Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My first blog award!

Well, I didn’t go shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.  Our family is just so over trying to guess what the other wants.  We just bake, and spend time together.  However, I found a HUGE Cyber Monday treat in my inbox this evening!  Bailey Sturdy has nominated me for a liebster blog award!!!  I am so honored and most appreciative.  Now, I just have to live up to it by posting more regularly, and by coming up with more original ideas to share. 

Here are the rules for the Liebster award:
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, 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.

But, I think I will reverse the order just a bit.  First, here are the answers to Bailey’s questions for me. 

1. What is your favorite dessert?  Gosh, this is a tough one!  I’ll enjoy just about ANY dessert, but my favorite probably has to be a toss-up between French silk pie and moose tracks ice cream. 
2. Beach or mountains?  Beach!  I like to swim, and walk on the beach. 
3. If you could travel anywhere you want, where would you go?  Back to Spain, where I spent a month studying Spanish as a high school sophomore with my classmates.
4. What was the last dream you had?  I dreamed I was staying overnight at my school for some bizarre reason, and then felt afraid that I’d set off the security system if I went in or out of the building in the dead of night! 
5. What is your favorite grade to teach?  K – 1.  The sooner we catch the ones that lag & get ‘em up to speed, the better.
6. If you could go back to any time in your life, what would it be?  Actually, I don’t think I would.  I’m pretty contented these days. ;)
7. What color are your eyes?  blue
8. Do you have any pets?  Not now, but I used to have a few chickens.  They lay the best eggs.  And, I used to have a gray cockatiel too.
9. Are you a night owl or early bird?  I’m a semi early bird.  I like getting up between 7:30 and 8 when I have a choice.  I’m quite a party pooper though, I tucker out between 10:30 and 11:00. 
10. Does your classroom have a theme? If so, what is it?  No, unfortunately. It seems all I can do to keep it together sometimes. ;)
11. What is your favorite movie?  Oh gosh, can I pick 2?  The Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins.  I LOVE musicals! 

Now, here’s 11 random things about me: 
1.  I’m a native Florida girl, born & raised in St. Petersburg.
2.  I used to have hair down to my waist, but I had it cut to my shoulders last year. 
3.  I teach a few random different things:  I tutor elementary schoolers, I teach typing to adults, and I teach music to toddlers through pre-K. 
4.  I started graduate school specializing in ESOL last September, and I look forward to   posting about it.
5.  I play the pipe organ as well as the piano.
6.  I also like to bake cakes and cookies.  I especially like decorating sugar cookies. 
7.  I can be moderately crafty at times when I’m feeling creative.
8.  I’ve been working on a simple rhyming children’s book called Duck in a Truck, and drawing the pictures.  I love to draw, but I’m really terrible at it. ;)
9.  I love listening to a wide variety of music including classical, jazz, blues, country, rock & roll and even some contemporary stuff on the charts today.
10.  I like scented candles and nice, hot baths. 
11.  I have a slight vision impairment that can’t be corrected with glasses, which prevents me from driving.  I’m always relying on others for rides. ;(  And I go through life using magnifiers for anything and everything, which is okay.

And now, DRUM ROLL PLEASE…..  Here are my nominees: 

1.   It’s Elementary music  http://itselementarymusic.blogspot.com/
4.  5th Grade Chalk Talk  http://5thgradechalktalk.blogspot.com/
5. Shoot for the moon  http://shootforthem00n.blogspot.com/
6.  Miss Math dork  http://missmathdork.blogspot.com/
7.  K & C Love Grade 3  http://kandclovegrade3.blogspot.com/
8.  Surviving the First Year  http://surviving-the-first-year.blogspot.com/
10.  Another Step to Take  http://anothersteptotake.blogspot.com/

Here are my questions for them: 
1.  How long ago did you start blogging? 
2.  What is the most important thing you’ve learned from blogging? 
3.  What is your favorite holiday? 
4.  Do you relax on vacations, or do you like to fit in many activities? 
5.  What’s your favorite recipe?
6.  What’s your favorite dessert?
7.  What advice do you have for new teachers?
8.  What’s your absolute favorite classroom resource? 
9.  If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
10.  What is your favorite artist or genre of music? 
11.  Do you like flavored coffee? 

Congratulations to all of the nominees.  Hope you all enjoy the award as much as I do.

Happy blogging, everyone, and happy teaching!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November Currently

Geez Louise!!  Where has the time gone!  I can't believe it's November already.  Whew!  I survived Halloween!  I always hate it when Halloween or Valentines' Day fall in the middle of the week.  They create absolute mayham.  But, they do provide fun opportunities to plan creative activities.  I wasn't as creative this year as I would have liked, but I did manage to tie in the Halloween candy bar fractions lesson I cited earlier, along with some spooky stories and persuasive writing for my elementary schoolers.  My early childhood music class had fun with many different Halloween-themed songs and chants.  I'm thrilled beyond thrilled that the election is almost over, and soon, all of the nasty advertizing and annoying phone calls will stop!!  I'm looking forward to reading other posts, finding new blogs and to joining this little monthly linky party. 

Happy teaching!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Some ESOL Strategies I'm using

This week, my 3rd grade ELL and I studied a book called Did You Hear Something, perfect for Halloween. 

We created a plot wallet for this book, an idea I stole from Mandy's Tips for Teachers.  This mini-lesson activity was helpful in demonstrating the importance of re-reading in order to decide which ideas were really the most important to include in a summary. 
The week before, we were working on academic vocabulary related to the solar system and space.  Some concepts just lend themselves well to being acted out in order to support understanding.  In order to demonstrate an orbit, I placed a chair in the middle of the room.  We walked around and around the chair, holding onto it with one hand.  It is easy to drop something to demonstrate gravity, but slightly harder to demonstrate that this same force maintains the orbits of the planets and their satellites.  Finally, after some more discussion, and re-reading of a text that the student had read in class, we played a charades game.  Each of us took turns acting out a word, which the other tried t identify or explain. Movement and interaction are a great means to support the acquisition of academic language.  This would have been even more effective if I were working with a small group instead of just one student. 

Happy Teaching!