Sunday, July 14, 2013

Leibster Award

I had a comment posted on my blog today from S Hills.  He nominated me for the Leibster Award and I'm sorry to say I'd never come across his blog before!  That's remedied now that I'm following him! 

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 

Here are some blogs of note that you should check out.  I'm nominating them for the Leibster Award. 

Everybody is a Genius I've already lost count of how many of Sarah's awesome ideas I've used.  Just today, I worked on Interactive Notebook covers based on her Numbers About Me idea!
Hodges Herald Another Interactive Notebook master!  
Easing the Hurry Syndrome There's a great post on having students journal about how they have exemplified the SOMP. 
Ms Math Madness Hello, foldables! 
Mrs. W's Math Connection What an interesting raft project idea! 

My 11 questions from S Hills:  
1.  Is there anything you wish you could teach, but don't get the chance to?
 I would love, love, love to teach French.  I'm certified and keep asking, but for now my school deems math more important.  
2.  Did any teachers when you were in school particularly challenge you, and how did they do it?
I remember my 9th grade honors English teacher, Mr. Nelson, would go to great lengths to ask probing questions and encourage discussion.  We had a midyear exam in that class (a first, as we were just in 9th grade) and I was one of two kids who earned an A.  Why?  I had taken notes all year throughout our discussions.  Most everyone else hadn't.  They didn't think we were "learning" because we weren't doing worksheets.  
My French professor in college also set impossibly high standards but provided so much encouragement and professed great confidence in our ability to succeed that we had no choice but to make her proud.  I read four classic French novels my first semester of college.  In high school, I'd never read more than 5 pages at a time.  
3.  Do you worry about continued employment from year to year?
No.  Our enrollment is steady and I'm tenured.  
4.  What do you think is the greatest impediment to people becoming or staying teachers?
You're always "on" and the demands on your time don't stop at 2:30.  I'm sometimes envious of friends who get home from work and are done until the next morning.  
5.  If you could have your own child in one of the bloggers who you follow's class next year, who would it be?
My theoretical child would be in Fawn Nguyen's class.  Barbie Bungee!  
6.  If you could take your class next year on a field trip, where would you take them and why?
If you'd asked me this a week ago, I would have answered differently.  I spoke with a couple of parents this weekend and I was amazed to hear that their 7th and 8th grade students are already seriously looking at college.  I would love to take kids to a college to sit in on classes and learn about scholarships/financial aid.  I live in a rural area where many of my students are going to be first generation college graduates, so giving them this opportunity early enough to influence their planning is vital. 
7.  If you're in the middle of a lesson which is bombing, what do you do?
Take a deep breath, regroup, and try something else.  Usually, this involves me drawing a picture/diagram, or passing out manipulatives.  There's always tomorrow to make it right!  
8.  In the past year, approximately how many hours of (real life) professional development have you done?  approx. how many hours of virtual PD?
I couldn't begin to count.  We're rewriting our curriculum to implement Common Core, starting a new Teacher Evaluation, incorporating PBL, etc.  I'm part of my school's Common Core transition team, so I've been attending summer sessions for the past three years that we incorporate into our inservice days throughout the year.  If you add in my hours on Pinterest and reading the linked blogs, it would more than double what I did at school.  
9.  Are you a member of the national association relating to your subject matter (ie, NCTM)? If so, why. It not, why not?
No, and I don't know why I'm not!  I went to the NCTM conference a few years ago and it was phenomenal!  
10.  What is the opinion of your co-workers (about you and what you do) in your department at school?
They call me the "little math nerd."  For a while, I was the youngest on the team, though I no longer hold that honor!  I am still nerdy.  My school is staffed by a majority of former elementary school teachers, so for a while I was the only teacher in the school with a degree in math (many had math education degrees or additional classes to be certified).  So, I have a more "mathy" perspective on things than some of my colleagues.  I go to them for pedagogy advice because of their elementary backgrounds.  It's a great balance for us as a team.
11.  If you were made superintendent of your district for a day what would you change about how things are currently done?
I feel like I don't know enough about the "big picture" to answer this question fairly.  There are repercussions to any decision and I'm sure any decision I listed here would have consequences I couldn't even imagine!  

Facts about me:
1. I'm pursuing NBCT status this year.
2. My kids know I'm obsessed with white out tape rollers.  It's a running joke every single year.  If I happen to have laid down my tape runner far away from my projector, they throw a fit if I cross out a mistake.  It's cute.  I even had a former student write me a "thank you" letter and include white out.  :)
3. For my first two years of teaching, the kids nicknamed me "Dr. Bell" because I'd taught at a college in France (as a teaching assistant) and they thought that made me super smart.  Bell is a shortening of my last name.
4. I love color-coding things.  Each of my class periods is color coded and it makes me so happy!
5. I am having fun once again this year with my vegetable garden.  New this summer: eggplant!
6. Starting Interactive Notebooks in the fall has me simultaneously excited and fearful.  I'm excited because of all their benefits and fearful that they won't pan out as well as what's in my head right now.
7. I convinced my roommate to become a teacher when we were sophomores in college.  She was just selected as her school's teacher of the year this spring.  I knew I was on to something!
8. I don't drink coffee.  No caffeine here, thanks!  My kids can't believe I'm so peppy at 7:30am naturally, and some days I agree with them! 
9. I started blogging as a way to reflect on my teaching practice, share stuff others might want, and one day get some suggestions from other teachers.  As much as I love my coworkers and admire the results they get from their students, we don't plan as a group because we have very different styles and classroom environments.  I wanted to seek out some more like-minded individuals here.  
10.  I gave a project at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year on probability and area.  It required kids to design a pizza based on a list of criteria from a "picky" customer.  This project was frustrating for kids and they let me know about it!  This spring, a mother from that class let me know that her son and another student had been discussing it the previous weekend (a full year and a half after they had done it) and she wanted to let me know it was the best project her son had ever done in school.  He didn't agree, but she loved that it made him think!  
11. I get to see a lot of my kids outside of school at youth group.  I love the opportunity to bond with them on this level. 

My questions:
1. What subjects have you taught?
2. If you could change something about the physical environment of your classroom, what would it be and why?
3. Where are you in Common Core implementation (if it effects you)?
4. What's something that you will never do in your classroom that other teachers do?  Or something you did and you vow you'll never do again?

5. What is the best piece of advice you've ever given or received regarding teaching?
6. What are your favorite classroom supplies?
7.  How would your students describe you?

8. If you weren't a teacher, what job would you like to have?
9. Why do you blog?
10. What lesson/topic do you look forward to every year?
11. What lesson/topic do you dread every year?

Mathematically yours, 
Miss B


  1. You are well deserving of this award.

    in relation to your answers:
    #1. Cool. I had a French teacher in 8th grade who was also my Algebra and Geography teacher. I had to speak French in all 3 classes. (and answer to Monsignor Collines which evidently translates to my name)

    #5 Me too. My girls and then the youngest would love her.

    I love to garden too. A little too much, to be honest.

  2. thanks for the nomination. I finally got it done!