Thursday, July 18, 2013

Liebster Award!

The WHAT?! Award! What is the Liebster Award?! ... I have no idea but hey if it's an award then I'll take it! Who doesn't LOVE awards?!

Stacey at Teaching Ever After, taught me that the Liebster Award is an award given to new bloggers to help encourage and promote them in the bloggy world. Just what I am in need of! As you can see I am so new to the blogging world that my posts haven't even reached the double digits yet! I couldn't thank Stacey at 

enough for nominating me! Stacey is not only the author of a great blog (aren't her kiddos so adorable!) but she is a great friend, a fantastic colleague, and an AMAZING teacher! I had the pleasure of working with her as a grade level teammate a few years ago and I'd have to say she is a pretty AWESOME teacher! 

So, after checking out Stacey's blog and what this Liebster Award is all about, I am ready to get started! 

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me.
2. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator.
3. Share 11 random facts about myself.
4. Create 11 questions for my nominees.
5. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
6. Contact my nominees to let them know that I nominated them.

So here it goes .... I did #1 above so be sure to check out Stacey's blog and her awesome Lemonade themed Behavior Management Tools!

#2 Questions from Stacey
1. Why did you choose to go into teaching?
I wanted to be a teacher since I was in 1st grade. It is the only career I ever saw myself doing and it is what I set my mind to. I have always loved children and watching them grow. 

2. What are your 3 favorite books to read to your class?
*Just this past year I picked up the novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It is such a great story and really encourages empathy which is a trait third graders rarely have. Grab you box of tissues and enjoy!
*Another favorite is The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. I picked up this book one year during the Scholastic Book Fair because it had math problems intertwined within the novel. Little did I know that it has a fantastic story line as well! One the kids could really relate to, especially now that I am teaching an advanced class! Don't pass this one by 3rd & 4th grade teachers!
*Finally, my all time favorite would have to be The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I have seen the movie a hundred times but this past school year we incorporated this novel as a part of the 3rd grade Advanced reading curriculum and we couldn't have chosen a better novel! It was AMAZING! This details that are within the novel and left out in to movie are shocking. They always say books are better than movies and this is so true with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Come back to hear more about the novel study I teach utilizing this book!

3. What do you do in your free time?
In my free time I try to stay active. I am currently running with a run group through Fleet Feet. I love running and getting out there with a group makes it much more enjoyable! I also am diving into the blogging world and trying to keep my house clean! LOL! That is a task in itself!

4. Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
This is a tough one for me. I'm not sure if she is my biggest inspiration but Kristina Smekens! is amazing and I am in love with her 6 traits of writing. I have been utilizing her writer's workshop in my room for the past 4 years now and the products I get out of my students are UNBELIEVABLE! I have been to many of Kristina's workshops and she is so down to earth. I LOVE her ambition and drive to educate others. I am even a little famous on her site! She asked me for a pic of my yearlong bulletin board! Over the year, I hope to share with you how I make the 6 traits work within my high ability classroom!

5. If you were stuck on a desert island, what is the one thing you would have to have? Why?
Humm ... not including the essential things to survive ... I would have to say, my boyfriend, Jason. (I know, sappy right?!) He is everything to me but more importantly he would have to ability to build us some sort of raft or figure out a way to get us rescued. And if worse came to worse he isn't skin and bones so I wouldn't starve. JK! LOL!

6. What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom?
LYING ... By the end of third grade the drama filled sweet girls are on my last nerve and when something happens and they don't want to get into trouble the lies start spilling out. I always tell my students that "I will trust you until you give me a reason not to" and when they first lie to me I don't let them live that lie down when other things come up. They have to win back my trust by being truthful in future situations. A little bit of tough love goes a long way with third grade girls. After all I am there to teach them, not be their best friend.

7. Why did you join the bloggy world?
A few reasons come to mind here. First, I wanted to be on the up and up and many of the resources out there are now posted within blogs! Second, I couldn't pass up a way to make a little more money. (keep your eyes peeled! My first TpT product is coming out soon! Bloom's anyone?) And finally, I wanted to find a way to share with other teachers more about High Ability education. By no means am I an expert but through my High Ability course work and with the expansion of my districts High Ability program I have learned a great deal about what it means to be Gifted and how we as teachers don't always understand the difference between Gifted and Bright... More to come on that topic too! (Boy my to do list is growing! How exciting!)

8. What are you most proud of?
This is another difficult one. Back when I was in college I was a part of the Indiana Student Education Foundation and served as chair of the Outreach to Teach project. This is an annual project put together by ISEA to help public schools with minor repairs and updates. This project was very rewarding! We helped update and repair LaCrosse School which houses grades K-6 and 9-12. LaCrosse, Indiana is a very small town with a very small budget and with the help of many volunteers and ISEA we were able to spruce up the place! Like them on Facebook to find out where their next project will be!

9. Where would you go on your dream vacation?
I would love to travel through Europe and see all the history it has to offer! Or any one of those dream locations The Bachelor and Bachelorette go to! (Yes, I am addicted to that show! Shh! Don't tell anyone!)


10. What toy do you miss from your childhood?
That would have to be Tamagachi and Dream Phone! I LOVED taking care of that little critter and calling those boys on Dream Phone couldn't be more fun!!

11. What is your favorite song?
This is a bad question for me ... I am not a music junkie by any means and I will listen to just about anything. I really do not have a favorite song or a favorite type of music. Let me know what your favorites are and maybe I can adopt something! :)

#3 11 Random Facts about Me!
1. I visited Alaska when I was 12. (I'd love to go back someday!)
2. I did not fly on a plane until just last year, December 2012!
3. As a matter of fact, I had never even been to an airport until then!
4. I have been with my boyfriend for 10 years now and I wouldn't have it any other way!
5. I have two dogs that love to pee on visitors feet .... bring an extra pair of sock please!
6. I still feel nervous when I buy alcohol ... and I never bought it when I was underage!
7. I often find myself moving post-it notes from one place to another for no reason. (It's an organization thing ... and a way to procrastinate!)
8. I am addicted to Hershey's chocolate that has been kept in the refrigerator. I love the snap and crunch of the cold chocolate! Yumm! (I'm currently trying to break this addiction! Ugh!)
9. I enjoy crocheting ... and no, I am not a grandma! :)
10. I had lice as a kid and am terrified of getting it as an adult! Yuck!
11. I recently finished my first half marathon, 13.1 miles, in only 2 hours and 25 minutes!

#4 11 Questions for my Nominees!
1. What inspired you to begin blogging?
2. What are 3 of your favorite strategies you use in your classroom?
3. What are you most interested in learning about High Ability education?
4. They say it is a good idea to make positive phone calls home to parents. What are some things you like to call home about?
5. I am going to have my very 1st student teacher in the fall. What are 3 tips I should give her about teaching? Or what are 3 tips for me about having a student teacher?
6. What blogs to you follow religiously?
7. What is the one classroom item you could not teach without?
8. What is your favorite non-school related book?
9. If you could live anywhere, where would you live? Why?
10. What is your go to recipe when answering the dreaded question "What's for dinner?"
11. How do you spend your summer breaks?

#5 Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

#6 Contact my nominees to let them know that I nominated them.
The nominees have been contacted and I am excited to hear their answers to my questions! Thank you in advance for participating in the Liebster Award nomination. I know it is a bit of work but who doesn't LOVE blog surfing! Each of you have inspired me in some way just by visiting your blog! Keep up the AMAZING work!



  1. Susan, Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! I'm your newest follower and so excited to find another Indiana HA teacher! This coming school year will be my second year teaching a self contained HA class.

    Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

    1. Aimee, This coming school year is also going to be my second year teaching high ability! Last year I had a cluster group and taught somewhat of a split but this year I have a "self-contained cluster"... All of my students are identified but some are only identified in one area! It might be a challenge but I am up for it!! I look forward to learning though each other this year! If there are any other high ability teachers out there! Please comment and join in on the conversations!


  2. Thanks for the shout out Susan! I truly enjoyed working with you too and I'm happy to call you friend!

  3. Hi Susan, thank you for stopping by my blog and nominating me! I have yet to read my Building Mathematical Comprehension book, but I've heard some great things about it. I've started following you also :)

    Ladybugs Lounge

    1. My copy is on it's way in the mail! I'm super excited to see ALL that it has to offer!