Thanks for the Liebster Award!

Whoo hoo!! I've been nominated by Heather at Mrs. Renz's Class for the Liebster Award. Heather and I were so excited to find each other's blogs; I feel like she's my "sister teacher"!!
What in the world is the Liebster Award? I was excited to be nominated by Heather because I respect her so much as a fellow educator (even though I didn't know much about the Liebster; lol!) But after clicking on gazillion other bloggy buttons (time just seems to disappear like that. . .), I found Kathleen (another Liebster Award blogger!) from Kid People Classroom. She explains it well: "Liebster is a German word that means dearest, lovely, cute, beloved, and welcome- not a bad group of adjectives to have associated with your name.  It's been around since at least 2010. It is an international award, as you can find posts written about it in German, French, Italian, and Spanish, as well as English.

At the time of nomination the blogger is "new," in that they have fewer than 200 followers. It is not an award that you win, per se, but rather a recognition given by bloggers to other bloggers for work well done.

If nominated, the blogger must answer questions about themselves and their blog, nominate bloggers of their choice, and ask them the same or new questions. Bloggers link to their nominators and nominees. Although it is some effort, through the process you learn about new teachers and are discovered by others. In the blogosphere, it is an appreciated, welcoming gesture!"

Isn't that awesome?! What a great model of collaboration and support!
The Rules
To accept the nomination, I must:
1) Link back to the blogger who nominated me as a thank you and "shout out."
2) Answer all 11 of the questions I answered below.
3) Nominate 8-11 blogs that have fewer than 200 followers each and have them answer the same questions above

Here are  my answers:
1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I started blogging 4 months ago (July 2014) because I wanted something NEW to re-energize my teaching. I had become complacent & lazy over the years. . .already had my Masters Degree. . . already had my National Board Certification. . .and needed to do something new!! (Besides getting my Ph.D., which is maybe still on the horizon but not at this time!)  I was also becoming so excited about teaching again, reading other teacher bloggers and all their exciting ideas!
2.What one words sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Community. I LOVE the blogging world, in that all these amazing teachers have come together to share ideas, share glimpses into their own classrooms (isn't that where we get the best ideas?!), and share best practices. It's a community of like-minded educators who are still passionate about teaching, not just becoming jaded and negative about all their District politics.
3. Is there something you learned late in your blogging journey that you wished you knew before?
Well, since I'm not very far into my blogging journey (only 4 months), I'd have to say I just wish I knew about teacher blogs earlier!! When a friend once suggested that I blog, I looked at him as if I didn't hear correctly and laughed because I thought he just made up the word. Blog? What a silly word; I thought he was joking that I "blab" a lot! That was a couple years ago & then I started to hear the word more frequently and decided it must be a real something or other! I began looking into teacher blogs and was instantly hooked!
4. What is your favorite pastime, other than blogging?
My favorite pastimes (after my family, which of course is PC to say. . .and true, no less), are reading and scrapbooking. I love to lose myself in a good book and ignore everything else around me! (Which is why I don't indulge very often. . . Thanksgiving break, here I come!!) I've been taking pictures and scrapbooking since I was in elementary school myself. And those were back in the days of non-archival, sticky page scrapbook binders!! (Yes, I pulled out ALL the old, yellowing pictures out of over 50 of those 3-ring photo albums!! Now the gazillion pictures are in boxes waiting to be safely archived. . . a retirement dream. . . .to have the time to scrapbook!) Now I've run out of space for all my archival acid-free scrapbooks, so I've put a hold on keeping current (that's how I justify it to my family). . .
5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
I am not sure how many hours. . . too many late nights to count! But there is always SO much to read from other teacher bloggers and professional books, then I get ideas for new posts, then get distracted. . . I didn't realize how much I don't know! I keep a list of possible posts, then start writing new posts to come back to!
6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy most?
I always read "About Me" first and I love seeing pictures of the blogger! Knowing who each person is (outside of their blog) is what hooks me and keeps me coming back. Click here to read some random facts about me!
7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
Inspiration is everywhere; from something one of my student says, to reading other blogs and getting ideas then trying them, from reading teacher research books, reading picture books. . . I try to keep an on-going list.
8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
I can't choose just one; I hope that all of my posts are helpful!
9. Is there a post you've been planning to do but have been postponing?
I want to do another professional book study. I have too many books in my "to read" piles & bookshelves, as well as old favorites/classics . . . just waiting for time (see #4 above!) I love seeing how current research applies to the real classroom, then knowing I'm teaching with best practices.
10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
My favorite aspect of blogging is the organization. . .it's become like a giant file cabinet for me: writing posts about certain topics then knowing it's all in one place for me to come back to. It also holds me accountable; if I say I'm going to try something new, then it's written for all to see (& me to follow through)!
11. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most like to try yourself?
Heather, I LOVE the Memory Books!! As a scrapbooker at heart, I value the documentation of each year & these are fantastic! What a great idea!

And HERE are the bloggers I nominate for the Liebster Award. Check them out by clicking on their buttons! Each of them has many wonderful ideas to copy learn from & implement in your own classroom!

Peppy Zesty Teacherista
Teacher Karma
C is for Creative Classroom

Innovate. Motivate. Educate.