Sunshine Blog Challenge


A Challenge

My fellow #etmooc -er Rhonda Jessen added another challenge for me: The Sunshine Blog Challenge for which I am honored to participate.  I’m smack dab in the middle of several projects, so I’ll be brief and add questions for my nominees that can also be responded to briefly. These are fun and help us —  global connected educators — get to know each other. Thanks again Rhonda!

How It Works

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
5. 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.)


 11 Facts

  1. I also choose dark chocolate and occasionally partake in those other types. But dark chocolate soothes the soul on surly days. It started when I was young and the corner grocery story sold candy bars for a nickel. Almond Joy: dark chocolate and coconut with almonds. Yum. Mom could afford a nickel for my brother and I to cheer us up.
  2. I usually carry both a cell phone and a mini-iPad; I use them when I want to– not when they notify me- when it doesn’t interrupt what I’m doing at the time.
  3. I love percussion. I played drums in the band in high school, and the beat of rock music brings great memories. No, I don’t play anymore, but I will sometimes grab a pair of sticks and beat out a cadence, much to the amazement of my students.
  4. I love to sing in the car, which is a good thing. I can’t sing; it’s why I played drums. I even tell my students: if I need to keep you in for recess, I will sing to you. [No! they laugh.]
  5. I do drive to work. It’s twenty miles north on a lovely and quiet drive through the sage brush, right up to the edge of the wooded hills. Pleasant. Thoughtful. Many NPR moments.
  6. I’m not much of a traveller, except online. I’m a hobbit who loves an adventure; my husband and I will hop in the car and let the road lead us.
  7. I’ve always had a furry creature around: cat, gerbil, dog. Currently we enjoy two cats and an a dog, whom we are nursing through old age as long as we can because she has brought us so much joy. Her kind eyes let us know what she needs, and we still walk her twice a day.
  8. Spring is my favorite season, with its budding hope of renewal.
  9. A Christmas tree with small colored lights is our calming evening light year ’round.
  10. I’ve written two novels for NaNoWriMo :)
  11. 11-1 are the number of my amazing, intelligent, and creative grandkids.

Questions from Rhonda

1. Winter or summer?

Summer: Winter teach; summer beach.  I love the gracious gift of warm weather — the heat of the sun beaming energy to everything, and the cool water of the lake refreshing us.


2. Favourite comfort food?

Dark Chocolate — and occasionally puffy Cheetos


3. Favourite food?

Reservations. And then it depends on the restaurant: Chicken Satay; Chicken Gorgonzola, or Chicken Panini. Hmmm. There’s a pattern there. And homemade soup.

4. What is the best way to support those who are new to open education and are overwhelmed by the possibilities?

Guide them in small steps and be there with feedback; collaborate with them on a project.

5. Who was the best teacher you ever had? Why?

The best teacher: Dr. Francis Kazemek at Eastern Washington University

Why? Seminar and Project-based courses that were student-centered and extremely rigorous

If he taught a class I was required to take, I’d wait until his turn to teach it to enroll.

6. Who was the worst teacher you ever had? Why?

I didn’t have a worst teacher. I learned from all of them, because “you get out of life what you give it.” I found the value.

7. What are you reading right now?

Teaching Argument Writing, Grades 6-12 Supporting Claims with Relevant Evidence and Clear Reasoning George Hillocks Jr, Emeritus, University of Chicago

8. What are you learning right now?

Politics interferes with education.

9. What’s your favourite way to stay connected?

Twitter: Grammasheri

Google Plus: Grammasheri

10. Describe a great day at work.

A great day at work are the days my students have a great day — when drama and distractions don’t cause them stress. Then we all dive in and learn together. I’m a facilitator, a guide, offering suggestions and feedback that is accepted and reviewed.  Families stop in to see their student’s progress, and my colleagues find time to share and enjoy each other’s work.

11. Describe a great day off.

A great day off is spent with my family, often geeking out together, and definitely a delicious dinner with great conversation.

My Nominations

Tracy Watanabe from whom I learn every day; her blog is professional development !

Paula Neidlinger who is a leader in organizing collaborative blogging for teachers and students with her #teach2blog

Denise Krebs who chooses difficult journeys to help others

Joy Kirr who is everyone’s cheerleader as she leads us in implementing #geniushour  even in these “testing” times

JoAnn Jacobs whose strength through adversity shines through the beauty she finds everywhere

Erin Jackle who shares her amazing journey to enhance tech learning in her districts

Randy Norman who shares middle school teacher life, because it is our lives

Barbara McVeigh is a champion librarian whose posts share not just books but creative wisdom for her students and us

Valerie Lees is an amazing educator, always connecting and sharing to develop blended, authentic learning at her high school

Jill Grafton [ Jill Barnes ] is another middle school teacher whose focus is on language arts learning — and her students are through her lead as a connected educator

Rachel Tassler, another reading teacher who reflects on her own learning and applies it to her students.

My Questions

  1. City or Country? and Why?
  2. Inside or Outside? and Why?
  3. Mac, PC, or ? and Why?
  4. Cat or Dog? and Why?
  5. An item on your “Bucket List,” would be?
  6. Favorite education quote, and why?
  7. Education: your definition is?
  8. A suggestion for a new teacher would be?
  9. A Song that moves you – and Why?
  10. A Book that moved you — and Why?
  11. You: in a six word sentence


on “Sunshine Blog Challenge
2 Comments on “Sunshine Blog Challenge
  1. Sheri, I LOVE your questions – so thought-provoking! I’ve already written my Sunshine Post – – but I loved learning more about you. I’m glad I pictured you the way you seem to really be – kind, thoughtful, and down to earth. Thank you for sharing! I think I’ll use the format of your questions for the interest survey I give students next year – will make for good discussions! 🙂

    • Hi Joy! So glad you pointed out your Sunshine Post! It is an excellent example of reflection by a teacher who takes her own learning and applies it to her students. We love to geocache as well; maybe we will find your Travel Bug! We should get one too. We certainly “travel” through the blogging and tweeting world, finding and sharing all kinds of treasures. Thanks for being a connected friend. And congratulations on your shared leadership and the effect you have had for #geniushour ! Well-deserved credit for all you do.

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