I'm so excited to start my Budding Blogger Series today! I'm going to kick it off right with one of my best blogging friends from Sweeties in Second. Not only is Mrs. Cypher an awesome blogger and teacher, she's also Queen of Song Pop (at least that's what I call her since she usually kicks my boo-tay!) I hope this series lets you "meet" some new bloggy friends to share ideas with throughout the year!
Name: Mrs. Cypher
I currently live in Virginia, but relocated here to get my fabulous teaching job. :) Since we had to relocate, my little family here in VA is all I have. I have a wonderful husband, who is also an educator, a sweet 2 year old daughter, who constantly keeps us on our toes, and two cats, who add a lot of "personality" to our little home. I love to go places with my family, read, research new teaching ideas, and zone out after a long day by watching TV.
Grade You Teach: 2nd
How long have you taught?
I am starting my 6th year this year...really?!
What is your favorite subject to teach?
Hmm...that's a tough one because I enjoy teaching each subject for a different reason. If I had to pick one, I'd probably say...MATH! :)
What would we likely see if we popped into your classroom unannounced?
I like to teach in short segments, then depending on the subject, do more independent/collaborative work/discussions, etc. so...you may see me briefly teaching/modeling, but the majority of the time, I am interacting with students and allowing them to interact with each other through some sort of activity to reinforce whatever we are learning. Activities could be--open-ended writing and critical thinking activities especially for my G/T students, a song that we either sing or move to, a game, a craftivity, and I always like to work in food if I can! ;) Hopefully, amongst all of that activity, you are seeing happy, ENGAGED students who are eager to learn and their happy teacher guiding them along the way. :)
What gets you through one of “those” days?
McD's Caramel Frappe, Dr. Pepper, and/or my sweet girl's smile, "huggies" (hugs), and laughter
What is one “can’t live without” teaching resource?
My document camera!!! What did I do before I had one of these?! Wow...I put everything up on my projector through my ELMO. (The kids love that its name is Elmo!) I allow my students to come up and share their work, ideas, projects, stories, whatever! I can use manipulatives easily and show the whole class. It is SO easy to demonstrate and model assignments. The possibilities are endless with this thing.
Give us a glimpse of your teaching style by sharing a brief summary of a favorite classroom activity/project.
I really love to have fun with my students. I think that it is so important for them to see you as a positive person in their lives, not that they are an imposition on you or that you don't like them or you don't like your job (because you know...they know if you do or not!). I work REALLY hard to find a fun project/game/hands-on activity/etc. to do, as opposed to a worksheet, and I know that my students appreciate that. Not all worksheets can be avoided, but I try to keep it at a minimum. One of my FAVORITE things that we did was the ABC Countdown to Summer. For the last 26 days of school, we did some sort of "themed" day or activity that went with each letter of the alphabet. (Thank you, Mrs. Saoud from Primary Graffiti!) Some of the days took a lot of planning, and if I do decide to do it again...I will change it up a bit. One of my FAVORITE activities from the countdown was Kite Day when we made kites and took them outside and ran around "flying" our kites--myself included! In our standards, following directions is really emphasized in 2nd grade, so I can do all kinds of fun activities that require my sweeties to follow directions, and this was one of them!
What is one of your blogging goals for this year?
One of my blogging goals is to become more "active" in linky parties. Sometimes, I get a little self-conscious that someone may think my ideas are stupid or something like that so I get nervous to share. I would also like to share more of MY ideas and less of how I'm doing everyone else's ideas. One of my big blog projects throughout this year will be showing my readers how I have stepped away from using the Basal as my only resource in my Reading Comprehension instruction, but am still working diligently to meet all of our VA Standards of Learning (We haven't hopped on the "Common Core Train" yet!).
Thank you so much for reading about little ol' me over at Sweeties in Second. I hope you found something a little interesting and want to learn more about my classroom by visiting my blog. I'd also like to thank Amanda for allowing me to be one of her featured new bloggers! Such an honor! :)
Thanks for being the first brave soul to participate in this new series, Mrs. Cypher! If you haven't clicked on over to her blog and become a follower yet, what are you waiting for? Just click her button below!