Taylor Cairns’ Weblog

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My Me Map! September 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 7:13 pm

I decided to make my Me Map into a “Lift the Flap” book since I plan on doing my student teaching in Kindergarten.  I wanted to present the information about myself in a way that was hands on and easy for my students to pick up and read on their own.  I created the book as a recipe for the things that “make up” me and presented a different idea on each page.  Each page has a picture on it that can be lifted up to reveal a photo of things that represent me.  I also condensed my writings from my “About Me” page so that they would be easier for Kindergarteners to read and understand.  I think that a “Lift the Flap” book would be an activity that would be simple and fun for kids to create.  I would definitely use this idea in my Kindergarten classroom!


Swashbuckling Adventures on the High Seas! September 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 1:49 am

This article had great ideas for introducing a unit on Pirates!  My favorite part was the Wanted Poster.  I think that this is one of those activities that students will like so much that they won’t even realize that they are learning!  A completed “Wanted” poster will contain a wealth of information about pirates, including how their career began, their hang outs, their personality, and their likes and dislikes.  Not only will the student completing the poster learn a lot from this project, but when they share it with the rest of the class, other students will learn about that specific pirate as well.
Another aspect of this lesson plan that I liked was the Double Entry Diary.  I remember doing this as a young student and not really understanding why my teacher was encouraging us to do it.  Now, as a future teacher, I can see how relevant Double Entry Diaries can be.  They help the students truly analyze what they are reading and they also provide teachers with a way to check for comprehension.  I would definitely use the strategies from “Swashbuckling” to introduce a Pirate Unit to my students!


Two Very Simple, Yet Very Important Poems September 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 5:16 pm

Barbecue Sauce

Can’t compare
To the spicy
Taste of my
Favorite Sauce.

I dip everything in it
Its the best
Since sliced

Hair Gel

Not too crunchy
Not too soft
My curls are perfect
As long as I can
Get my hands on some
Holds my curls
In place
For hours
Or at least until it rains.


A silly little poem about my dog… September 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 8:02 pm

She struts around like she owns the place
A smug smile upon her face
Her hair gleams like new fallen snow
And is tied up in a prim little bow
Poor little girl, her head’s in a fog-
She doesn’t even know that she’s only a dog!


Two very simple, yet very important things…

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 7:48 pm
My hair gel!

My hair gel!

This is my hair gel!  It is very VERY important to the well-being of my hair.  Just one little dollop and my hair can be cured from frizziness and other problems.  I use men’s gel because it is much stronger than women’s gel and it holds my curls in place throughout the day.

BBQ sauce!

BBQ sauce!

Barbecue Sauce is absolutely delectable!  I dip almost everything in it.  I especially love to dip my fries and chicken nuggets in barbecue sauce.  The only problem is that restaurants never give me enough packets and I always have to ask for more!  My favorite barbecue sauce comes from Chick-fil-A and McDonalds.


The History of My Name September 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 8:31 pm

My family is from Pennsylvania, and for some reason EVERYONE is always given a nickname, no matter what their name is.  For example, Richard becomes Dicky (horrible, I know) and Craig becomes Craigy, etc.  When my parents discovered that they were going to have a baby they knew that they had to choose a name carefully or else I would forever bear the scars of a terrible nickname.  They wanted a name that was uncommon at the time, that they both agreed on, and that sounded good with our last name.  They had no trouble putting together a list of boys’ names but they struggled finding girls’ names that they liked.  Before they could decide on a girl’s name I was born and they looked at their lists to figure out what they would name me.  The name Taylor was on the boy’s list and they thought it would be a cute name for a girl, so they chose it.  They chose the name Nicole for my middle name simply because they thought it sounded nice with Taylor.  That is how I got my name!  As for the nickname problem, my parents didn’t avoid it as well as they thought!  Shortly after I was born my grandparents started affectionately calling me Tay Tay.  Yuck!

Also, according to http://www.behindthename.com,  the name Taylor was used to denote someone who actually was a tailor!

A cool fact about my name:  Dale Earnhardt’s daughter was supposedly named Taylor Nicole after me!  My mom was Theresa Earnhardt’s dental hygenist one day and Theresa saw my picture up on my mom’s bulletin board.  Theresa asked what my name was and my mom told her.  Theresa was pregnant at the time and later she actually named her daughter Taylor Nicole!


All the Small Poems and Fourteen More… September 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — taylorcairns @ 10:17 pm

While reading All the Small Poems and Fourteen More by Valerie Worth, I was struck by the fact that even the most simple things in life are exquisite when you really think about them.  Valerie’s poems are about the ordinary, every day things that we sometimes forget to notice.  She writes poems about tractors, safety pins, and even a soap bubble.  I would love to use this book of poetry in my classroom because it teaches students that poetry is accessible to anyone.  To be a poet, you do not have to write about something so complicated that no one else can understand the meaning of your words.  Instead you can draw meaning from the world around you and use it to write your poetry.

One of my favorite poems by Valerie Worth is “Slug.”


The slug
Slides sly
By night,

To nibble
The new
Green shoot,

To riddle
The weak
White root-

By all
But the moon,

Who smiles
On his scenes
Of crime,

And silvers
His trails
Of slime.

How great is that?  A poem written about a slimey little slug!  I love it and I know my students will too!