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Best and Brightest of 2012


I'm joining Christina's linky over at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge as a fun send off to 2012. The idea is to recall some of my best and brightest moments of this year and share a bit about my favorite bloggers, too.

It was tough coming up with my favorite post of the year. Immediately, I thought about this post I wrote about how to go back to our classrooms after the Newtown tragedy. Since the news sank in, I've been in a strange state of mind. I have literally found myself sitting back in my room watching my kids and getting teary eyed. I can't pass a first grade classroom without thinking of those lost little angels. I really think that this one event has had more of an impact on me as a teacher than any other I can remember. I think in some ways, like most of you, I'm still processing the enormity of it all.

Another meaningful post for me was this one about standardized testing. I also really like this one about how our actions as teachers are reflected in our students' behavior.

I'm surprised that none of these posts that immediately popped into my mind were fun activities, freebies or pictures of things we've done in class. All of those things are wonderful and amazing and what most of us want to see when we visit a blog, but to me, posting a glimpse into what I really feel in my heart about our chosen profession is the most meaningful thing I can share with you.

On to happier teacher stuff. Looking back over my freebies, I'd have to say this group from October would have to be my favorite. There's a lot of good stuff there, if I do say so myself! ;) I'm pretty good about using the labels on my posts, so you can always go down to the very, very bottom of the blog where it says "Find it Fast" and click on Freebies. All the posts with freebies will pop up that way. Hopefully you'll find some stuff you can use.

There is no way to answer this one. I have become friends, like real friends, with the writers of some of blogs that inspire me daily. Through blogging I've met the most amazingly creative, generous, funny and warm-hearted people I've ever known. I've started this Pinterest board so I could round them all up on one place. It's not done yet, but feel free to follow it so you can meet all of my friends!

This one was easy. Last year my friend Jenaya from Lesson Plan Diva asked me if I would like to collaborate with her to create CCSS assessment packs for Math and ELA like the ones she created. I was so flattered that she even asked and I jumped in with both feet (a bad habit of mine). Making those two units consumed just about every single second of my summer. I'm totally not the queen of self-esteem, but I have to say I'm pretty proud of my work on these babies.





When I first started blogging, I did it because I needed a way to reconnect to my passion for teaching. I needed to find a way to focus on what's still good about teaching. For me, that's a big mission accomplished. Going on my 20th year in the classroom, I feel the enthusiasm I did way back in year one. That's due in large part to connecting with you all. I have some big plans for this little ol' blog of mine for next year and I hope all of you will come along for the ride!
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18 comments:

  1. Thanks for linking up and sharing your highlights from the year!

    :)
    Christina
    *Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*

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    1. Great idea for a linky! Thanks for hosting Christina :)

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  2. I know what you mean about sitting back and watching the kiddos. I spent this week cherishing each and every moment with them (even the tough ones) because I know that I am lucky to get to form their futures with everything I do. I couldn't imagine my life without each and every one of these moments forming my being. Love and prayers to Sandy Hook and all teachers and students alike. Thank you for your candor and amazing posts.

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    1. I agree one hundred percent. I still can't quite shake that feeling of how fragile life is. Of course it's something we all know, but it's not something that so prevalent in our thoughts like it is right now. If nothing else, I hope this tragedy helps people realize what's truly important in life.

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  3. I love your blog Denise! Thank you for sharing all of your fabulous ideas and creations with us!!

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    1. Aww, thanks friend! I think you're pretty awesome too!

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  4. Denise,

    I've found such great ideas and tips on your blog in 2013. I don't know how I missed the CCSS ELA pack. I'm going to have to check that out on TpT! Thanks so much for a great post!

    I'm looking forward to adding many of the "Blogs You Love" to my own reader. I love finding new blogs to follow and you certainly always have super suggestions!

    Thanks for all you do and share.

    Happy Holidays,

    Erin Klein
    Kleinspiration

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    1. That means so much to me - especially coming from you! You know you rock my socks off on a regular basis :)

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  5. I'm with Erin! I haven't seen your ELA pack, either! Time to add it to my wishlist! And I have to mention that I loved your post dividers on this post ;) Merry Christmas!

    Kate
    EduKate and Inspire

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    1. Thanks Kate! Those little banners are from http://erinbradleydesigns.blogspot.com/ She's got such cute stuff!
      Merry Christmas to you too!

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  6. Merry Christmas! I look forward to your posts in 2013! SMILES!

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  7. I can't wait to see what you do next Denise! It has been an absolute honor knowing you all this time thanks to the blogs. Happy Holidays!!! :) :)

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    1. You amaze me all the time! So, so happy to know you!
      Happy Holidays to you too :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing! I have been using your "favorite product" in my classroom and I have to agree with you that this is a wonderful product!! It has saved me lots of time. I am your newest follower here on your blog (I already follow your TpT). I have also linked up for 2012's best & brightest so feel free to hop on over to my blog and read my post. www.morethanmathbymo.blogspot.com

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  9. Hi!
    Thanks for the kind words! I'm so glad you like the assessment pack - they really did consume me while I was making them, but that's my fault. I get obsessive like that when I'm working on something. Thanks for following. Hopping over to your blog now~ :)

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! Your blog is so cute- love the little mouse :)

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