One Lovely Blog Award

Congratulations, Ms. Houghton’s Class!

We received a One Lovely Blog award from Jess, who writes about her life as a newspaper reporter and as a temporary resident of Germany! To be fair, Jess and I also lived on the same floor in the dorms at Michigan State, and we traveled to the British Isles together in 2003. (Remember what I told you about college giving you friends for life?)

Anyway, one of the terms of accepting the One Lovely Blog award is that we must bestow it upon 15 other bloggers. That seems like a rather large number, so I snipped it down to an even ten. I rely on the work of a lot of great teachers, writers and friends to help come up with ideas for making our class a great place to be! Without further ado, and in alphabetical order…

Art Projects for Kids. If only Kathy Barbro were our school’s art teacher. Thankfully, she makes her lesson plans available for gen ed teachers like me, who need to step into the role of art teacher.

Color Me Katie. I have no clue how she does it, but New York-based artist Katie Sokoler always comes up with whimsical, smart art that fits right into her community. Her work always makes me smile.

A Fuse 8 Production. NYC librarian Elizabeth Bird runs this blog for the School Library Journal. It’s always thrilling to hear from someone so excited, so giddy about books! Plus, she always has great suggestions.

Help Readers Love Reading! Brian is a Wisconsin teacher who shares books he’s had success with in his classroom. I love that his reviews have been test-driven by students!

Huffington Post. My Internet newspaper.

Life with a Little Dog. Many of my newspaper reporting friends write outside the pages of their home publication. I interned at The Gazette of Colorado Springs with Crystal, and we had a delightful time. I enjoy keeping up with her life (and the lives of her critters) in Kansas City.

Made by Rae. I find a lot of great patterns here, and Rae’s a teacher as well! I’m also always dazzled by the fabrics she’s able to find. This blog doesn’t necessarily help me be a better teacher, but it does help me be a well-dressed one… :)

Mo Willems Doodles. With such a busy touring schedule, raising a daughter, and continuing to write brilliant books for young (and old) readers, it amazes me that Mo has time to blog.

Planet Esme. I somewhat begrudgingly bestow this award, because although I think Madame Esme fancies herself to be quite the bees’ knees and I’m not interested in inflating her ego any more, I do discover quite a few new and exciting books on her site. Blast.

PS 22 Chorus. Is there a teacher (or human) alive who is not moved, excited, and inspired by this group of 5th graders and their fearless leader? I am so glad that they are getting the national recognition they deserve!

To our recognized bloggers: I understand how busy you are and I certainly don’t expect you to go through your blogroll and recommend 15 others (I know this whole award was probably started as a ploy to get increased traffic), but I wanted you to know we enjoy your work.

Thanks to everyone for being such a great inspiration to me (and to our class)!


Big Orange Vehicle Blog!

I said a while ago that I’d share some more about my previous life as a reporter. Here you go!

Back in 2005, I had just finished my journalism degree at Michigan State.

Commencement speakers! (All from the Honors College)
Commencement speakers! Andy and Vinay are now doctors, Ron was the head of the Honors College, and I became a teacher.

I knew I was going to serve with AmeriCorps in the fall, but my summer was dedicated to cops and courts reporting at the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Florida.

And also fishing.
And also fishing.

I learned a ton about reporting (including the fact that I never, ever, ever again want to call a man to tell him his parents were buried alive), interviewed some amazing people, and met some pretty incredible coworkers.

Jeff Brumley is one such coworker. I used to sit across the aisle from him in the newsroom, and he was always in good spirits, with nerdily interesting facts to share. He was also one of the members of the T-U softball team, the Hacks, to welcome me out into right field.

He’s still holding down the fort as religion reporter at the T-U despite the craziness in the newspaper industry, and he’s still excited about the shuttle launches that happen a few hours south in Cape Canaveral at Kennedy Space Center.

With reporter Dawn Klemish at Kennedy Space Center
With reporter Dawn Klemish at Kennedy Space Center

Jeff also runs a neat blog called the Big Orange Vehicle Blog, which celebrates orange modes of transportation. Orange is the color of his college, the University of Tennessee. (See, ladies and gentlemen, you notice that I talk about going to college even during the summer. Remember that I love you and want you to go to college so you can have a job you love. Going to college gives you a community that you are a part of for the rest of your life!)

Jeff in college and Jeff now.

I found two orange vehicles in Seattle on my way home from a hike yesterday, and Jeff featured them this week! He also said some awfully nice things about me.

The moral of this story is the same as many I tell you during the school year: work hard, be nice, go to college, do awesome stuff, get recognized for your hard work. I love you and miss you!

(Jeff, I hope it was OK that I snagged those pictures…)