Thursday's Cooperative Learning #6

Just a quick post, as I have a couple more assignments to finish for my Reading Endorsement class. At the beginning of the year, with my older students (1st & 2nd) or with my kindergarteners' big buddies, I use Kagan's Find Someone Who... as an icebreaker. This is a fun way to get to know more about our friends in our class. Each child gets one ditto, and finds a friend who can answer one of the questions in a box. Then that friend signs the box. This structure fills the need for movement and social interaction with peers. Below is a slide from my set of Kagan posters that I created with various clipart, the main picture being from Kagan's Powerpoint Pals. These are posters to help guide the process of the cooperative learning structure. Kagan has their own on their site. Click below to go to Kagan Online.
If you put in a search for Find Someone Who on TPT, there are certainly many resources. Here are a few of my favorite freebie finds on TPT.
Other educators have taken this and applied it into the academic area.  Amanda Pauley from Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten and Sheree Peterson from Peterson's Pad have offered freebies using this structure while tying in the Common Core standards.
On a different note, I feel honored to be awarded the Liebster Award. I feel I am not a new blogger... been around the past year... I'm just slow like a turtle. :0) The turtle did finish the race though. (The turtle is my running mascot- random fact.) Thanks to Amber from School is a Happy Place, Stephanie from Polka Dot Palace, and Sara from The Primary Buzz for this recognition. I am happy to be part of the blogging community, and having an opportunity to share and learn with others.
To accept the nomination I must:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them
There are a plethora of blogs that I would love to nominate... but I am limited with the guidelines and my time spent here today. Here are a few that I would like to nominate...
Mrs Ehles Kindergarten Connections
Now to the 11 questions (I'm cheating here... as I am picking the 11 I want to answer.)
1. Why did you start blogging? Last year, I began discovering TPT and teacher blogs. I didn't think I had the time to devote to a blog... and I am a private kind of individual. However, I wanted to share and learn from others, so I went for it.
2. What is your favorite outdoor activity? I love the outdoors!! Downhill skiing is my all time favorite... not something I can do where I currently live.
3.Where do you like to vacation? I love to travel. I wish I could go to Greece or to Peru. I haven't been to those places yet. I want to see the ruins and beauty of Greece, and in Peru, I want to hike up to Machu Picchu.
4. What is one goal you have made for yourself this year? I want to spread kindness. I want to help my students find ways to spread kindness through Random Acts of Kindness. I think this goes well with the filling buckets classroom management system I use in my classroom. I also hope to do this outside of school.
5.6. Are you married? Do you have any children? I am married and we do not have any children. Instead we have two little dogs.
7. What is your favorite childhood memory? Riding my tricycle, munching on a pickle, and laughing with my friend. Don't remember his name... we were like 4 years old at the time.
8. Are you a coke or pepsi person? If you don't drink soda, then what is your drink? I love coffee! I associate warm fuzzy feelings with it, as I get together with friends to drink some coffee. I didn't drink coffee for over a year, but back to it again. My other drink is water... I typically have a water bottle with me.
9. What is one teaching tool you can not live without? Lots of books! I can teach anything as long as I have a great book to use. Books open a world of possibilities.
10. Favorite quote? When I had a classroom website, I posted this because I truly believe it goes with my philosophy of teaching: "Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” ― Henry van Dyke
11. Best moment/experience while teaching? Everyday in the primary grades brings wonderful experiences. I can think of quite a few stories. However, I will always remember my very first class. A few of their faces pop up immediately, and I think of a time. I remember the shy Vietnamese girl, I tried connecting with through our culture. She drew and wrote about pho, a type of Vietnamese soup. I was very excited trying to explain to the other children what it was. She smiled at me so proud. I even spoke Vietnamese to her. One day she looked up at me, and asked why I spoke Vietnamese funny. That cracked me up... I have an accent. My relatives like to laugh at me, and they say it's cute...
Which brings me to some random things about me...
1. I used to speak enough Arabic and French to get by. I didn't have an accent in Swiss... many thought I was a native.
2. I love shopping at Anthropologie. Here is one of my favorite dresses I wore to my friend's wedding last year.
That is the Mr. Brinn with me.
3. I have inspired my husband to come into the classroom to help me out. He is great help, and the kids love him.
Thanks again to Amber, Stephanie, and Sara. I feel fortunate to be able to have met and learn with educators all over the place! I hope to have an opportunity to meet up one day. :0) 
Whew!! This was not a quick post with the awards!! :0)
OOPS- For my questions, please pick any that were asked by my nominees... thanks!


  1. Gwen!!! Super cute blog! Thank you SO much for nominating me for this award! I'm that happiest because the nomination led me to your wonderful blog! :) LoVe it! Looking forward to swapping ideas with you in the future! Blessings!

  2. Thank you so much for nominating me for this award! I am happy like Holly because it lead me to your blog! Looking forward to swapping ideas and getting to know you better.

    Terri Izatt

  3. Thank you for a wonderful post! I have been trying different Kagan strategies with my Kinders this year and it all still feels a bit clumsy. Are your Kagan posters for sale anywhere? I would love a copy. Thank you!

  4. I love your Kagan structure poster! Do you have more and are they for sale? I would love to have them for my classroom! Can you please let me know: Thank you!


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