Wednesday, April 2, 2014


  I am sooo excited to share that Lopez Land Learners was nominated for a Liebster blog award by Amanda over at Third Grade Fabulous.  I was stunned when I first read the message in my email's inbox, but then when I saw it on the Big Blog Screen I squealed.  Now if you know me, you would know there was no way I would squeal, but somehow I fooled us all because I definitely lout a squeal of glee!!! 

The Liebster award is an internet based award that is given to bloggers by bloggers!! I like that!! In a sense, it is like a chain letter because once you are nominated, you need to pass on the blog award to other bloggers that are noteworthy! If you would like to nominate amazing bloggers, this website has great information and clear rules to help you in the process. 

 Thank you again Amanda! I am so honored and absolutely thrilled!! Without further ado...

1) What is your favorite subject to teach and why? Language Arts! I love being able to introduce my students to amazing places through reading. I feel chills when I see students who would never pick up A Series of Unfortunate Events or Brian Jacques book in August practically melt when they can't put them down in February.  The personal connections they make with stories and authors leads to not only wonderful reading experiences, but makes our writing process so much more meaningful because they own their writing! Bringing a love of literature to my students is what I truly cherish. 
2) If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? Greece. My maternal great-grandfather immigrated here at the turn of the century in a time when the oldest brother in the family inherited everything when the father passed.  Being one of the younger brothers, he had to spend the rest of his life working for that older sibling.  His sense of adventure and willingness to create his own path in life led him to New York City and ultimately to Tennessee. I can't imagine moving to a new country without speaking any of the language.   A dream of mine is to visit his native town in Greece and get a real sense of my roots. 

3) What is your all time favorite book? I love books!! Kids books, adult books, cookbooks, history books, you name it. This is tough to nail down just one, but I would have to say the book that has stuck with me through the years is The Little Prince.  I found it magical and heard it speaking to me. I read it again and again when I hear the words calling my name. 

4) When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher, then a detective like Starsky and Hutch, then a sports writer, and then a teacher again!! I used to play school every day! My mom had old textbooks from when she was younger and I spent many an evening and day writing the answers to all of those history questions in my own notebook. I would spend hours totally engrossed in learning! 

5) How long have you been blogging? 9 months! I created the blog right before school was out last summer and have increased my contributions little by little. I spent hours reading everyone else's and oohing and ahhing and making connections to ideas and activities that I could put to use in my own classroom. My daughter saw me reading one night and told me I should create one of those and contribute my ideas, too. I listened and here we are! 

6) What is the school supply you can't do without? Hmm, colored markers! I love creating colorful anchor and GLAD charts for my students to use to easily categorize information.  I love thin ones and thick ones and oh yes, smelly ones!! I have loved scented markers since high school!! The more the merrier! 

 7) How many students are in your class? 30! Our class size for 4-5 is 30 students.  They are amazing and keep me energized. I can't imagine my life without any of them! One moved early in the year and then came 2 new ones to fill our hearts. 
8) What would you be doing if you were not a teacher? I would be a full time author instead of part time one that I am now with the full time desire and ideas. 

9) What is your favorite thing to do when you are not at school? Travel up and down the coast of California hunting for sea glass with my husband, enjoying my three 20 + aged children while they are still home with us and relaxing with my pets. You will often see me reading either a book or my iPad Kindle or iBook app... or playing my numerous games that makes my family shake their heads. 

10) What is your classroom theme? Monkeys! I have called my students Changos, Spanish for monkeys, since my first year of teaching! The first time that long ago group would raise their hand and start "Ohh" "Ohhhh" while begging me to call on them for the answer, I thought of them as monkeys making their beloved sound.  The name has caught on and everyone knows that Lopez Land is full of hard working changos.  Younger siblings often stop me in the hallway just to verify that I really do call my students changos, always with the promise that they will be one someday, too!! 

11) What is your go to school snack or drink? Something sweet!! I was born and raised on sweet tea so that has to be in the top 5! I love chocolate... brownies, cookies, candy, ice cream.  I used to say Dr. Pepper, but I haven't had one in almost a year!! So fruit, nuts and water for me most days!! 

11 Random Things about ME: 

1. I am a southerner at heart. Born and raised in Tennessee!! 
2. I have a home that is connected to Elvis Presley. 
3. I have never gone on a cruise.
4. I hope to someday be a published author.
5. I love dolphins! 
6. Southern cuisine is my favorite, yes I know most of it is bad for you, but biscuits and gravy, sweet potato casserole and banana pudding hit the spot!! 
7. I love driving across the United States to visit my family in Tennessee. 
8. I have visited 24 states and 3 foreign countries. I have lived in 4 states.
9. I love teal and lime green.
10. I used to be obsessed with kokopellis! 
11. New Mexico is a state I could live in! It is amazingly unique and so beautiful. 

In my search of who to pass this amazingly fun and collaborative award on to, I met some great new bloggers! I can't wait to introduce them to you all!! 

Questions I would love to know from my new blogger friends: 
1. How long have you been blogging?
2. What made you decide to start a teaching blog?
3. If you could teach any subject all day long, what would it be?
4. What is the one country you would like to visit?
5. What is your favorite children's literature book to read aloud?
6. What is the one habit you have that drives you crazy at times?
7. How long have you been teaching? Do you imagine retiring as a teacher?
8. What do you think of the Common Core State Standards?
9. What is one supply in your class you just can't get enough of?
10. If you could write a children's book, what would it be about?
11. What is your favorite store or website to shop for school related items?

Daisy Designs

 book and bliss

 Wholebrain Teaching Preschool Style
Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten


  1. Thanks so much for awarding me! I love your student teacher's activities!

  2. Nice to meet you Alicia!! Thank you for stopping by!! I can't wait to read all about you!!