It was not possible for me to start the day with it.  I waited until mid-morning to begin.  I started with the rules.  I am using the 5 classroom rules from WBT.  I taught the rules with the gestures.  We went over them a hundred times.  We talked about what each one means and what it covers. The rules are:
1.  Follow directions quickly.
2.  Raise your hand to speak.
3.  Raise your hand to leave your seat.
4.  Make smart choices.
5.  Make your teacher happy.
I had one or two who didn't really want to do the gestures with us.  I am hoping that after a few more days and them seeing everyone else doing it, that they will come around.  Has anyone else had trouble with a child refusing to participate? If so, how did you handle it?
I also introduced Class-Yes and Hands & Eyes.  They absolutely loved Class-Yes!  We had a lot of fun using different voices and tones.  I am just thankful that no one walked in and heard me!  I guess I just have to get over it.  My principal is in and out all day so I know it's going to happen, it's only a matter of time...
About half way through the day, I introduced the Scoreboard.  We practiced the Mighty Groan and the Mighty Oh Yeah.  We worked on being prompt- I told them as soon as they see my marker make the mark they were to start, and we worked on unison.  I explained that the Mighty Oh Yeah was a one second celebration in their table talk volume because we didn't want to disturb the class next door.  (Our rooms are connected without a door or wall.)  The day ended with 8 Smilies and 9 Frownies, which is exactly how I wanted it- There's no way I could have let them win on the first day!  I've got to give them a reason to come back on Monday and try even harder!

So tomorrow is Monday.  Day 2 of Whole Brain Teaching training for my little dolls.  I will let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Teacher Blog Tuesday!

New Teacher Blog Tuesday
Today I am featuring 3 new bloggers due to my inability to read a calendar correctly... :) Hopefully you won't mind!
Our first feature teacher is Cyndi Lacy

1.                 Name of blog and link:
My blog is called Lacy’s Letters, because my last name is Lacy (some people get confused) – lacysletters.blogspot.com
 Lacy’s Letters


2.                 Why did you start blogging?
I became obsessed with Pinterest, which let me to blog-stalking.  I figured I have things to share as well and wanted to start a blog to share my ideas with other teachers.

3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I have some student teaching experience in early childhood special education but I knew that first grade was going to be awesome when I also student taught in first.  I have taught first grade for four years and I will be moving up to second grade this upcoming year.  I’m actually really excited to be in second grade!

4.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Since I’ve moved to Missouri I have become quite the country music fan  – “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton was my wedding song J

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
I would maybe say the hardest thing I’ve had to do was move to Missouri where I currently am.  After high school, my family moved here and I was dragged along.  I HATED it at first and hated leaving behind my friends and life in California.  But now it is my home.

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show?
Sadly, I am addicted to all the Real Housewives shows.   My husband hates it!  I like the reality shows.  But I also love Seinfeld and King of Queens.

7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
DJ Inkers… it’s more fun!


8.                 Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
My birthday was in June and I only had two candles on my cake… but it read “28.”

9.                 What was the last book you read?
I am currently re-reading Lucy Calkins Units of Study as a re-fresher for Writer’s Workshop.  I am also reading Water for Elephants because I really enjoyed the movie.

10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I’ll go with I hate cleaning the showers.  That’s on the very short list that I give my husband to do, but the bad thing is that they’ll rarely get done if I don’t remind him.  I actually kind of enjoy doing laundry, it relaxes me… is that weird?



My next feature teacher is Elizabeth
1.                 Name of blog and link:
The First Grade Jungle Room - http://firstgradejungleroom.blogspot.com

The First Grade Jungle Room


2.                 Why did you start blogging?
I have had a personal/family blog for a few years, but I was never a consistent blogger.  I have fallen in love with reading blogs and spend many hours doing this every week.  This past school year had many firsts, and I decided I needed to create something that would allow me to remember certain things – funny moments in class, breakthroughs in class, what works and what doesn’t.  I want to be able to take from blogging and grow to be a better teacher.  I teach for the children, and I want to be the best I can.

3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.
To finish up my last semester at Union University in 2008 (Yes, the same time the tornados hit the campus.), I student taught in my hometown in first and fifth grade.  I applied that spring for a job in second grade in the same school system.  However due to my experience in student teaching in first grade, I was placed in a first grade classroom.  I have been in first grade ever since, a total of 5 years.  I have had numerous opportunities to move to other grades, but I have grown to love first grade.  It’s also cool to work in the same school you attended as a child.  I even have had the opportunity to work with former teachers of mine.  There is just something about small town living!

4.                 What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Oh this is hard!  I have an additional degree in music, and I actually teach private piano lessons after school.  I absolutely love music!  I guess if I had to pick some they would be:
“God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts – My husband and I dated while I was in high school and separated (no talking or anything) while I was in college.  One text message years later got us back together.  It definitely was God’s planning for us to be apart and grow as individuals before coming back together.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey – I definitely try to keep my hopes up and remain positive in all circumstances.  I have huge goals in life, and I work to accomplish a lot.
“Freckles” by Natasha Bedingfield – I have lots of freckles which have been referred to as “make-up dots” by one of my ESL students.  He went most of the year thinking I drew the “dots” on my face every morning.  We got a big laugh when he asked in class one day why I drew “dots” on my face every morning.
“Gotta Get Thru This” by Daniel Bedingfield – This has been the song that keeps me going on those rough days especially with my workouts.  After three knee surgeries, there are days that I don’t think I can do anymore.
“Stronger” by Mandisa – I try to become stronger in every situation.   I like to keep a reminder that God isn’t going to give me more than I can handle.  He is going to help me get through every situation, and I will become a stronger individual in the end.
“Big Green Tractor”  by Jason Aldean – My husband is a farmer, and our schedules revolve around farming.  We actually left the church on our wedding day on a John Deere tractor. 
My list could go on and on, but I will stop with these songs.

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
I guess the hardest thing I’ve ever done is recover from three knee surgeries on the same knee in the time span of less than 5 years.  It seemed like when I was back to walking somewhat normal the doctors would find something else wrong.  I tore my ACL during Christmas break of my senior year of high school, and it has never been right yet.  I am sure that harder things in life will come, but this is all I can think of right now.

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show?
I don’t know if I have an absolute favorite.  I record a lot of things and turn them on for noise while I’m working on things.  I guess my favorite shows would have to be the music reality shows such as American Idol, The Voice, etc.  I guess this comes as a favorite due to my music background.

7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
I typically go with Times New Roman, because that’s what I know best.  However, I am striving to become a DJ Inkers kind of girl.

8.                 Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
I did not have a birthday cake on my last birthday.  However, my students surprised my assistant and I (Our birthdays are back-to-back.) with a surprise party.  It was so cute!  If I did have candles, there would have been 26 of them. 

9.                 What was the last book you read?
The last book I finished was Take One of the Above the Line Series by Karen Kingsbury.  I am trying to go back and read the books I have missed from this great author.  I love how she keeps my attention while still providing Christian references throughout the text.

10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I hate cooking!  I know it sounds horrible, but I just don’t like being in the kitchen.  I think it comes from not ever knowing when my farmer husband will be home, if I need to keep the food warm, if we are going to get to sit down and eat, or if I am going to have to eat alone. However, I do meal plan and cook on a regular basis.  I am one of those that go straight by recipes, whereas my husband is an awesome cook and just throws things in to create an awesome meal.  I do love to bake when time allows and I’m not trying to lose weight!


My last feature teacher for this week is Shannon

1.                  Name of blog and link:
Sweet n Sassy in 2nd
Sweet n Sassy in 2nd

2.                 Why did you start blogging?
I had been admiring teacher bloggers from afar for over a year.  I thought they were amazing and I just wanted to talk with them and……..just be apart of their awesomeness. J(I thought of them as teacher STARS-rather than movie stars)  I am very thankful for all the teachers that are so willing to share their time, creativeness, and kindness with others. 

3.                  Tell us a little about your teaching background.
This is my 11th year teaching.  I have taught K, 1st, and 2nd.  I can’t really pick my favorite because I truly enjoy just being in the classroom with these kids.  I love their personalities and stories.  I love how they are so honest, so loving, so giving, so brave, and just so stinkin precious.

4.                  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Okay, so I can’t think of particular songs but I can think of artist.  Right now there is a lot of Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber-this is because of my little girl.  You will also find a lot of rap because my teenager enjoys listening to this (and me too) and then you’ll find some Zac Brown band, The Band Perry, and Darius Rucker; because me and my husband enjoy listening to these together. 

5.                 What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
It’s funny how you grow as a person and what seems sooo hard at one point in your life, you can look back and say…..”that wasn’t so bad”.  I think the most recent HARDEST thing I’ve done…..was give a speech/presentation at our back to school convocation.  I actually still get butterflies in my tummy when I think about it.  I was chosen as our district Elementary Teacher of the Year.  Wow!! What an honor!!—this still amazes and surprises me BUT……along with this honor, you have to present something about you at convocation. {gulp!!}  And guess what I had ALL summer to plan and think about it.  I spent a lot of time praying and I felt like God had given me the opportunity to share my story with fellow teachers and remind them just how important and crucial our job truly is.  These kids need us AND some more than others.  My sweet husband and best friend put the whole thing on youtube under Royse City Convocation 2011, if you wanted to see. J

6.                 What’s your favorite TV show?
I like to watch Good Luck Charlie and America’s Funniest Videos but we don’t spend a lot of time watching shows.  We do watch a lot of sports. ;)

7.                  Are you a Times New Roman or DJ Inkers kind of girl and why?
I’m definitely and DJ kinda girl.  I love fun and a lot of personality, you can’t really get that with Times New Roman.
8.                 Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
Ummmm……….A LOT.  Oh geez, last year I had 35 candles on my cake, pretty much a fire hazard. 

9.                 What was the last book you read?
Well, I hope I’m not banned after admitting this but……….I just completed the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. 
10.            What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
This is going to sound strange but I hate putting up laundry.  I don’t mind washing and I find folding to be relaxing but OH MY LARRY!! –I can put off putting up some laundry.  I do hate that……and HATE is a strong word.


Join me next week to welcome Vera and Brigid to the blogging world!  As always, if you'd like to be featured, send me an email  to dml8609@gmail.com

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