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Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Best and Brightest Linky:)

What a whirlwind 2012 has been!!  I have been blogging for six months and it seems like it has been years!  Seriously, I don't know how I ever taught 12 years without all of the inspiration and resources I have gained in the last six months from blogging.  I can only imagine what 2013 will bring!  I am linking up with the fabulous Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for her 2012's Blog Best and Brightest linky:)  So fun!
The best career choice I made this year was to somehow stumble upon the blogging world last summer and then immediately start a blog (why not?).  It has been the best thing to happen in my career.  The ideas and inspiring thoughts have really transformed my teaching in so many ways.  The bloggers that have become my cyber space friends have uplifted my spirits countless times this year when the stress has been high due to CCSS and APPR changes.

Speaking of fellow bloggers, I have bragged about my blogging friends several times.  These blogs are amazing and are all written by super talented, amazing gals.  They have provided me more inspiration than I can ever thank them for!

The most popular post on my blog was a Monday Made It on Editable Schedule Cards and shared writing journals.  I posted about the editable schedule cards I made and they became a quick seller in my TPT store much to my surprise.  I think the blogging had something to do with it:)
I also posted here about the shared writing journals I mod podged using labels from other fabulous bloggers.  I blogged about my avery label idea for students to keep track of which journals they have used.  See post here.

I love the shared writing journals but one source of nagging in my head is that I never make the time (or have the time) to keep up with reading all the entries.  I just hope that they are allowing the students to write creatively and I tell myself that some writing should not be graded so closely.  During writing conferences, I look at their writing journals but the SWJ are often being used.  Also, I am lucky to get in 8 writing conferences a week out of 23, so I only see each student for their conference about once a month.  There is a little reflection on that...any comments on how you read or fit in your writing conferences?

I think the best freebie I shared this year was the Decorate Your Writing Journal Handout.  The students love this activity and every time I conference with them I immediately see something personal to them on their cover and can ask them about it.

Making some new, more substantial TPT products have been on my to-do list for a long time.  I FINALLY got around to making some Monster Math Fraction Centers and just posted them yesterday.  This is the TPT product I am most proud of and time will tell if it will be a good seller.  The adorable monster graphics are from Scrappin Doodles.  I know I can use them in my classroom.  

I am getting just a little stressed about the NYS test coming in April.  I know they will be tough this year.  We have been using the same math curriculum at my school for 10 years and I have been pulling resources from everywhere.  I feel like I cannot get a good handle on the new core and when I see the sample questions, I almost start hyperventilating! 

The single, best technological trick I learned was the screenshot on my mac (command+shift+4).  I use it ALL the time and do not know how I went so long in the dark ages.  There is so much I still need to learn!

I am so excited for 2013 and know that I will feel more organized and ready when this September comes.  I had so many changes this year (blogging, Daily 5, CCSS, new APPR) and it won't be as difficult next year after going through it once.  Here is to a wonderful 2013!  Cheers!!


  1. Hi Holly! Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm glad you did, because it led me to yours. :) Your stuff looks amazing. I'll pass your blog along to my fourth grade teacher friends for sure. I feel the same way about keeping up with writing journals. There is just not enough time in the day! I have this ideal in my head when it comes to writing, but it never quite works out that way. I'll get it together one of these years! I just love reading their writing too!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  2. I love your fraction packet! I am heading over to your store to check it out now. I am hosting a New Year giveaway. If you haven't already entered, I would love for you to stop by and check it out.
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

  3. Thanks you for offering to help with my giveaway! I will contact you after the new year for details. And I am your 300th follower! Congrats!!

    Fifth in the Middle

  4. Thanks for linking up! I'm always looking for new upper el blogs now that I'm in 3rd grade... can't wait to check out more of your blog!

    *Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*

  5. Thank you so much sweet blogging friend! I am so glad that I started blogging and found you and your blog! :)

    Teaching Fourth