Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunshine Awards!

Winter Sunshine by Mary Lee Hahn

The rules:
Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
 Share 11 random facts about yourself.
 Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
 List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
 Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)
My first nominating blogger was Vicki Vinton! Three cheers for Vicki: one for her book (with Dorothy Barnhouse) What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making, one for her blog, To Make a Prairie, and one for her boundless enthusiasm for learning and wondering.

Next, I was nominated by Julianne Harmatz (To Read, To Write, To Be) a new "friend in my head" who I can't wait to meet at NCTE 14.

Then, this whole Sunshine thing went viral under a new name on Twitter--PLN Blog Challenge--and I was nominated by @KirstenFoti (My Life as a Middle School English Teacher).

Thank you all! 

Here are my 11 random facts:

1. I have swum in three one-mile open water swims.
2. Lynne Cox and Diana Nyad are my swimming heroines.
3. I wanted to be an architect when I was in high school. Or a classical guitarist.
4. When I was in middle school one of my hobbies was re-reading sad books on Sunday afternoons.
5. Once when I was a kid I got trapped in the middle of a goathead patch with no shoes on.
6. I love to listen to audio books on the way to work and back.
7. My favorite constellation is Orion. 
8. I have dressed as Orion for Halloween many times. (People think I'm the Big Dipper...sigh.)
9. I love caramel more than chocolate.
10. I'm a pretty amazing baker.
11. I don't love the beach or hot weather.

Here are my answers to a few of Vicki's 11 questions:

What did you learn from your mother?
I learned to love trying new foods, to eat lots of vegetables, to be creative, and to be an avid reader.
Where do you write?
At the kitchen table, at my desk, in the park, on the porch, at the library, with my students, in voice memos on my phone, in a journal, on my computer, on scraps of paper...
Where do you find joy in your classroom or work?
I find joy when the classroom routines are well enough established that my students begin to function independently and I can follow as much (or more than) I lead.
What do you do to recharge?
Swim, walk, garden, bake, travel, fly fish.
Here are my answers to a few of Julianne's 11 questions:

What is your next challenge?
Getting more of my poems published!
What technology has made your life better?
Air conditioning. I lived in Ohio without it for about 10 years, and I hope I never have to go back. I don't deal well with heat. (And, of course, pencils, computers, smartphones, the Internet, etc...)
Why teaching?
It's what I'm really good at. I realized this when I taught swimming lessons in high school and college.
How have you grown in the last year? How do you know?
I am a better teacher. I have a new principal who challenges me (in a good way) and a great team who has supported each other through a whole boatload of changes this year. I have tweaked my best practices to make them better and added new tools to my toolbox. I jumped into Bring Your Own Device with both feet and continue to learn new ways to integrate technology into my classrom.

And here are my answers to a few of Kirsten's 11 questions:

Barnes & Noble or Amazon?
Barnes & Noble occasionally, Amazon compulsively, and our local independent children's book store as often as possible.
Paper books or ebooks?
Paper books AND ebooks AND audio books.
On a scale of 1(weak) -10 (hardcore), how intense is your addiction to Twitter?
Before #nerdlution, I would have said 1 on an ordinary day and 8 at conferences. Now I'm probably 4 and 8.
How many hours of sleep do you average a night? Do you wake up thinking educational thoughts in the wee hours of the morn?
I need my 8 hours. I pretty much sleep from 9p-5a every night. And yes, I often wake up thinking about teaching, think about it during my morning walk, and think about it in the shower. One of the reasons I like listening to audio books between home and school is that is shuts work out of my brain for 40 minutes a day!

Here are the bloggers I'll nominate to carry the sunshine to new corners of the blogosphere:

@AnnieWhitlock A Year of Writing
@JenSchwanke Going Big
@TonyKeefer Atychiphobia 2.0
Deb Tyo @ChocolateAir  Chocolate Air
@Katsok Read, Write, Reflect
Ann Hagedorn Read...Write...Talk
@ColbySharp SharpRead
PatrickAllen @ColoReader All-en-A-Day's Work
Ann Marie Corgill @acorgill AM Literacy Learning Log
Kara Newhouse @Rogueanthro Rogue Anthropologist
Donalyn Miller @donalynbooks Donalyn Miller

And here are my 11 questions:

1. What's one thing you're going to make this year?
2. iOS or Android?
3. What's your favorite new organizational trick?
4. Where were did you grow up and how has that place made you who you are?
5. What is your favorite junk food?
6. Who is your hero?
7. What superpower would you pick?
8. Where would you travel next if you could?
9. What frustrates you most?
10. What's one favorite memory of childhood?
11. What's your favorite instrument in the orchestra?


  1. I love this Mary Lee. Random facts:listening to audio books and Orion could be on my list. I should go to bed at 9 but it's 10 instead.

  2. I confess I initially thought of passing on the whole Sunshine thing since I feared it would take too much time. But the time it did take, both to write a post and read them, has definitely been well-spent. I love that you've dressed up as a constellation for Halloween! And now I know what to call all those people I've never met but feel are true friends. They're my friends in my heard friends! And I value them so much.

  3. I knew it! You're a swimmer. I love how you learned you were good at teaching from teaching swim lessons. All my kids are/were competitive swimmers, lifeguards and open water swimmers. Sadly I am not anywhere near their level, but I've sat through hours and hours of meets (loving every minute of em). So fun to not only learn from and with you, but about you!


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