liebster award

liebster award

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Liebster Award

Wow, I got an email saying I was nominated for the Liebster award (actually, now in my comments I have been twice nominated).

So what does this mean?  Well, first of all it means somebody out there is reading!!  Secondly, it means my next blog post is all about the requirements of this award.  Seems there are a bunch of questions and I have to go out and nominate a few blogs to receive the award as well.

The "Rules" to Accept the Award: 
    Link back to the blog that nominated me 
    Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers 
    Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator 
    Share 11 random facts about yourself  
    Create 11 questions for your nominees   
    Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them 

Lessons With Coffee (Jameson Michelle) questions: 
1.     What made you start writing a blog?
I've been reading blogs now for about 9 months.  Last year the MTBoS had a challenge for new bloggers.  I was hoping for one for this year and basically harassed Sam Shah one evening on twitter about when it would be and he challenged me to blog 3x a week for the summer.   
2.     What song do you most listen to when you are in need of a pick-me-up?
Lately I would have to say Get Lucky by Daft Punk
3.     Can you name a movie adaptation that was better than the book?
No, I cannot
4.     What children’s book describes the meaning of life best in your eyes? OR What book (children or adult) changed your life and why? 
I've always read so much and pieces of lots of books have helped shape my perspective.  There's a mnemonic device in Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse involving 5 lines which I frequently find my mind returning to when I am stuck on a problem that has probably influenced me as much as anything.
5.     What obscure pieces of trivia are you most impressed with yourself for knowing?
That there are 8 letters which can act as vowels in the English Language.
6.     What are you thinking about doing for Open House this year?  
Stations.  Having parents do an activity like their kids are doing and getting as many of them signed up on the grade program as possible in one of the stations
7.     What are you thinking about doing for first day of school this year?
I just blogged about this one.  Feel free to go back up and read my last blog posting.
8.     If you had to pick another career what would it be?
Ombudsman.  Plant propagator.  Own my own restaurant.  
9.     Who is your celebrity crush?
Christina Ricci (but not from Casper, like from Sleepy Hollow) Though I would totally like Nicholas Cage to play me in a movie.(not that he looks like me)   My Math Crush is of course Fawn Nguyen
10.  What is your favorite thing about your mate or best friend?
She's very supportive.
11.  What is one piece of advice you would give a new teacher?
Find your own voice.  Each day should be used as an opportunity to challenge your students and yourself. 

 Radical Robin's Questions: (from Flip Learn Share)
1. What was your favorite subject in high school/college?
    In High School, my favorite class was Humanities. In college, it was Geometry (which is odd because I didn't like it at all in high school)

2. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
     In winter it is visiting my family in Florida. In summer it is Little Compton, Rhode Island.

3. What is your favorite book/movie or play?
    There are so many books:  The Bible, Kafka's The Trial, On a Pale Horse, the Joy of Mathematics Series, too many to continue

4.  Why did you become a teacher?
June, July, August.  Just kidding.  I had a math teacher in high school who came in one day and said "I've not gotten this far in the book in too many years. I've forgotten how to do these problems.  We'll work out the first 20 and whomever gets the most correct gets to teach for the next 3 weeks" Lastly, I had a son young and the notion of being able to have a job which allowed me to be with him as much as I could was extremely appealing for a non-custodial father.

5. Do you follow your textbook from start to finish?
Heck, no.  In fact the kids complain that I make them bring it from time to time because I so infrequently actually use it for other than homework.

6. What is your favorite teaching resource?
how about top 3:  projector (sorry I remember chalk all too well), my Algeblocks and my gridded whiteboards

7. What is/was your favorite lesson to teach?
I've got a few.  I do one on scientific notation which is filled with really crude humor and its a lesson in which I have 100% of students on task the entire time, we laugh almost the whole period and scores are always very good on the assessment. (But I would never do it with witnesses present)  I do another one called "Is Mr. Hills Normal" relating to the distribution of heights and its another good one.  I'm short and according to the math I end up within 1 standard deviation of the mean (Normal) every year! (at least when the whole class is included)

8.  What kind of music do you like?
Everything.  Name a style and I'll name 2-3 groups/artists I like.  

9. What is the funniest joke you know?
I'm telling you, that Scientific notation lesson keeps 34 of us laughing and fooling around for 70+ minutes.  That's the funniest thing I can think of.  

10.  How did you choose the title of your blog?
I wanted something for my twitter handle that combined my teaching and gardening interests.  I kept the same name for my blog.

11. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Somewhere where I could have 4 seasons, enough land to garden to my heart's content, a stream where I could fish.  Close enough to civilization that a trip into town doesn't feel tedious.  Far enough that I cannot see my neighbors. 

My 11 questions:  
1.  Is there anything you wish you could teach, but don't get the chance to?
2.  Did any teachers when you were in school particularly challenge you, and how did they do it?
3.  Do you worry about continued employment from year to year?
4.  What do you think is the greatest impediment to people becoming or staying teachers?
5.  If you could have your own child in one of the bloggers who you follow's class next year, who would it be?
6.  If you could take your class next year on a field trip, where would you take them and why?
7.  If you're in the middle of a lesson which is bombing, what do you do?
8.  In the past year, approximately how many hours of (real life) professional development have you done?  approx. how many hours of virtual PD?
9.  Are you a member of the national association relating to your subject matter (ie, NCTM)? If so, why. It not, why not?
10.  What is the opinion of your co-workers (about you and what you do) in your department at school?
11.  If you were made superintendent of your district for a day what would you change about how things are currently done?

11 Random facts about me:
1.  I'm short.  5' 5.5"  
2.  I'm the oldest math teacher in my department at school and you'd never know it.
3.  I've taught Science, History, Math, Grammar, Literature, Business and Sunday School.
4. Some people have gambling or drinking problems, I have a gardening problem.
5. I have a poem I recite before each quiz, test or final.  The kids expect it and "remind" me when they think I've forgotten it.
6.  I have 4 kids, an almost 20 year old boy, a 9 year old boy and 2 new children a 13 year old girl and a 10 year old girl.
7.  I cook well, well enough that I've been told I make the best grilled cheese in the world. (and honestly that's not the extent of my ability, I swear).
8.  I cannot eat cheese.
9.  My desk is always messy...  but I know where everything is
10. I never get as much one on one time with students as I would like.
11. I love it when ex-students come back to visit

Blogs I'm nominating: (in no particular order)
1.  Kathryn at Restructuring Algebra
   This Kathryn is a friend on twitter and she is giving a great perspective with regard to trying to apply CCSS standards to Algebra 1)

2.  Kathryn at i is a number
    This Kathryn is a new find for me, but I am very impressed with her energy and perspective on INB/ISN's

3.  Andrew at Social Studies and More
    Andrew is brand-new at blogging, but I follow him on twitter and he is well worth following)

4.  Druin at Stat Teacher Blogspot
    I really should know her real name, but @druinok is her Twitter handle.  this one undoubtedly breaks the rule regarding less than 200 followers, but she definitely deserves a mention!

5.  Jessica at Algebrainiac
        Generous with her creations, been doing SBG for a while, down to earth and easy to talk to.  Well worth a look!!

6.  Amy at Teach Reflect Repeat
    I love the fans!  I really have got to find a way to use these in my INB/ISN this next year!


  1. Thanks so much for your kind words and the nomination! Check out my newest post for answers to your questions.

  2. Ah your number 9 of your 11 facts. I am the same way! My students call them my "piles" I might start to number them so that others can find things! :)

  3. Thanks for the nomination! Here is my post.
    Please read for errors and let me know if there are any. It's so long I didn't want to read it all again!

    Also can I use the pretty award logo from your blog? Did you make it or did it come from somewhere?