Best and the Brightest of 2012

 I'm linking up with Christina Bainbridge for her 2012's Blog Best and Brightest linky! I love a good linky party.  It is really the way I got started in blogging in late 2011.  I must admit, I was rather a dork when it came to these linky parties at first.  I'm so glad that I've had a year to "grow" into myself as a blogger.
I'm here to share some of my favorite highlights from my year here on my little blog.  

Best Post
I have "met" so many wonderful friends in blog-land (more on that a little further down), but the best thing that I have been able to do through blogging is to network with some of the best teachers across the country.  I've been frequenting several websites for many, many years and then over the last few years I've been reading so many fantastic blogs and thought I wanted to try blogging myself. I'm so glad that I did.   This leads me to my most popular post, "Math Stations...Making It Work".  It was a link up to Laura Candler's Corkboard Connections blog on math centers/stations:

As much as I love that post, I equally love the next most popular post, "Repurposed Filing Cabinet-A How To Guide":
There are so many reasons I love this post.  But, the number one reason I love it is because it was a link up to my FAVORITE summertime past time:
I enjoyed making so many things for my classroom, but what I gained most from these link ups was a most precious friendship with Tara.
Tara has become a real true friend over the last few months and I am very grateful for her friendship.  She and I often joke that we just don't understand why we don't live down the street from each other.  It's really as if we do the way we chat all the time.  Oh, if only....
Freebie Shared
This is not the freebie with the most downloads (that's {this} one instead).  However, it is the one that I started seeing on Pinterest  without being my own pin.  It's the first time that I thought, "Wow, people like what I share!"  I even said to a co-worker that I was surprised it was popular because I just whipped it up on the fly when I needed something to add to our research projects last year. 

Some of my favorite products from this year include the two lapbooks from the fall on multiplication and division.
These two products are by far my "best sellers".  However, my favorite item all year was my very first "real" paid product:
Last March when my class was working on poetry and figurative language, I had my students make these lapbooks. I really loved the way my students were actively engaged in the learning, took ownership of their work and really LEARNED the content.  I've been a lapbook fan ever since!  When I decided to sell these, I remember running in and telling the secretary at my school that "I've found a way to retire early!  I sold one!"  (I was joking, of course, but I was excited none-the-less to know that someone else wanted what I made.)  **By the way, it is my goal over the break to revise this product to make it better!**

Bloggy Wisdom
Just like my dear friend, Kristen, I too am worried that I might forget someone that has meant so much to me this year.  I'm going to try to name everyone.  Let me start with Kristen:

About a year ago when I really started commenting/ asking questions/ getting serious about blogging, I would frequent Kristen's blog.  I learned so much from her tutorials that I truly felt confident in what I was doing.  I was shocked when Kristen started commenting/emailing back and became a follower.  Shocked!  She's got a gazillion followers.  But, she took time for me.  We really started becoming great friends during the summer when she helped me give this blog a make-over.  Don't you love her design style?  Now, she's my go-to gal for everything, really.  I'm so glad I can call her a friend. 
Stephanie has been a true inspiration for me.  She's introduced me to so much (and to a ton of new friends) and I just can't say enough about her. Those of you who have followed for a while already know how much I admire Stephanie. I don't think that my math routine/curriculum would be complete without her  Calendar Math. This is by far the BEST tool I have in my math toolbox this year!

My admiration for Stephanie isn't truly complete without Jen Runde. When I think of one of these gals, I think of the other. It's like they go together like peas and carrots.  {I think they'd agree.} I have to tell you that she is so generous.  She answers all of my silly questions and shares so much with me that I'm completely indebted to her for life!  Her Interactive Math Journals have been a hit in my classroom and it has made me learn how to make my students truly THINK about what they are learning.
Blogging Joy
I have to tell you that some of my favorite connections have been with such fabulous blog friends like:
joyin6th Homepage
3rd Grade Thoughts

However, by far the brightest point of my 2012 blogging experience has been my journey with all of you!  I'm shocked and amazed when I look at my statistics and see how many followers I have, how many times people frequent my blog and how many people stop to leave me a comment. 
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm grateful for all of you!  I wouldn't be continuing to grow as a blogger and (more importantly) as a teacher without all of you.  So, thank you!  May 2013 be even brighter!!


  1. Thanks for linking up!!! I love my bloggy friendships too and often wonder how I was successful at teaching before I got new ideas and support from my bloggy friends!

    *Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*

  2. How did I miss this? Not that the Supan dancing video pales in comparison (it never could!) but this is so lovely! Thanks for your know how grateful I am for am for our friendship, thanks for always being there E!!

  3. Welcome to the blogging world! I've been at it a little more than a year and find it really rewarding. I'm only now finding all of you who are posting on TPT. Great resources.

    Happy 2013.

  4. I am just seeing this now (that is what the holiday will do to you!) thank you so much for what you said. You really are a great bloggy friend and I love visiting your blog to see what is going on in 4B. You really do exude joy and love for your. Students when you write about them. This has been a great journey to share with you.

  5. Just saw this post!!! Thanks for adding me to your Blogger Joy part!!! It made me smile big :)

    Twins, Teaching and Tacos.