Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet the 2 Brainy Apples!


Did anyone else feel just a "little" like a superhero while reading Mr. Hughes' post title? We started to think of cool superhero names, but we didn't get anywhere. So then we turned to the more fun part of thinking of the superpower we would have. We have actually thought about this in the past (scary, we know), so it was pretty easy. Miranda wants to have the "pop" power....we'll fill you in on that during a later post...I think she just made it up, and I would have the power of teleportation. Who wouldn't want to just close their eyes, imagine where they wanted to be, and then, whoosh! You're there! No airline fees, baggage lines, traffic, bathroom breaks (which are endless with 3 kids). It would be awesome!

Now, back to the introductions: 
We just want to say HOW EXCITED we are to be a part of this collaborative blog!!!! We keep pinching ourselves to make sure it's for real! We LOVE that this idea was born....we have both been lower and upper elementary grades teachers, and, honestly, sometimes the upper grades just seem to be left out a little...*sniff* But not any more!

So Who Are These Apples of 2 Brainy Apples?

Apple #1 will share some personal tidbits with you first: This is my 12th year teaching. I am a southern girl who attended the University of Georgia. "GO DAWGS!" I obtained my bachelor's degree and master's degree in Early Childhood Education. I also obtained a bachelor's degree in Psychology. Every year, like all teachers, I have experienced, excitement, giggles, challenges, tears, and success. My love of learning and determination to reach all students led me to receive my Reading Endorsement and Gifted Endorsement. Besides teaching, I am married to the best man ever. He is a mathematics teacher within a high school STEM Academy. For now, we have a kid in the form of a loving and adorable Schnoodle named Zoe. I am an avid runner and UGA football fan.

Now meet Apple #2: This is my 13th year teaching (my, how time flies!). I was born and raised in Knoxville, TN (Go Big Orange!), but now reside north of Atlanta, GA. I have received advanced degrees in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, as well as in Teacher Leadership. I have my Gifted Endorsement (Miranda and I went through that program together...fun times!), On-Line Teaching endorsement, and certification for Administrative Leadership. Although I have only taught at the elementary school level, I also hold certifications for teaching middle grades ELA and Science. I have the most supportive and loving husband in the world, who is a high school Social Studies teacher and football coach. We have 3 beautiful children, who I think are God's best gift to us. We are an active sports-loving family who LOVES to spend time together outdoors, traveling and exploring. We love deciding where our next adventure will take us!

Between the two of us, we have taught the whole gamut of elementary school: classroom teachers, Title I/EIP, Instructional Coach, Enrichment, Extended Day, and Summer School. We have taught children in grades K-5, so we feel very comfortable with the curriculum and rigor expected of all grade levels.

Our passion is creating tasks that are standards-based and cross-curricular, but also fun, engaging, and differentiated so all students can experience success. Tying a task with a real world scenario ensures our students see a relevance for the activity, and they see a connection on how it can apply to their own lives. When students make connections not only to their own lives, but also across content areas, that little spark in their heads lights up and grows brighter with each passing day. We have seen the most unwilling student complete a task with a smile and later remark about how much fun it was. Our students always get excited when they are given a new task to complete because they never know what role they will take on next. Performance tasks can be very difficult for students to complete at first. Chances are they haven't been required to think in that way, but, after modeling, showing exemplars, and having them work collaboratively with others, they soon learn how to become independent real-world problem solvers who can apply learned skills and knowledge in unfamiliar situations in and out of the classroom.

As teachers, the "TIME" factor always comes in to play...too many standards, not enough time. UGH! But when you integrate subject areas by using performance tasks, the "TIME" factor becomes reasonable because you are teaching multiple standards at the same time.

We are always amazed at the solutions our students come up with and the projects they create. When you give them the freedom to exercise their creativity in a risk-free environment, the results are almost always beyond expectations. We love witnessing our students' individuality and creative approaches when they are designing, explaining, and justifying their products.

Now that we have given you all some background info on who we are, we would LOVE to offer you a couple of our items from our TpT store with you for free! Oh, and we are also offering 10% off our entire store today only (Jan. 7) as a thank-you for stopping by here to read a little about us. Thank you!
Our first FREEBIE is our Hot Cocoa Multiplication and Division Ready To Go Center we like to have our students complete to practice multiplication and division facts. It is a winter theme, so you could use it this week! You just print, laminate, and cut out. There is recording sheet and an answer key. Or, if you prefer, you can print it out in gray-scale and have your students cut and paste the cookies with the mugs instead. We have used it both ways and it has worked well. Enjoy! 
Our second FREEBIE is our Cup Full of Adverbs Ready To Go Center. This is also a winter theme, so you can use it in the upcoming weeks. Students match the adverb on the marshmallow to the type it is on the mug. You can use it as a center just like the Hot Cocoa center above, or there is a black and white option for a classroom activity. Answer key included!

Not only do we blog here, but we also have our own blog called The Orchard. We would LOVE for you to visit us there. We haven't had it for very long, so it is definitely a "baby", but we are hoping it grows up awfully quickly! 

Keep in Touch With Us At:

See ya'll soon!
2 Brainy Apples












21 comments:

  1. So fun to learn I'm not the only giant of the team and that you have covered just as many areas and certifications that I have! WOO HOO!

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    1. Yay! Sometimes I hate being the giant. Especially when I wear heels and Miranda doesn't. One day we were getting on the elevator at our county office, and when the door opened, the man getting off looked at us, then he started to laugh. He was SO embarrassed he could not believe he had done that, but I was almost 2 heads taller than Miranda because I was wearing heels and she was wearing flats. So I know we looked ridic :)

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  2. Hi, Great blog, I am a new follower and also nominated you for a Leibster Award. If you don't already have one, please head on over to my blog for the info and what to do. - http://acrossthepondclassroomfollies.blogspot.fr/

    Best

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    1. Thanks so much for your post! We did actually receive the Leibster Award already. Thanks so much for nominating us, though :) We will head on over to your blog to check it out. We love discovering new blogs to follow!

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  3. What a great introduction! It was a lot of fun to read! You ladies certainly have a lot of great experience. I am so happy to be collaborating with you on the blog! :)

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    1. We couldn't be more excited to be a part of this blog :) Everyone on here brings something different to the table. We think it's going to be a hit!

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  4. I loved reading about you two ladies! This is so much fun, and I look forward to everything about this blog!

    Andrea

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    1. We get so excited each night going to bed, wondering whose we will get to read in the morning. I haven't looked at any of the drafts because I don't want to ruin the surprise :)

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  5. Great job ladies! It was fun reading about you both and I look forward to collaborating with you:)

    Jen

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    1. Thanks for your post! We can't wait to see how this blog develops. We are excited to be able to work with everyone on here :) We feel so lucky!

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  6. What amazing freebies! I can't wait to see future blog posts!

    Jennifer
    Teaching to Inspire in 5th

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  7. Aw, thanks! This blog has really sparked our love of blogging :) It's so much more fun to blog with others!

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  8. Awesome post, ladies! The experience among the collaborators just continues to amaze me!

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    1. We agree! It's so much fun to learn about everyone! We look forward to all of your all's ideas and tips :)

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  9. YAY! Love to see the faces behind the bloggers! Too bad I'm going to keep mine hidden a little longer! ;) Sounds like you two have a wealth of experiences between you!

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    1. :) It's always fun to see faces behind the logo :) Hopefully we will get to see you sometime ;) Can't wait to read your introduction!

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  10. Great post ladies! it's been nice getting to know you a little better than from the TPT forums! Although I'm a primary teacher I did teach intermediate for 8 years so I am looking forward to reading more :)
    Karen
    Mrs. Jones’s Kindergarten

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  11. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Karen! I love visiting blogs of people who I see in the forums because you do get to get more of a glimpse into their personalities and lives :) It's always fun! Before I had kids, and then when my own children were very young, the older kids literally Scared. Me. To. Death. But as my own kids are getting bigger, I have realized they aren't too scary :) I LOVE the older kids now!

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  12. Helloooooooo! OF COURSE WE ARE SUPER HEROES! Ha ha!
    I really, really enjoyed reading your post. I am excited to work more with you both in the future. WAHOO! :)

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  13. Welcome aboard. You know what they say...2 brains are better than one.

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  14. Can't wait to use your multiplication/division center in math this week! Many of my third graders still really struggle when the unknown isn't the product or quotient, so this will be a great reinforcement activity! :)

    Blair

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