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Teaching across the USA… and beyond! - interview & linky - Meredith from Massachusetts

I can't believe a month has already rolled by since my last post in the series Teaching Across the USA. But you know what they say: "Time flies when..."

My guest today is Meredith Anderson from Massachusetts. She's literally the brain behind the Momgineer blog.

Teaching Across the USA - Interview and link party
Clipart: Stacey Lloyd and Sonya DeHart Design

1. Have you always lived in Massachusetts? 

First, I want to say thank you for interviewing me for this fun series! It is such a great idea to "meet" someone from every state! To answer your first question, no, but I didn't live terribly far from here, either. I grew up in Bridgeport, CT and went to college in upstate New York. My husband and I lived in California (where he is from) for a few years before starting a family, then moved back to New York for a couple of years. We moved to Massachusetts in late 2007 and have been here ever since! I don't mind the New England winters, and the changes in season are just amazing.

2. By the name of your blog, Momgineer, I assume you have an Engineering degree. What aspects of the engineer stereotype actually apply to you and which of them don't?

You are correct. I hold two engineering degrees in Mechanical Engineering. In some ways, I do fit the stereotype. I'm a total math geek (I even have a pi tattoo!), know far too many engineering jokes (no, you don't want to hear them), and I am definitely an introvert. One way I don't fit the stereotype is that I'm a woman. I would love to see more women in the field. Unfortunately, and I'm not helping matters by being in semi-retirement from engineering!

Meredith from Massachusetts - Teaching Across the USA
Walden Pond, Museum of Science, deCordova Sculputre Park and Museum, and so much more! That's Meredith in the right hand bottom corner.

3. I know you homeschool your kids. What's the biggest reward you get from homeschooling? What are the challenges?

I get to spend time so much time with my kids and really witness them learn. I get to learn and explore with them, and I love that. I feel very fortunate most days to get to spend this time with them; of course some days I want to throw in the towel because it can be overwhelming. It can be challenging because all kids learn at their own pace, and mine are no exception. Even though my kids are in 1st and 3rd this year, we are covering material from Kindergarten all the way through 9th grade right now, depending on the subject. It keeps me on my toes!

4. Which of the resources your created make you the proudest?

I do miss working as an engineer, but I am so thrilled to be able to share my engineering background and knowledge in my resources on TpT. These are labors of love for me. It takes me a long time to create an engineering resource but they are the ones I am most proud of. They all have introductory and follow-up activities, which follow real engineering principles, in addition to the design challenge. My STEM challenges are a great way to scratch the surface of engineering when you are short on time.

Engineering Resources by Momgineer

5. If someone visited Massachusetts for the first time, what would they be surprised to find out?

I think this is generally true for the northeast USA, but I think it might be surprising to find out just how close everything is! One of the best things about Massachusetts is that there are so many learning opportunities in a very small geographic area. In the summer, we can go swimming at Walden pond or the ocean. I can be in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, or New York in anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. There are so many museums and so much history here (I run almost daily along part of the marching path of some of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War), that I don't think it would even be possible to visit everything. Many of these local resources offer homeschooling classes so we do get to experience quite a few, and it makes my job quite a bit easier.

Thank you so much, Meredith, for being my guest! I do hope that there are more women engineers in the future!
Now check out Meredith's FB page, TpT store, Momgineer blog, and Instagram posts.

READ: Teaching Across the USA: Heather from Virginia

READ: Teaching Across the USA: Alison from Illinois

And if you're teaching in America, be sure to link up! Not in America? No problem! If you're a teacher-blogger, you're welcome, too!

Grab the image below and complete the sentence by saying where you're from and which words or expressions we might hear if we're ever there. Blog about it and come link up. Be sure to comment on the posts before your own (at least two).

Thank you so much for reading and linking up!

Noun or Verb Anchor Chart and a freebie!

It might come naturally to an adult native speaker of English that some words act as both verbs and nouns. Of course, the context will tell you the difference. That's easy for you to see.

Now, think about a young child and/or an ELL student. They might have trouble understanding that a word like "play" can be a noun ("I watched a wonderful play"), but also a verb ("Let's play outside").

Helping them navigate the world of multiple meaning words and parts of speech is not an easy task, but it's a crucial one in getting them to succeed in a world where people are constantly turning nouns into verbs ("Friend me on FB"), and verbs into nouns ("I've only got one like on IG").

If you're introducing nouns and verbs to your students or if you're reviewing those two parts of speech, here's an idea that will get your kids to think about the multiple meaning of words on a daily or weekly basis.

Use an interactive "Noun or Verb" anchor chart like the one below.
Read on to learn how you can use it in your classroom.

Noun or Verb Anchor Chart by Lucy S.
Is it a noun or a verb? It can be both! Use this interactive anchor chart to get your students working with the two most important parts of speech: nouns and verbs

1. Once a day (or a week), write a word on a post-it and attach it to the top bubble.
2. Have students write sentences (on two pieces of post-its) in which the focus word acts as a noun and a verb.
3. Gather all the post-its and "shuffle" them.
4. Pick one post-it and read the sentence on it, and have students tell you if the word is a noun or a verb.
5. Attach the post-it on the verb bubble or the noun bubble of the anchor chart.
6. Go through as many sentences as time allows. If you change the focus word once a week, you'll probably be able to go through all the sentences. For example, if you have 20 students, go through 4 sentences a day.

If your students are struggling with the concept, you might have them come up with sentences in pairs or small groups.
You might also brainstorm the sentences together as a class when first introducing the activity, and later move on to the procedure described above.

Sometimes it's hard to remember words that can act as both verbs and nouns, so feel free to use some of the words you'll find in my FREE Noun or Verb No-Prep Printable Worksheets. You can use the printables as pre or post-assessment as well.

 FREE Noun or Verb Worksheets

And if you happen to be looking for more fun ways to practice nouns and verbs, be sure to check out my Noun or Verb Scoot - 2 sets of 35 Task Cards.

 Noun or Verb Scoot - 2 sets of 35 Task Cards

And I'm linking up with the grammar queen Deb Hanson for her Anchors Away Linky Party.
Be sure to check out her anchor charts. They're incredible!

 Anchors Away Monday Linky Party by Deb Hanson

Thanks for reading!