DCMOOC…..What I Learned About Digital Citizenship


Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings via Compfight cc

For the past month, I participated in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on digital citizenship.  What is a MOOC you ask? A MOOC is an online course that allows unlimited participation and open access via the internet. MOOCs use traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets as well as creates a community for many people from many different places to collaborate and learn.  In this MOOC, participants had access to a focused weekly webinar focused on digital citizenship with other webinars available that focused on ways that educators could build an online presence and make connections.

What did I learn from this MOOC?  I learned that I have a whole lot to learn! 🙂 I will use our Week 5 questions to share my final thoughts and next steps.

What is one big take-away for you from #DCMOOC, and what will you do with that information?

One big take-away revolves around making sure that as a teacher I continuously stress digital citizenship with my students.  Digital Citizenship is not just a course and/or curriculum that is taken and forgotten about it, but a mindset that should pervade every part of a person’s life.

Going forward, what else do you feel you need to know about digital citizenship, and what will you do to learn about it?

As I look at my students and the community I work in, I think that finding inventive ways to educate households about digital citizenship will be a huge undertaking.  I plan to continue to connect with the people I’ve met through the MOOC to share ideas and brainstorm ways to assist with this.  I also need to work with my students on copyrighted information.  I’ve found various ways to find and access pictures in the correct way and I plan to work with them on showing them the process.

Will you continue to stay connected and engaged with the #DCMOOC community, and, if so, how do you plan to do so? What are your suggestions for continuing to learn about and discuss digital citizenship together after the course ends?

I definitely plan to stay connected with the #DCMOOC community through Twitter and Google+.  I use TweetDeck as my Twitter platform so I have tabs for DCMOOC hashtag (#dcmchat) and the DCMOOC Twitter list.  I also have a tab for the Digital Citizenship hashtag (#digcit).  The resources that are available just through Twitter are a great help, but I also continuously search for other resources and Common Source Media is a definitely an amazingly comprehensive resource.

Big shout out to my colleague, @TechRhett, who shared this MOOC with me.  It was my first, but it definitely won’t be my last!

Until the next time,


Finishing Strong! with Book In A Day

finish strongI can’t believe that the school year is almost over!  In an earlier post I talked about making sure the kids had work to do as we wind up the school year.  And our team makes SURE of that!  Although the kids look at us like we’re crazy, I think they crave the structure and discipline that we provide as we wind down the school year.  Another favorite way to keep kids occupied and engaged is to do a “Book In A Day”.

With the Book In A Day, we read one book all day long.  Each period covers different sections of the book. We do activities with each section and then the students compare and contrast the movie.  The kids love it!  During Christmas time, we read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and this year for the end of the year we read How to Eat Fried Worms!

fried worms

My The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Book In a Day unit is already in my TpT store now.  I’m finishing up my How to Eat Fried Worms unit and would love some feedback.  If you’re interested, please leave me a comment below with your email address and I will send it to you.  I’d really appreciate it!

Until the next time,


Finishing Strong! with (The Giver)

finish strong

We have only a few weeks with kids and I can hardly wait!  I love my kids – love them to death…..but WE need a break from each other!  I suppose I’m getting on their nerves just as they’re getting on mine! Because I was 100% positive that if I heard “Are we doing work today?”  I was going to have a nervous breakdown and start running and screaming down the hall.

It’s our fault I suppose….all year long we stress to  the students that what we’re doing will make them better readers and writers – but due to the stress the states puts on us we follow it up with, “This will get you ready for PASS!  You need to get ready for PASS!” like that standardized test is the golden brass ring that is the end all – be all. *scoff*  So once PASS is over and we realize that we have three more weeks of school left……Oh…..My…..God!

After the left test was done, I received incredulous looks from students who didn’t believe my answer of “Work” when they asked me what we’re doing today.  Thankfully, I saved the best for last this year……The Giver!


In my opinion, The Giver is the granddaddy of all dysotopian novels.  If you’ve never read it, stop what you’re doing and read it right now!

The kids absolutely loved it! Especially when I paired it with mew best engaging tool….Kahoot!


Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system.  As a teacher you can create your own “quiz” or browse from the thousands that are already available on the website.  Students put in a pin using any mobile device (tablet, phone, computer, etc) and you’re good to go.

My kids absolutely {{puffy}} heart love Kahoot!  Just the thought of a Kahoot on the horizon causes them to come in silently, get right to work, pay attention, and work HARD!  Just take a look at them!

kahoot crazy

To see the excitement on their faces was all I needed.  The movie comes out August 15th and my kids have seen the previews.  When they look at me with looks of disdain and say “But, it’s in COLOR!” – my heart dances!  Oh I can’t wait!

Until the next time,


What Makes A Great Teacher?

I attended a beautiful home going service today. It was for my 6th and 8th grade Math teacher, who in later years became my sorority sister and coworker.  I hate Math….can barely count to ten is what I tell my kiddos, but I loved her as a teacher.  At the service I saw my favorite teacher of all time, Mrs. Dupree.  I love her and she loves me.  I still stop by her house to talk when I go home and I bring my precocious baby girl with me when I go – because Mrs. Dupree insists.

On the ride home, I began thinking about these two amazing women (as well as a few others!) and why they stand out significantly when I think about my childhood years.  I began to ask myself, “What did they do that made them such excellent teachers?”   Here are my thoughts:

1.  They loved what they did.

Now, anyone who knows me – knows about my love/hate relationship with Math.  I loved Algebra, hated Geometry, and only took Pre-Cal because I was forced to.  Senior year I took NO math, because I’d met my requirement and Physics was close enough.  I didn’t particular like 6th or 8th grade math either, but I loved Mrs. Footman.  She loved math and I reckon she had enough enthusiasm for the both of us.  Her face lit up as she demonstrated the math problems on the chalk board…..and when we got it!  She kept us after class, during lunch, or after school to help us if we didn’t.  I even remember my mom calling her at home for help- and she never hesitated.

As for Mrs. Dupree, she was my English IV and AP English teacher.  She loved the classics and made us love them too!  I mean who wouldn’t get excited when your teacher recited Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy?  Hmmmm?  She made me fall in love with old troublesome Healthcliffe and scrappy Pip.  She made our discussions lively and fun and you could see the joy on her face.

2.  They were firm but fair.

Sometimes I sit in amazement at how much education has changed in the last 20+ years….how much children have changed in the last 20+ years.  Growing up, there was always one student who got regularly paddled – for me that Mener (and yes, his name was Mener).  Now, there are anywhere from 3-5.  But the potential for children to be….well, children…. is always there.  They were not afraid to reprimand a student who was misbehaving, and you knew that it would happen whether they cared for you or not.  In fact, it was in their caring that forced them to acknowledge and redirect inappropriate behavior.  I was a good student….a great student….for the most part, but I was still occasionally subjected to a stern glance or a voice of reprimand.  I can’t think of anyone who felt inappropriately slighted.

3.  They just were.

There’s no way I can explain it or adequately describe it..  They just were.

  • They were kind.
  • They were knowledgeable.
  • They were intelligent.
  • They were passionate.
  • They were thoughtful.
  • They were available.

And it is my hope that once my time on this earth is done, that my students will reflect fondly on me and say that I was too.


Until the next time,


The Backwards Writing Design {20 Day Blogging Challenge}


I think I’m a pretty good writer.  I don’t love to write – but I can and will.  I absolutely despite teaching writing.  I think it’s unfair to expect me to teach reading AND writing in a 60 minute block.

I’ve noticed that despite the fact that I’m sure all teachers have preached “prewriting….prewriting….prewriting….” not much of that gets done.  This week as we began our persuasive writing I only had one student out of ninety-seven begin their writing with a graphic organizer…..ONE!  I knew that would happen, so this week I planned for us to use the Backwards Writing Design model to show my students the importance of prewriting.

After they’d written their rough draft, I shared with them an exemplary paper.

Facility Exemplar Writing

We then used colored pencil to highlight the key components of this paper:  Hook, thesis statement, topic sentences of body paragraphs and supporting details.  When you teach four classes, sometimes your last class gets the best of you, or they get the worst of you, if you know what I mean.  This time, my last class got the best of me.  I was able to tweak my lesson each period so that by the time 6th period ran around it was definitely a well oiled machine!

After we highlighted those key elements in each paragraph, we used my writing graphic organizer to see what this person’s pre-planning looked like.

Writing Graphic Organizer

They then had to take their writing and complete blank graphic organizer.  I heard so many “Oh man, I have a lot of work to do!” and “My graphic organizer is blank! I don’t have enough details!” and “I forgot to add my ___________ (insert word here)!”

I’m really excited with what I’m hearing. Come back tomorrow to see how what I have planned to finish it up!

Until the next time,


It’s “Currently” A New Year!

Happy New Year! I haven’t done a Farley’s Currently in a while….don’t know why….they’re so much fun!


Most of these are self explanatory, but I’ll share on my Christmas memory. So my parents can have all their children (grandchildren, really) together at the same time, my brother and our families spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with them and then the opposite holiday with our in laws. This year we spent Thanksgiving with my family, but asked the hubby if we could have Christmas at our house. He agreed and it was AMAZING! Plus, that way my parents didn’t have to spend Christmas with other people…. 🙂

Well, again everyone…Happy New Year!

Three Questions For Reflection

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How many of you are familiar with the Teaching Channel?

Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America’s schools. They have a rapidly growing community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each other.

With the help of the Tch community, their mission is to revolutionize how teachers learn, connect, and inspire each other to improve the outcomes for all K-12 students across America. – from teachingchannel.org

They also have an amazing blog.  I stumbled upon a post from Sarah Brown Wessling titled:  Three Questions for Reflection.  I thought these three questions were so powerful, that I immediately decided I should post my thoughts.

What are the three things that make a successful teacher?

A “Take No Prisoners” Attitude

In a perfect world, all of our children would be born free of birth defects, raised in a household that loved and supported them, and provided outside opportunities that would give them genuine life experiences.  Alas, we live in an imperfect society and I know that parents send us the very best they have – they don’t keep their prodigies at home.  So I know from Day One, that every child in my class will not come to me bright and bushy tailed everyday and excited to learn.  But I DO NOT CARE!  I tell them they’re going to work….going to learn….whether they like it or not!  I say, “Baby, I don’t want to hear your excuses….save them for Oprah.  We are here to work! You’re gonna get the job done!”  And because they know I mean it…..they work.  Harder than they’ve ever work before sometimes.:-)  I fuss….I cajole…..I threaten….and I get results.


You have to care.  You have to have a heart for these children, their plight, their future.  They have no control of the life their born into.  You have to know that.  But despite knowing the odds that are against them, they just don’t need love….they need tough love.  The world is not going to GIVE them anything.  They need to know that early.  Tough love baby, tough love.

Knowledge of Content and How to Effectively Utilize Data

I know….I probably cheated with this quality, but I find these two so closely intwined that I need to address both.  You can love these kids, you can make them work, but if they are working on content that is inconsequential, ineffective, or just plain inappropriate….you’re wasting your time and you’re damaging those children.  You are setting them up for the okie doke. Spending hours at a time identifying nouns when they need to be close reading passages, making connections to what they’ve read, becoming critical thinkers….oh!  It just burns me up.

I know….I know….it’s overwhelming the number of assessments that students need to take and the amount of data that we get from them, but that information is POWERFUL!  It allows for us to appropriate group students, focus on their individual needs, and stops us from that “One Lesson Fits All” foolishness.

What are the three things that make a successful learner?


I work in a school that is 88% high poverty.  My kiddos live in a town that has 1,000 people….their primary source of economy – farming.  When we took our students to a neighboring state (2 hours away), I initially had students tell me that their parents said they could go out of state alone – that it was too far.  On our yearly field trip to the beach, every river or lake we passed by was thought to be the beach.  We live 2 hours away and they had never been.  Can you imagine how difficult is it to visualize something you have never seen?  How do you know you want to go to college if you’ve never visited a campus?  How do you know you want to be an accountant when you don’t even know what accountants do?  How do you know that leaving your world is ok when NO ONE HARDLY EVER LEAVES???  In order to overcome these seemingly unsurmountable odds our students have to work hard.  They have to understand that they are going to fail, but that it does not give them the right to give up.  They have to understand that school doesn’t end at 3:20….that school lasts FOREVER!  They have to realize in all reality, nothing will ever be given to them – that they will have to work their butts off and sometimes not even get the results that they want.  The knowledge of that can be overwhelming.  But we have to find a way to convince them not to give up.


I always think of the favorite question of that toddler, “Why?”  Students have to be intellectually inquisitive.  They have to be willing to think outside of the box.  They have to be willing to make their “brain hurt”.  What I love the best is that once they’ve gone the extra mile, they are so freakin’ proud of themselves. Whoop!


Don’t you remember being a snarky middle schooler/teenager?  No one knew as much as you did – parents…..teachers…..outdated folks who didn’t have  a clue!  I remember – and because I do, I realize that I have to earn my students’ trust.  I need for them to trust me to do what’s best for them.  I need for them to listen to me and do what I say even though of course they know better *smirk*.  And when they do that, there are no challenges we can’t face – no goals we can’t reach!


What has been the hardest thing you’ve faced as a teacher and how did you deal with it?

There’s no way that I can name just one thing.  I’ve lost students….through death, poor choices, no win situations, and the removal of hope.  Students that would have been amazing teachers, social workers, doctors, authors, who just weren’t able to claw out of the terrible situation they were born in.  My heart aches for them everyday.  It makes me burn at the injustice of life and sets a fire in my soul that won’t allow me to quit.

The weight of the world is on the shoulders of educators – and that is not a responsibility that I take lightly.  Service and a commitment to excellence are in my blood.  I have the power to change the world – one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one year, one child at a time.  I will not fail – I cannot afford to.  The futures that are in my hands are too important.

Thirteen in ’13

I was doing some Bloglovin’ perusing when I found this “Thirteen by ’13” post from Katie at  “mind sparks“.  She traced it back to Kristen at “A Teeny Tiny Teacher“!  And I thought….why not? It’s always a good thing to be reflective….so here it is!

13 in 13


infiity scarf

I’ve always been a lover of scarves….but my addiction right now are infinity scarves!  There’s just something about a scarf that warms the whole body up.



My mom and I snuck away from all the Christmas festivities (and the Lakers/Heat game) to watch this amazing movie.  Amazing…that’s all I can say.  Mama and I couldn’t help but compare South Africa’s struggle to the Civil Rights movement.  How far ahead of us the native South Africans were, but how much longer it took them to overcome…..daunting……


scandal rain

Courtesy of abc.com

Is there any other show?  I’ve been a Gladiator since Day One!  Love me some Olitz!  But of course as my friend says….”Fitz and Olivia can’t ever be together, because Fitz (as Carl) killed Sam”. 🙁





A local restaurant, Red Bone Alley, is definitely my favorite!  My hubby doesn’t like to eat there, so we ALWAYS go there for “Ladies Lunch”!  They have the best shrimp and grits around, plus a shrimp curry meal to die for.  The best part?  They have a children’s section and ice cream for the kiddos!  Since my DD always eats Zaxby’s when we go, she has a ball playing while my girls and I are laughing and talking!




Hmm….I’ve been stuck in a rut lately…..  This is eye-opening…..I can’t even think of a new FOOD I’ve tried!  Oh, that gonna change people…..that’s DEFINITELY going to change. 





All of the wonderful gifts from my kiddos!  I work at a high poverty school, so I know that these children really had to be thinking of me to receive a gift!



Our school is becoming a HPLC (High Progress Literacy Classroom) and this is a great idea to let students know today’s schedule as well as “lull time” or “early finishers” options.


My favorite blog post for this year would have to be the one where I highlighted my first self-created Interactive Student Notebook lesson.  It uses my favorite Flocabulary video “On Trial” and introduces key skill vocabulary that my students will encounter over and over again.  It’s sold quite well in my TpT store, too! 🙂



Opening my TpT store and having a little success!  Of course I’m not raking in any big bucks, but it’s enough to handle those subscriptions coming out of my PayPal account! 🙂



That’s my world right there!  My hubs and DD make me smile every single time!  Well, almost….lol!  And see that cutie in the middle?  She didn’t talk until she was three years old because of her Autism.  It was such a struggle for us to come to terms with….made us really reevaluate what was important…. And now, this girl is bringing home Honor Roll report cards from her REGULAR 2nd grade classroom!


When my students last year came up with this awesome song remix to prepare students for our yearly standardized test.  They did an AMAZING job!




My goal for 2014 is to be a better me.  There are so many things I want to be better at…..patience, organization, thoughtfulness, health, my relationship with God…..so bit by bit, one tiny sliver at a time, I plan to be a better me!


My word is:


Because that’s my goal EVERY SINGLE DAY! To inspire the wonderful kiddos that I am blessed to work with.  Because when I inspire THEM to be better, I inspire myself just a little bit more….

Teacher Week ’13 – Taming the Wild


It’s day 4 of Teacher Week ’13! Hosted by Blog Hoppin’, today’s topic focuses on Classroom Management.



Being the daughter, neice, and cousin of teachers, I was able to see first hand what excellent classroom management looked like. I was also blessed with an awesome partner teacher my first three years of school and was able to see on  a daily basis what good classroom management looked like.

I’ve have done quite a few different things for my management plans, starting with Harry Wong (whom I {puffy} heart love) to my current management plan – Class Dojo and Jefferson’s Bucks (which I {puffy} heart love)! 🙂

I’ve talked about Class Dojo before. Since I’ve already posted about Class Dojo, I’m going to link up with First Grade Parade for her Throwback Thursday as well!



Originally posted February 13, 2013
I use Class Dojo as a part of my classroom behavior management system. What is Class Dojo you might ask? ClassDojo is an online program that allows you to provide immediate feedback for student behavior (positive and negative). It enables you to easily award and record points, achievements and rewards for behavior and performance in class in real-time, with just one click of your computer, smartphone, or mobile device.


ClassDojo provides instant visual and audible notifications for your students, in addition to allowing you to keep the feedback over a period of time. It also allows you to decide what behaviors you find important and award points that way. And it’s so easy to set up. You can copy and paste your class roster from almost any document – even a PDF!

Since my laptop is continuously hooked to my projector and Promethean board, students can constantly see their progress. And even if the screen is on something else they can hear the ding or dong that comes from points being awarded!

My ClassDojo points are connected to my Jefferson’s Bucks. Having a certain amount of Jefferson’s Bucks allows them entry into “The Jefferson’s Jam!” Every week, students’ individual points turn into money. But, I also added a component that ensures the class works together. At the end of the week, the class percentage allows them to be able to multiply their points for more money. 80-89% class percentage? They can multiply their points by 2. 90-99% class percentage? They can multiply their points by 3. 100% class percentage (which has happened once). They can multiply their points by 4.

We had our second quarter Jefferson’s Jam on Friday and the kids had a blast! Students can order subs or pizza, as well as bring in other treats for the party. It has a zero cost for me – all I have to do is set the date, determine the participants, and order and pick up the food!

Check out our party video here:

We spent a great deal of time outside, and as I looked around I was shocked at the amount of litter out there! So I created an impromptu community service project. We did a trash clean up right on the spot! I made it a competition though, because who wants to pick up trash at a party? Students were put into teams and the team that collected the most trash would get a prize. Needless to say after 3 minutes, the playground yard was immaculate, and every attendee is officially $100 richer in Jefferson’s Bucks! They all did such an awesome job, I couldn’t decide!



I’ve already uploaded my students into Class Dojo for this upcoming week and I am ready to go!  Haven’t tried Class Dojo yet *gasp*?  Head over there and give it a try!

Until the next time,



UTC And An Award! *Updated*

Earlier this year, I attended a reading conference.  Being a technology geek, I of course planned to attend many of the sessions that incorporated reading and technology.  As I sat in on these sessions I began to think, “Hey! I can do this!”

And so I did.  While on Edmodo I saw where someone posted about submitting an application to present at the Upstate Technology Conference – and so I did.


The Upstate Technology Conference is a two day conference in Greenville, SC.  In addition to inspiring keynote speakers and the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from around the state, this year’s conference featured 250 break-out sessions highlighting the best of technology tools and strategies in today’s classroom. The conference was free and open to all educators.  And it was *singing* AWESOME!

Standing Room Only! :-)

Standing Room Only! 🙂

My session was called Integrating Technology in the ELA Classroom.  Here is a copy of the powerpoint that I shared with the teachers.

The morning of my first session I couldn’t eat – I was so nervous!  But they went wonderfully!  I had an hour and I used every bit of it!  I could have easily done with an additional half hour – I adjusted my presentations each time to spend more time on things the other groups were interested in.
I uploaded a survey onto our Edmodo group and have received very positive results.  I wish that I had done a better job of reminding people to complete the survey, but the feedback that I got back was very positive!
Take a look!
Survey Results
I have to admit, I enjoyed every bit of it.  I definitely think this is my calling.  Working with kids and fellow educators with technology.  I do believe that this is the beginning of an extension of my teaching career.
In other news…..
My sweet bloggy friend Angela over at The Teacher’s Desk 6 has nominated me for the Liebster Award!
*I also received a nomination from Melissa  at Starting in 6th Grade!  I’m updating this post to reflect her questions!
Liebster is German and means “dearest,” “lovely,” “cute,” “beloved,” and “welcome”.
Here are the rules of Liebster Award:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an email to communicate the nomination. 
The blogs that I am nominating are…..
Michelle @ Miss, Hey Miss
Katie @ Mind Sparks
My Questions from Angela:
What made you decide to be a teacher?
I grew up in a family of educators.  My mother, paternal grandparents, two great aunts, and a host of cousins were all educators.  Spending time with these people and seeing their former students greet them with joy and fondness helped me to realize that I wanted to have that type of impact on other people.
How would you describe your teaching style?
I would call myself a hands-on techy geek teacher! LOL.  I love integrating technology into my teaching and have the students be active participants in my lesson.  I use flipcharts, ActivExpression devices, computers, and *soon* iPads to enhance the learning.  
Do you have siblings? If so, please tell a little about them.
I have a BIG little brother.  I am five years older than him.  My brother works for a nearby university students helping those students that are having a difficult time adjusting to college life academically.  It’s really amazing because he wasn’t the best student – and uses his experiences to help students that remind him of himself.
He is a college All-American and was inducted into his alma maters Athletic Hall of Fame.  He also plays (well he actually says he’s retiring) arena football.  We are his biggest fans!  We go to all the games and my baby girl loves cheering for her Uncle Quincy!
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If you were a color, what would you be? Why?
I would love to tell you that I’d be green (calm, full of life, etc)….but I’d probably be orange.  I say orange because I’m hyper, full of fire and excitement, combustable.
What was your favorite grade in school and why?
My favorite grade was  my senior year in high school.  I only really needed one course, so the rest of my schedule focused on things that I wanted to do instead of things that I needed to do.  I was able to take AP English, Physics, Advanced Band and Chorus, things that focused on my interests.  
What gives you inspiration?
So many things!  My family….my friends….the amazing children that I touch everyday.
What is your favorite book? Why?
This is so hard….I have to choose just one?  I guess it would be Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor.  It chronicles the Logan family an African-American family throughout the years of the Great Depression.  They are different from most African-American families because they are land owners during a time when most blacks were sharecroppers.  The story is told from 11 year old Cassie Logan who learns hard lessons about racism, Jim Crow, and knowing and believing in who you are.
I love this book because he draws all emotions:  joy, anger, pain, and sorrow. Little Miss Cassie is the perfect narrator who gives an excellent idea of what it was like to be colored in the South during that time period.
What kind of vehicle do you drive? Does this say anything about your personality?
I drive a Lexus RX300.  This car doesn’t say anything about my personality – it is a testament to how much my parents love and support me.  My Mama gave it to me when she got her new car! 🙂
Do you play any musical instruments?
I play the piano, clarinet, and xylophone.  I also sing. 
If you could meet any historical figure who would you choose?
My answer changes frequently.  After watching Lincoln, Netflix recommended me The Conspirator about Mary Surratt, the only female to be put to death for the assassination of President Lincoln.  Lately I have been consumed with all things Mary Surratt.  I even found out that my cousin actually lives in what used to be Surrattsville and her house down the road from the museum.  Can you say “road trip”? 
So yeah, I would want to meet Mary Surratt and ask her what really happened.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I enjoy showcasing the hard work my students put in and being able to share and collaborate with other teachers.  I love making connections with other educators and seeing the wonderful things they are doing in their classrooms.
My questions from Melissa:
What was your experience on the first day of your first year in teaching like?
I had an absolutely wonderful first day and first year!  My first year of teaching was a sixth grade ELA/SS position.  My partner, Liz Surface, taught the Math and Science.  She was an excellent teacher and partner!  She was a bi t of a rebel and I’m glad.  She taught me to think outside of the box.  We took our kids on a field trip at least once a month (of course that was when gas was real cheap!) and provide great opportunities for the children.  She did ISNs all the way back then and they were AWESOME!  In addition to a great partner, I had a wonderful mentor who would even come to my room during her planning to give me a break. 🙂
What was/is one of the funniest things that has happened to you as a teacher?
One summer during summer school, I decided that I didn’t want to have to worry about doing my hair so I bought a wig to wear.  Still thinking that I was young, I decided to get on the jungle gym with the kids.  I did a one legged rotation and ummm yeah…my wig fell off!  Absolutely hilarious!
What was one event you learned the most from?
I don’t think that I can narrow it down to one event.  I learn something everyday that I continue to add to my professional knowledge.  
If you could live one place in the world, where would it be and why?
I would live somewhere in Southern California.  It is such a beautiful place.  I had family that lived there and when I visited, I would want to stay. I always said that if my husband hadn’t proposed when he had – I would’ve been gone!
What would be one thing you wish was in your classroom, and how would it help?
Honestly, I’m so blessed – I actually  have just about everything I need.  If I have to choose something I would say…..I need a teacher assistant!  Someone to help me with the paperwork!  I despite grading papers which is why I use my ActivExpression devices and Edmodo any chance I get!  My principal takes pity on me and allows me to have student “helpers”; but the one I’ve had for the last two years is going on to high school and I don’t know if I can find one that an incorruptible as her.
What is your favorite book to read with the students?
I can’t just pick one…I’m an English teacher! 
1.  Oh, the Places You’ll Go! – I love to read this book to my students on the last day of school.  I love this book because it has so much hope for the future.  I always cry though, which is why I read it on the last day of school.  I don’t want the kids to know what a crybaby I am!
2.  The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 – This book has to have the funniest beginning every!  When Kenny describes the “How to Survive A Blizzard” story and then when Byron gets his lips stuck to the rearview mirror, I cry too – but from laughter.
If you could live in any decade, which one would it be and why?
It would be during the 1950’s for many reasons.  1.  The music during that time frame was unbelievable.  To live in the time period where Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, and Dorothy Dandridge performed would be ideal for me.  This decade also saw the birth of the Civil Rights Movement, a time period that I am fascinated with.
Where did you go to college & why did you choose that school?
I attended Claflin University for my  undergraduate degree.  I didn’t choose Claflin – Claflin chose me!  I had my heart sent on attending Hampton University with my cousin, Dannielle (who would have been a senior).  I’d spent my spring break with her, had already been accepted, and had received a partial scholarship.  I was very familiar with Claflin.  I had a great-uncle and aunt, who attended Claflin in addition to my mother and a host of cousins.  I WAS NOT GOING TO CLALFIN!  I received a full scholarship from Claflin but hid the letter from my parents.  Unbeknownst to me, they sent a second letter that my parents found.  I went kicking and screaming; but it was the best things I could have ever done.  Through my experiences at Claflin, I was able to travel to Europe,  meet life long friends and my hubby there! 🙂
If you weren’t teaching, what career would you choose & why?
I really don’t know.  I’ve only ever wanted to be a teacher.  But if I had to choose, I’d be a concert pianist.  Or be an accompanist for a famous concert performer. 
Are you planning on advancing your degree, in which area/endorsement?
I am definitely thinking of advancing my degree, but I’m not quite sure how.  I already have a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, but I want to go back to school for Instructional Technology.  I’m having a difficult time deciding between getting another Master’s or a Doctorate.
What is your favorite type of food?
LOL.  Any kind you eat!  Or the kind that isn’t healthy for you!  No, I’m a meat and veggies type of girl.  Any kind of meat (chicken, pork, beef, turkey), and then all types of vegetables.  I could do without the starches – except when I’m dying for Chickfila french fries!
11 Random Facts About Myself
1. I sang in my Honor’s Chorus in high school, my college concert choir in college, and was a part of a girls singing group.  We even went to perform at the Apollo Theatre in New York.
2.  I love to travel!  I’ve been fortunate enough to have been to Europe, as well as many other places in the United States.  My favorite place to travel is New York – I love to city!  But only to visit….I wouldn’t want to live there.
3.  I am a voracious reader.  When I was in high school, I would make my friends “steal” paperback romance novels out of the public library for me….until I found out that they give those books away for free. *shame face* I don’t like the public library because I don’t do very well with returning books.  So, I just buy them.
4.  I’m actually a very shy person.  It takes a monumental effort for me to not appear that way.  But  do it, because I know that I have to put myself out there in order to build relationships.
5.  I have four best friends.  We have been best friends for over 20 years.  I’ve known all of them all my life – but we officially became to 2 Hype Posse in 1989. 
6.  I’m a non-traditional military kid.  My dad was in the Air Force but my mom didn’t want to uproot herself (and subsequently her children).  He came home to visit us during the holidays and we stayed wherever he was during the summer.  So I got to see much of the world without being constantly uprooted.  I really appreciate both my parents for agreeing to that decision.
7.  Before my parents built their home, my mother lived with my grandparents.  I was even born there.  When my grandfather died my grandmother never spent another night in their home and then moved in with us completely about three months later.  She was definitely one of my biggest supporters.  My first word was “Ma”, but it was for her and not my own mama!  She even bought a piano for our church fellowship hall so I could play for Sunday School.
8.  My hubby and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary – TODAY!  We have known each other for 20 years.  Of course we all know that marriage isn’t easy, but I have enjoyed every second of our time together!
9.  I’m addicted to Coke Zero.
10.  I love peanut butter.  Peter Pan Reduced Crunchy is my favorite.  I sometimes just scoop out a spoonful and eat it with milk.
11.  I don’t want to tell her, but my mama was right.  When I was acting up as a young girl and teenager she always told me “You reap what you do”.  And my little girl is TWO handfuls!
My questions for Marion, J, Michelle, Erin, Mrs. K. and Katie:
  1. What was your favorite subject in school?
  2. What is your favorite song right now?  The one that you blast in the car riding down the street!
  3. What’s your favorite place to vacation?
  4. What’s your most memorable teaching moment?
  5. What are your hobbies?
  6. What was your first job?
  7. Who makes up your family?
  8. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
  9. What’s the best piece of teacher advice you ever received?
  10. What’s the last movie you watched?  What were your thoughts?
  11. If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
Also, if you have some time, make sure you participate in my 100 Follower Giveaway.  The image below will take you to the giveaway.
Until the next time,