Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Liebster Award!

  
Woah! So I went on vacation and returned to find not one, but two nominations for the Liebster Award awaiting me in my inbox! Then, as I was working on this post, I received another nomination! I am honored, grateful, and pretty thrilled, even though it has taken me quite a few days to get caught up on things and respond to these sweet nominations. I want to extend a very special "thank you" to Heather at Learning with Mrs. Langley,  Em & Maria at Curious Firsties AND Susan at Happiness is Watermelon Shaped in Third Grade for nominating me for such a neat award. Please take a minute to visit their blogs if you can. They are each lovely, and you won't be disappointed! :)
  

So, forgive me if I am a bit out-of-the-loop with the details of this award, but I wanted to know more about where, exactly, this Liebster thing came from. I found the following explanation at We Loved Here and I thought I would share it with you:

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn't that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

Isn't that the most pleasant description ever? Needless to say, I am glad to participate in such a lovely blog share.

Rules for participating in this blog award are as follows:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me. (See above...)
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers. (See way below...)
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator. (That's next...)
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself. (Could get crazy...)
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees. (Oh, the possibilities...)
6. Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an email to communicate the nomination. (Will do...)

So the interesting part about this is that I have two sets of questions to answer! You will get to learn a lot about me today, right?!? Here we go...!

Questions from Heather:

1.  What is the best vacation you have ever been on?
Oh, my beach vacation last summer was, without a doubt, the best one ever. If you missed my recent blog post about that one, you should check it out here: One Year Later
2.  Would you rather live on the beach, in the city, or woods?
Tough one! I am pretty sure I would choose the city... I think I appreciate woods more from a distance (I am terribly afraid of spiders...), and if I lived at the beach, then where would I go on vacation?!? I lived in Nashville for a while, though, and I loved that.
3.  What do you eat for lunch at school?
The specifics vary, but I always carry some type of fruit and at least one vegetable. I can be a bit of a health nut...
4.  What is your favorite part about being a teacher? 
Watching my students grow throughout the year. It's amazing how much they change and learn in such a short time.
5.  What is your favorite lesson to teach?
I'm not sure that I have one favorite lesson, specifically, but I tend to favor reading lessons. I love my little guided reading groups, and I feel like I get to interact and share so much more with my students during those lessons. 


Questions from Em&M (don't you love their author name combo?!?):
1. What is your favorite summer activity?
Traveling! Even if we don't go on the most adventurous, exciting trip, I just love the freedom of being able to pack a suitcase and experience a change of pace/scenery for a few days. Next to that, I enjoy reading. I know that's not technically just a "summer" activity, but I seem to be able to do so much more of it in the summer than during any other time, so I really savor my quality reading time in those summer months. 
2. What is one of the coolest things you have ever done?

Fallen in love.
3. What is something that you have learned today?

Cal Ripken, Jr holds the record for playing the most consecutive MLB games. (2,632 games)
4. What is one of your favorite habits that you have?

Drinking coffee.
5. Would you rather live in the country or a city?  Why?

Well, could I have a little bit of both? I want the city when I look out my front door and the country in my back yard. Or maybe just the outskirts of the city... ? I know I chose to live in the city for Heather's question, but I think I am probably more at home in the country. Just not the woods. And as long as I'm armed with plenty of spider spray. Can you tell I'm really a small-town girl??? That question should not be so difficult to answer... gah.
6. What is your favorite color?
A shade of coral.
7. How is your classroom decorated?
This is a tough one, because I don't really have a particular theme, although we are using a lot of animals throughout the classroom. As far as colors are concerned, I think I'm using pretty much all of the primary colors. There's a splash of chevron here and there, and there are a few lanterns above a cozy reading corner. I will share a classroom tour of all the changes and updates on The Tally Tales after school starts. Maybe pictures will make more sense than my description here. ;)
8. What is your favorite thing to read: newspaper, magazine, websites, books, other?

Books!
9. What is your favorite type of ice cream?

Well, I don't eat much ice cream, since I'm lactose-intolerant, but if I could eat it, I would really enjoy neapolitan ice cream. You know; the kind with vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate all in the same carton so you can enjoy a little bite of each!
10.  What's your favorite summer meal?

A salad with fruit. Chick-fil-a has amazing summer salads, and they have been my favorite treats this summer.
11.  Burger or Hot Dog?

Hot dog.

Questions from Susan:
1.  What is the best "teacher" book you have ever read?
Hmm... That's a tough one. It's been a while since I read this one, but I am a devoted fan of the text When Kids Can't Read, What Teachers Can Do by Kylene Beers.
2.  What's your favorite place to shop?

For clothes? I love Anthropology, but I probably spend the most money at TJMaxx, Gap, and Francesca's. For everything else, I go to Hobby Lobby. 
3.  What do you do in your free time?

Read, write, make crafts, exercise, cook... Oh, and blog. ;)
4.  If you could be given one thing to improve your teaching, what would it be?

I would become more knowledgable of early phonics/fundamental skills. I feel like I spend a lot of time "looking up" various rules to "refresh my memory." 
5.  What's your favorite meal to prepare or eat?
Breakfast! I love cooking breakfast, especially on Saturday mornings when there's more time to enjoy the meal. :)
6.  If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

That is a long list, but I would love to visit Scotland, among other places. ;)
7.  What are your favorite TV shows?

Friends, How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, Revenge, The Voice, and Nashville. Hmm.. is that a long list or what? I really don't feel like I watch that much TV. 

Friends is probably my all-time favorite, and Nashville is probably my favorite of the moment.
8.  What is your favorite blog(s)?
Oh, this is a tough one! Two of my all-time favorite blogs are Oh, Hello Friend and The Small Things Blog.
9.  Do you have a TPT store?  If so, please give the address, too.

Yes! You can visit The Tally Tales store here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Tally-Tales 
10.  What is the last book you read?

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley. If you missed my review, you can read it here.

Eleven Random Facts About Me:
1. I have trouble sitting still for long periods of time. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm pretty sure I annoy others because I always have to do something.
2. On two separate occasions, I have given up chocolate for a whole year. The first time, I just wanted to see if I could do it. I really don't know why I chose to do it again. Those two years were the only ones in which I have ever made a New Year's Resolution.
3. I am extremely annoyed by most Facebook statuses. When did people lose all ability to filter the information they put out there?
4. By nature, I am a bit of a night owl. In my dream world, I wouldn't have to go to work until at least 8:30 or 9. I really struggle to go to bed early, but I still want to get in my 7-8 hours of sleep. You see my dilemma.
5. I do not like scary movies. I don't even like the previews for scary movies.
6. I am terrified of spiders, but snakes don't really bother me.
7. I have the Hobby Lobby app on my phone, and I use it almost daily.
8. If I could be anything other than a teacher, I would be a writer.
9. I own every season of Friends, and I have watched them all. Multiple times.
10. I absolutely love strawberries.
11. I took piano lessons for eleven years, and I am certain that my piano teacher was my kindred spirit. If you read Anne of Green Gables as a child, you understand exactly what this means...

Eleven Questions for My Nominees:
1. Where is your favorite place to visit?
2. How do you like to spend a Saturday morning?
3. What is your favorite memory?
4. Why did you start blogging?
5. Coffee or not? If so, what kind?
6. What is your favorite book?
7. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did that dream become reality?
8. Are you a pet-lover? If so, how many pets (and what kind) do you have?
9. What is your favorite TV show?
10. Winter or summer?
11. Share a great bit of advice you have received at some point in your life.

And the Nominees Are:
1. Meghan at First Grade Hugs and High Fives
2. Linda at Kinderdoodles
3. Jenny Mac at Crumbs Under the Table
4. Gigi at The Late Bloomer's Book Blog
5. Leslie at Pink Pearls of Wisdom

I look forward to learning more about each of you awesome blogger nominees! Thanks so much to everyone else for hanging in there through this oh-so-long post today! :)