Budding Bloggers Showcase: Creating Lifelong Learners

I am so excited to get this series started up again!  Especially with a fellow South Carolinian {and Gamecock}!  You will LOVE Brandee...read on to find out more about her and then be sure to keep up with her by clicking the "Bloglovin" button at the bottom of this post!  Hop on over to her blog and show her some blogging love!
 
Hi Guys!  I'm Brandee from Creating Lifelong Learners.
Amanda and I are both from the great state of South Carolina and we share a love for our GAMECOCKS!  She is such a sweetie for featuring me this week.  I'll try to be brief as I tell you a bit about what you'll find at Creating Lifelong Learners, and just a touch about me. :)

Me:
My husband and I have two, not so little, boys. A spirited, to say the least, 8 year old, and an adventurous 10 year old that will be in my class next year! I know, say a little prayer for us, but we are both looking forward to a wonderful year together!

What I teach:
I currently teach two blocks of ELA with fully integrated Social Studies standards. I have experience in all grade levels, first through fifth. Although I am currently a fifth grade teacher, I would have to say that I actually teach all levels of readers. Let's be honest, kids come in all shapes, sizes, and ability levels.  It is our job to meet them where they are, and to find what works for them, no matter what it takes. This leads me to my philosophy as an educator and why I do what I do. You will see that I post a great deal about integrating content area standards into my literacy workshop, but it is safe to say that our BOOK TALK time (independent reading) is truly the heart and focus of my classroom and my instruction!  Most often my posts are about creating the love of reading, writing, and learning. I truly believe, that if we as teachers, can get kids to develop a love of reading, then they will not only learn, but they will develop a learn of learning, and all other subjects will fall into place.

How I teach:
If you popped into my classroom unannounced, there is no doubt that you would see kids reading everywhere! I have a motto in my classroom.  As long as you are reading, writing, and thinking, I am a happy teacher! My workshop is structured so that kids move around often, not necessarily freely, but often.  I have discovered through many years of experience, that most kids loose their ability for optimum focus after about 15 minutes.  Therefore, I take that knowledge and run with it.  They are fully aware that there is no time to waste. They are productive and engaged at their stations, and before they have time to get bored, they are shipped off to a new task. So if you walked into my classroom, there is no doubt that you would see movement and activity!

Things I couldn't live without:
 As much as I love what I do, there are always a few days here and there that I need a pick-me-up!  For those days, there's always a COKE and/or some chocolate somewhere in our building! We've all been there, right?

Amanda asked me to share one resource that I couldn't live without! That's a hard question from me because there are so many things I couldn't live without in my classroom. I'm going to list my one thing as my IPAD! I am a huge fan of technology! It's the way of the world friends, and the kids are using it with or without us! I say if we can't beat them, join them! This theory, and the help of my little kiddos, has led me to many wonderful and effective apps that have become irreplaceable in my instruction. If you are interested, I have blogged about many of them at Creating Lifelong Learners.

In a nutshell:
Given what you've already read about my classroom, you can probably guess that I am not a very traditional teacher. "Sit and get" instruction simply isn't my style. I truly believe that it is my job to facilitate learning rather than demand it. Students will retain information, be more engaged, and develop into lifelong learners if we motivate them to do so. Through non-traditional methods, I try to inspire my students to develop a love of learning and the desire to gain information for themselves. An example of this might be our study of Dr. Seuss. Did you know that he did not start out as a children's book author? Would you believe that Yertle the Turtle just might have been written for political reasons, rather than for the reading pleasure of children? How about The Butter Battle Book? Would you believe that it was written to express his political feelings about the Berlin Wall? Re-reading these old favorites through critical eyes does two things for my students. First, it teaches them not to take a text at face value, but to read more deeply and critically.  Secondly, it inspires them to research and learn about the different connections made between these texts and history. Before you know it, the students know all about the Berlin Wall and will have learned to read more critically, all thanks to our old friend Dr. Seuss!  If you are interested, you can read more about this unit in my post titled Dr. Seuss in fifth grade?  I think YES!

Blogging Goals:
Although I have been teaching for 15 years, I've only been blogging for around 3 months! I have made some wonderful connections and I learn innovative teaching strategies from these fabulous teachers each and every day! My goal as a blogger is simple. I want to continue to make these connections, learn from others, and share my experiences in education so that others might learn a little bit from me too!


Thanks for reading a little bit about me!  I'd love for you to come over to visit and let me know what you think.  It would make my day if you found a little something there that might help you as you create lifelong learners in your classroom!
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6 comments

  1. I love Brandee's blog! :)

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  2. Thanks so much Amanda and Lana. :)
    ~Brandee

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing Brandee! I love reading your blog!

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  4. Brandee, I love reading your blog. You always have a lot of inspiration and ideas to share!

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Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing ideas! I love to read your comments. I like to reply back by email, so make sure you have that option enabled so we can chat! :)

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