Budding Bloggers Showcase {ReddishAnn from The Reddish Brown Crayon}

Hello, friends!  My name is ReddishAnn.  Now usually after I introduce my self, people ask me to either repeat my name or tell where it came from.  Since y'all can simply re-read it, I'll share with you the background story of my name.  In my everyday life, I go by Reddishann.  My maiden name is Brown.  When I designed my blog, I decided to go with the story I was told about how my name came to life (I mean other than the old “I was a product of the 70’s” excuse).  Apparently, my dad’s favorite color in the crayon box as a child was the reddish-brown color.  He decided that with his last name of Brown, he was going to name his first child Reddish to go with it.  In the hospital, my mom put her foot down and added the Ann to make it sound more like a name than a color.  My original birth certificate really reads: Reddish Ann Brown
**Yup – that’s right people.  My folks were ahead of their time of these celebrities’ children names of Blue, Apple, North, etc.**
So, the new story goes "I was named after a crayon."
For some reason though, once I was enrolled in school they changed it to Reddishann.  So that’s what I’ve rolled with until this blog.
Hey -- how could you not name your teaching blog after the crayon you were supposedly named for, right?

Outside of this world of bloggers, I go by Reddishann.  I live in Cypress, TX with my family of 7 (only 6 of us in the house)!  My husband, Dennis and I have a combined family with a 19, 17, 16, 15, & 12 year-old, plus a chocolate lab and daschund.  With this family, I keep busy.  We usually are shuffling kids around here, there, and everywhere in between.  The good thing is that now we have two licensed drivers to help out.  In the middle of the fun, I like to read, blog, create, and of course do school work for graduate school (NOT). 
Last Christmas (19 year-old not with us)
I teach 2nd grade and secretly wish that this is where I can stay forever!  I can't even imagine teaching another grade level.  This will be my 14th year teaching.  I enjoy teaching everything in 2nd grade, but if I had to choose a favorite it would be Reading, of course.  It is the subject area that I enjoy most because reading is a passion of mine.  My new goal, however is to not only encourage a love for reading with my students (that comes easy) but to try to facilitate a love for Math as well.  Growing up, I was one of the kiddos that didn't get it so I didn't like it.  My summer's goal was all about Math.  So I began to think, read, and even had the opportunity to attend a giant Math conference to get me started.  I have decided that I too, can love Math.  

If you walked into my classroom on any given day, I hope you could figure out my main goal: to encourage and foster a love for learning that my students can carry with them throughout their lives all while having fun in doing so.  I use the workshop approach to all subject areas so you would most likely find learners throughout the room involved in independent, partner, or small group activities.  And I'd be mixed into the crowd somewhere or at the small group table.  

I wish I could show you their faces.  The smiles that I get to see each day is what makes those tuff days seem like nothing.  That and the little bits of reminders from parents about my impact that I sometimes get.  For example:

What a wonderful way to remind me why I'm doing this and that it is making a difference!!

One of the ways I try to create these life long learners is through a day-old resource that most teachers have at their fingertips. I think the only teaching resource I can't live with out, is access to children's literature.  I absolutely love how opening up a book and sharing an adventure with my students can create so many teaching opportunities.  I'm so lucky to have had a grandmother who instilled in me the love to read and made it a point to take me to the public library 2-3 times a week to check out new adventures for me to experience.  No matter what exposure to literature students have when they walk in my classroom, I will be sure they will know the power of written word by the time they leave.

  We have lots of fun learning adventures in my classroom.  There are so many, that it is hard to choose just one to share.  One that the kids continue to talk about with me even after they've moved into the next grade levels is our Fear Factor Challenge.  This challenge is year-long and encourages students to master their addition and subtraction facts.  We take a timed test 2-3 times a week and track our progress through each set.  At the end of the year we celebrate our growth with a true to form "Fear Factor" celebration complete with interesting snacks, awards, and prizes.  As tedious as the tests become after a few weeks, the kids walk in on the designated days eager to see if their practice pays off and they can climb to the next set.  They especially want to sign the autograph wall and show others how far they've come.
Fear Factor Shirt Prizes for the Masters!

Yummy Snacks (Fear Factor Style)

Autograph Wall (excuse the messy backpack closet and blurriness)
I want to thank you for taking a moment to read about me and my adventure.  I began this blog with the idea of making a bunch of new friends that seemed to have similar interests as mine.  I love how the world of teachers has grown into a community of sharers, supporters, friends, and even entrepreneurs.  I'm not sure if I have a main goal for my blog.  I just want to be a part of this group.  I want to learn, grow, and share.  I want to feel like the way I hope my students feel when belong to our class.  

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