The Sunshine Award!

I feel so fortunate and honored to be nominated by Leah Mermelstein for the Sunshine Award.  Thank you Leah!

The Sunshine Award is an opportunity for bloggers to recognize each other.  It is an awesome way to share the “sunshine” with each other and the blogging we are committed to.

The Sunshine Award was started by Matt Renwick, an elementary principal in Wisconsin (@readbyexample). Here are the rules Matt lists in his post:

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.

6.  Let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

Here are my responses to Matt’s List:

1.  I am married to an amazing man, Sam, who is a woodworker.  We have 2 wonderful children, Lydia, who is teaching 6th grade this year and our son, Sam, who is with the Coast Guard Reserve.  We live in the Champlain Islands with our dog, Bea and our daughter’s cat, Theodore.  I am grateful for all the people in my live.

2.  I am passionate about learning and believe in making a difference for others.

3.  I manage 5 blogs, use kidblogs with my Kindergarten students and believe that using blogging as a platform is a wonderful way to capture, connect and enhance what you explore inside and outside of the classroom.

4.  I believe strongly in having a PLN. My PLN is always available to inspire, support and challenge my thinking.

5. I am up everyday by 5 AM and work out in the morning and then swim, do yoga and zumba in the evening.

6.  I am usually in bed early. I need a lot of sleep and rest to recharge.

7.  I have been published a lot this past year and am currently working on a book publication.  Inspiring and very exciting.  This became possible through my PLN!

8.  I get nervous about traveling.  I am fine when I am on my way, but anxious until the plane takes off. I am flying to Atlanta this summer to present at #ISTE 2014, then on to Wisconsin to visit my parents.

9.  I love to knit.  I created a knitting blog to share what I am knitting and hoping to connect with others that are passionate about this art as well.

10.  I believe that everyone can learn and has the right to learn.  I feel that using technology gives everyone a voice and an opportunity to experience what and how they are learning.

11. I look forward to teaching everyday.  My students are full of excitement and it is contagious.

Here are the questions that Leah asked me along with my answers:

1.What inspires you to blog? I am inspired to share my story and voice.  Blogging gives me a way to do this at my convenience, on my own timeline.  I want to connect with others as well so that I can grow and be inspired to share.

2. What is the hardest/most frustrating thing about blogging?  Learning new platforms can be a huge learning curve, but with the support of my PLN and other bloggers I persevere.

3. Can you share a defining moment you’ve had in the field of education? The most recent is my acceptance to present at #ISTE 2014.  For me this was unbelievable, an honor.  It reminded me that we all have amazing stories and experiences to share.  I am so thrilled that I will be able to share mine with such a large and inspiring group of educators.

4. Can you share your funniest moment in the field of education? When I first introduce the idea of using twitter and social media in Kindergarten one of my students asked;”Mrs. D. don’t forget we need to be twittering today!”

5. What do you hope for in the coming year? I look forward to my first book being published.  I hope to meet more people who are passionate about their work and interests because through these connections I get inspired and find courage to keeping sharing.

6. How does blogging help your teaching? Blogging gives me and my students opportunities to explore the idea of being a safe, kind and responsible digital citizen.  Blogging also is a fun, easy way to capture what you are exploring and discovering.  It is a great platform to connect globally as well as share your voice with a larger audience.  Through sharing we gain a variety of perspectives.  Perspectives are important because they inspire and challenge our thinking.

7. How does teaching help your blogging? Through blogging I can be completely transparent about what and why I am doing. I think it strengthens my understanding of concepts and experiences.  It offers me endless opportunities to reflect on my practice and the discoveries I am making in regards to learning and my passions.

8. What advice would you give to someone about writing? Just do it!  I was an awful writer and did not do well in high school or college.  My teachers didn’t have any confidence in me at all.  Now I have published pieces with ISTE, SmartBlog on Education, Eduwin and currently have a book publication.  You have the power to make it happen!  Just do it!

9. What advice would you give to someone about teaching? Be well physically and emotionally, be sure to laugh and have fun.  Learning is messy and through your mistakes you will find inspiration and do some of your best learning!

10.  What is is your favorite thing to do to relax? I enjoy knitting, physical exercise, yoga, zumba and walking with my husband, Sam and our dog, Bea.  I also enjoy watching netflix’s on my iPad!

11.  Are there any responses to your blog that have really stood out?   Many have, but one that stood out for me was a comment left by Beth.  She said;”I just love reading your stuff, Sharon. I get so inspired by you and your ideas. They way you connect your students to the greater context with ease is phenomenal. Keep on keeping on!” What were they and why did they stand out? This stood out for me because she recognized the essence of my post while also supporting me and what I am doing inside and outside of my classroom.  Encouragement and recognition is important because it gives us feedback and perspective.

I would like to nominate:


Heidi Echternacht

Margaret Powers

Aviva Dunsiger

Hello Fellow Bloggers! Here are my eleven questions for you to answer.  I hope they give you an opportunity to reflect, be inspired and share with your readers.  You have all inspired and continue to inspire me.   And now, Heidi, Amy, Margaret and Aviva  I can’t wait to hear your random facts.  I hope you have fun playing around with your Sunshine Award! I look forward to reading your responses, reflections, ideas and thoughts.

My 11 Questions To You:

1. Who inspires you?

2. What are your passions? How do you know they are?

3. Where do you “go” for inspiration and support?

4. Why do you blog?

5. How do you decide what to blog about?

6. Share a book you have just read. Why are you sharing it?

7. Share a comment left on your blog that you liked, inspired you.

8. Do you have a PLN? Why?

9. What advice would you give to someone starting a blog?

10. What advice would you give to a new teacher? Why?

11. What are you thinking about in the year ahead in regards to your own learning?

I wish you all a wonderful new year filled with everything you enjoy!

Best, Sharon


3 responses to “The Sunshine Award!

  1. Congratulations Sharon! You are the reason I am blogging personally and professionally. Thank you for that. I am looking forward to next summer when we can collaborate some more when you come back to Wisconsin.


  2. These are really fantastic ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some good factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.


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