Versatile, Liebster, Getting-to-Know-You, Merry Sunshine, Blog Meme Nomination

Versatile Blogger Award / Liebster / Getting to Know You Meme Sunshine Blog Post

I figured before two years go by, I should finish this blog post! It started with this post from Nancy Carroll in July of 2012. Yikes! Now, since then, I haven’t responded to these posts by Laura Coughlin, Marsha Ratzel, Jeremy Inscho, Joy Kirr, Tracy Watanabe and Paul Solarz. Now, Sheri Edwards’ post is the latest, and I finally decided to finish them all in one post!

First 11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I’m in my third year of taking a photo each day. Do you want to join in?  #T365Project (or for once a weeker’s try #TFotoFri
  2. So far in 2014, I’m failing miserably at number 1.
  3. I recently moved to the island kingdom of Bahrain.
  4. When I moved to Bahrain, I stopped drinking Diet Coke. Now my drink of choice is mango nectar. (I think they’ll serve it in heaven.)
  5. Friday and Saturday are my weekend days now.
  6. I have a birthmark over my left temple, which is always an interesting conversation piece with young children.
  7. I buy plain yogurt in 2 kg tubs, one a week, and I eat most of it. It’s my new favorite food.
  8. I haven’t driven a car since December. Mostly I walk–according to my fitness app, 4-6 miles a day.
  9. I’m always happy baking in the kitchen.
  10. Whenever I see a bag of peach rings in the convenience store, I want to buy them and eat them all. Typically I don’t.
  11. I’m trying to learn Arabic. (Right now I’m still in the intensive listening stage.)

Questions Answered

I’m answering a couple questions from each of the friends who tagged me for this post. Thank you, friends. It was fun to answer them.

  1. Why do you blog? I blog because I’m a writer, not a great one, not a professional one, but a writer nonetheless. It’s a way for me to write more than just for me in my journal. Plus, the best part, I have become friends with fellow educator-writers around the world and we can share our joys and challenges through blogging.
  2. What’s the most important thing a teacher can do for his or her students? love them
  3. Best place you ever vacationed? One very cold and snowy December, I flew from Michigan to the Florida Keys with my 2- and 4-year-old daughters and my husband, who was going for business. The air and water temperatures were in the mid 80s, and it was the most relaxing vacation ever. It was magical.
  4. If you were going to go out to eat, what kind of restaurant would you pick?  Chinese, Italian, Mexican or New American. –  My favorite has always been Mexican. I grew up in southern California, so it’s fairly second nature to me. I miss Mexican food in Bahrain. Now my favorite restaurants to go to are Indian.
  5. Who has had the biggest impact on your teaching practice? And who has altered the way you think about teaching? I could say many people, but in recent years, it would have to be Angela Maiers and Daniel Pink. Through them, I’ve learned more ways to allow children to take ownership of their learning.
  6. Who is your favourite author and book? E.B. White and The Trumpet of the Swan. Louis the swan is such an amazing character–full of perseverance, hope, integrity and grit. It’s a great love story, comedy, and adventure all rolled into one. I’ve read it to students in second through eighth grades. I wonder if my kindergarteners would sit still for it?
  7. Introvert or extrovert? – Definitely introvert. I can be outgoing when necessary, though. I enjoy a good social event, but when it’s all over, I am happy to go away alone to recharge.
  8. What is a favorite quote of yours? “The teacher is the chief learner in the classroom.” Donald Graves 
  9. What is coming up that you are excited about? Spring break. It will be a lull at school after a long season of grades, accreditation visits, pre-kindergarten testing, parent-teacher conferences, and more. In addition, there were no Monday holidays or snow days, like I was used to in Iowa — just a lot of five-day weeks in a row.
  10. What is the most rewarding thing about being an educator? Getting to know a roomful of unique human beings.
  11. What advice do you have for educators today? Love and trust the learners, listen, and be honest and humble.
  12. A Song that moves you – and Why? “Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie” I’m not sure why it moves me so much, but when I was in eighth grade this song by Don McLean was popular. At the time, I was reading Flowers for Algernon, and to this day whenever I hear the song, it reminds me of Charlie, and it makes me pensive.
  13. A Book that moved you — and Why? Wonder by R.J. Palacio – I was confronted with my own experience as a childhood bully. It was a painful and healing read. “A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.” Franz Kafka
  14. You: in a six word sentence – Not quite a sentence, but today it’s “on a journey with my shepherd”

Bloggers (Some are Future Bloggers) Invited to Join the Sunshine Blogging Challenge

To these–some brand new and some long-time–friends in my PLN, how about if you take the challenge?

  1. James Kendra (@JamesKendra) – Watch him in a social studies TED Talk too. I want to take junior high social studies in his class!
  2. Ryan Berg (@222Berg) – I’m not even sure Ryan has a blog, YET!
  3. Shamaila Habeebuddin (@Shamaila80) – She has a nice class webpage.
  4. Jennifer Pearson (@mrsjpearson) – And her awesome third graders.
  5. Christine Sturgeon (@c_sturgeon) – Check out her fun librarian blog.
  6. Kris Full (@kristinefull) – Yes, you! Are you ready for a blog?
  7. Caitlin Buchholz (@CaitBuchholz) – She’s got awesome fifth graders. Maybe she’s got a blog too?
  8. Connie Fink (@FinkTeach) – Her profile mentions innovations, mission to inspire and captivate, insatiable curiosity, sharing and collaborating. No wonder she’s learning by leaps and bounds.
  9. Jennifer Rautio (@2jrautio) – Blogging with first graders.
  10. Carol Coutts-Siepka (@CarolCouttsS) – Maybe she’ll be blogging about genius hour soon.
  11. Tracy Sontrop (@sontrop) – Great tweets! Are you a closet blogger too?

 If you take the challenge, here are the few rules…

  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.)

My Questions for You

  1. What is your earliest educational memory?
  2. What is a satisfying high school memory you have?
  3. Favorite quote?
  4. Tell about a favorite book made into a movie. Was it a winner or loser? Why?
  5. What movie is next on your list to see?
  6. If you were given a yacht, what would you name it?
  7. What are three favorite smells?
  8. What do you love to learn?
  9. What is something that changed unexpectedly for you during the past few years?
  10. What can you always be found with?
  11. What, if anything, have you learned or wondered about genius hour lately?

My Six-Word Story

Original image by U.N.  Development Programme in Europe:

12 thoughts on “Versatile, Liebster, Getting-to-Know-You, Merry Sunshine, Blog Meme Nomination

  1. Denise, I love knowing a bit more about you – and I’ve added another book to my “to read” list! Thank you for sharing, you introvert, you! 😉

  2. Thanks, Denise. Awesome post. I attended a Don McLean concert earlier this year; he is so kind and gracious in his performance that you feel like he’s talking / singing at your kitchen table. Very fun singing along with his beautiful songs. As always you become our shepherd as you encourage us: “What’s the most important thing a teacher can do for his or her students? love them.” Hopefully, your new teaching position allows teaching the “whole child,” and not just skills. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Joy, Sheri, and Tracy,
    Thanks so much for visiting this post. It’s good to hear from you. Sheri, kindergarten is so fun. We learn by playing and speaking and listening about things we’re interested in, so, yes, I feel I get to teach the whole child.

    Surprisingly, I learned our school will adopt the Common Core next year.


  4. Your blog is interesting. Enjoyed learning about you. I’ll work on the blogging challenge soon. I promise.

  5. Hello again! I enjoyed this blog post as well! I learned a lot about you throughout the “interview questions” given to you by your friends! Mango nectar juice YUM. I love that you and your family came to the beach for christmas! But for us we want the whole “white christmas” feeling! So we would have to trade spots. It has only snowed here one time that I can vividly remember. Hope all is well in Bahrain.
    Barrett Baker
    EDM310 Student at the University of South Alabama

  6. Hello Denise,
    I am a student at the University of South Alabama in an Educational Media class. This is the first time reading your blog and it is nice to find out some personal information about the author! I have a few questions about your new home. Are your students American? What, if anything, is special about Friday to take the day off? How far have you ventured outside of your new home and do you ever travel alone? You are now certainly the learner in chief being so far away from home! I wish you much success and happiness in Bahrain!

    1. Patricia,
      Thank you for your comment and your engaging questions. I always like to help people learn about our small world. No, my students aren’t American. They are almost all Bahraini, but there are a few of different nationalities like Egyptian and Iranian.

      Friday is the day Muslims have their public worship services.

      We can’t venture too far from home because Bahrain is quite small. It would fit 5.5 times into Mobile County, Alabama. Yesterday we took a driving adventure for a couple hours and covered most of the country.

      I am able to travel alone.

      Thank you for the wishes! I wish the best for you too, in your Educational Media class. I always enjoy hearing from University of South Alabama students.



  7. Hello Mrs. Krebs,
    It’s Alexandria Butler from EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. Thank you so much for the comment back to me on the Changes post. It was really thoughtful and I think you are so very right, I have a lot of apprehension because I am a novice. I feel compelled to check all the boxes out of fear that I did not follow the guidelines for the lesson or properly prepare the children for the test. I am so grateful for the perspective from such a caring, introspective teacher. I just want to say, I have enjoyed reading your blog so very much and I wonder how the little ones in your class have learned and grown this year.

  8. Dear Alexandria,
    Thanks again for your comment. One of the joys of teaching really young students is their amazing capacity for learning! They grow physically like weeds too. It has been a joy to watch these young ones over the last four months. Many are beginning to sound out words. I love to do writing with them too. They draw a picture and then write words to describe. They recently wrote some about Bahrain. I’ll have to share the link here when I post them. Nothing better than kindergarten writing. (Well, maybe there are better things, but it’s definitely one of my favorites!)

    Take care,

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