Archive for December 31, 2013

PLN Blogging Challenge

If you’re on Twitter then I’m sure you’ve seen people tweeting out the PLN Blogging Challenge, Sunshine Award, Homework Meme, or whatever other names they are giving it.  It’s basically like a chain letter for blogging, which I have enjoyed reading others’ posts, but have been avoided joining in myself.  I have been tagged by numerous people in their posts, including Patrick LarkinTony Sinanis, Victoria Day, Melinda Miller, Amber Teaman, and probably others, but I’ve lost track.  I haven’t blogged in a month, so I guess this gives me a writing prompt.  So here goes…

This PLN blogging challenges gives us bloggers a chance to get to know each other better through this post (and reading each others’).

Here are the rules of the challenge:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

11 random facts about me:

1. I have two boys, ages 8 and 3.

2. Both of my boys share the same middle name, along with my husband. We absolutely could not agree on names and this made it easier!

3. I am originally from Bemidji, Minnesota; the home of Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox.  I just returned from a Christmas visit there and feel like it’s colder than the North Pole.

4. I lived near Phoenix, Arizona for 6 years. I enjoyed the summer climate for the first two years, but then missed having seasons, which is why we moved back to the midwest and landed in a rural town in Wisconsin.  I love it here!

5. If I had to, I think I could survive on chocolate and coffee alone. I often do.

6. I love to run, but only do so in the non-snow months (which doesn’t seem to be that many), because my brain can not handle a treadmill.

7. If you would have told me when I was a teacher that I would be a principal I would have called you crazy.  I had no intentions of ever becoming a principal, it just happened and now I love my job.

8. I’m the co-moderator of the #educoach chat with Shira Leibowitz and Kathy Perret. We are also co-writing a book tentatively titled, “Putting on the Coach’s Hat: How School Leaders Can utilize Instructional Coaching Techniques to Support Teacher Growth”.

9. I wrote a children’s novel geared towards those that are obsessed with the game Minecraft, because it is the only topic my child is interested in reading about and I can’t find much out there for reading on it.  You can read my blog post about this HERE or purchase it on kindle HERE. I’d love to get it published through Scholastic so it can get into more hands to read, but I just haven’t taken the time to find an agent.  I learned through this process that publishing books in the fiction world is much different than professional education field.

10. I can play almost any musical instrument (I once planned to be a band teacher and even did a long term sub position as a band/choir teacher), but I cannot learn to play the guitar my husband got me for my birthday 4 years ago. If I don’t figure it out soon he swears he’ll sell it on Craigslist.

11. I love my android smartphone, but I am well known for hitting send on a text message before checking to see what autocorrect did to me and I say some very interesting things that way.  I can just hear the laughter now from some of my friends now.

Now to answer the other 11 questions from the challenge (ok, everyone had 11 different questions, so I cheated and picked the ones I liked!)

1. What is your favorite tv show? Hard to pick just one, but I’ll go with: The Office, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.

2. What is one app or resource you’ve learned about on Twitter that has been a game changer for you at work? Just being able to use my iPad to keep me mobile and out of my office. My top used apps there are: Evernote, Simple Goals, and Google Forms.

3. What is your typical bedtime? I can not seem to get to bed before 11.

4. Best book you’ve read in 2013? I read so much, that’s hard to choose, so here’s a few: The Fault in our Stars, These Broken Stars, Gone Girl, and the Divergent series. 

5. Favorite Twitter Chat: I’m biased towards #educoach on Wednesday nights at 9pm CST. Also #principalcast is the hashtag when I co-host the PrincipalCast podcast with Theresa Stager and Spike Cook.

6. Best place you’ve vacationed? We’re not big vacationers, but we do like to go camping where there’s a lake to fish, nice pool to swim in and nice bathrooms. I grew up camping with outhouses and I prefer the nice bathrooms instead. 😉

7. How has your PLN impacted you? I honestly feel like I could not do my job without my PLN to get ideas and advice from. I have established close relationships with quite a few of my PLN that I have great conversations with on a regular basis outside of the 140 character limit of Twitter.

8. What motivates you each day to be an educator?  It was great teachers that helped me when I grew up and I want to do the same for other kids in need. I also often feel like I’m doing it out of selfishness, because I want our school to be the best school for my kids (it’s their school too!)

9. What was the most amazing lesson you ever facilitated or observed? I’m always amazed when I see my teachers leading mini-lessons in reading/writing during the Daily 5 block. I wish I could go back in time and teach that way, because it’s so much more engaging and student centered than how I taught. Our students are so lucky!

10. If you had a whole day to do just what you wanted, what would it be? Read great books and drink coffee all day!

11. Favorite tv show when you were growing up? Hard to recall, but a few that come to mind are 90210, Full House and Growing Pains.

My questions are the same for the following bloggers that I’d like to see complete this challenge:

1. Tom Whitford

2. Leah Whitford

3. Joe Sanfelippo

4. Tim Lauer

5. Erin Simpson (Yes, you’ll have to start a blog Erin, but what better first post than this one?! Love the peer pressure?)
6. Matt Renwick 

7. Jay Posick

8. Mindy Reid

9. Theresa Stager

10. Spike Cook

11. Eric Sheninger