Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Friend, Teresa

It has been one of the most hectic years of my life.  Hence the no blogging status at all this year.  However, I just can't go without blogging today.

You see... one of my really good friends died yesterday.  Her name is Teresa, and I would like to tell you a little about her...

When we returned to school after our Christmas holidays in January of 2012, I told my co-workers about a fabulous blog I had discovered and this great looking little teacher store called Teachers Pay Teachers (better known as TPT).  I had a desire to start my own blog and store, but all the other teachers were skeptical, except for Teresa.  Teresa, with her quick wit and infectious laughter was always up for anything and willing to follow me on my hair-brained ideas.


Turned out that this wasn't one of those times.  Little did we know that day when we made blogs and opened stores that this was a journey of a different kind.  We were going somewhere we had never been and oh, what a journey it has been!!!  When we made our first sales, we celebrated together.  Teresa was forever doing her money dance for us.  Our new favorite catch phrase became "cha-ching!"  What fun we had learning how to make our units.  We couldn't wait to share our new savvy computer skills with each other.


Teresa became very sick in the fall of that year.  So sick, that the doctor's didn't give her family much hope.  She was placed in a drug-induced coma.  I went to the forums on TPT to ask for prayers and boy did everyone deliver.  There were prayers being said from all over the world.  Because that's the kind of friends we have in our TPT family.  Many were quick to offer to help financially, and we set out to do one of the first-ever fundraisers through TPT.

Teresa's health rallied and she came home.  She wanted to return to the classroom so badly, but her health wouldn't allow it, so she had to retire just a few years early.  Through her blog, Facebook, and TPT she was able to feel that she was still in the middle of her love of teaching.  A close group was even formed from some of those who helped contribute to her fundraiser.  We became super close, even though most of us have never met.


Unfortunately, Teresa's heart gave out on her yesterday, and Thursday will be her funeral.  My heart is just broken.  We have had so many laughs and good times...especially with our TPT journey.  We had no idea when we started that it would end up being less about money and more about sharing and caring.  That because of the fundraiser, a group would be formed that would become the best of friends who would talk daily in our fb group and even make a blog together although most of us have never met and live all over the world.  We had no idea that TPT truly has a community that rallies around each other to support each other in the good times and the bad.  We had no idea how much we would be BLESSED because of TPT.

Teresa was so happy to finally meet up with 2 of of our bloggy friends.  (L-R  Merinda of Pirate Girl, Terry of Terry's Teaching Tidbits, me, and Teresa)

To all of you out there that ever supported Teresa's store, read her blog, encouraged her through the forums or the Facebook groups, please know that your encouragement and support to Teresa meant the world to her.  She really loved what she did.  I only wish you could have all met her in person.  She was a bright and shining star no matter what her life entailed.  She could laugh the best laugh you've ever heard!!  That was just her way.

If you have bloggy friends, don't wait until tomorrow or the future to actually meet up.  Tell them TODAY how special they are to you!

Go dancing into Glory, Teresa, my dear, dear friend!  I love you and will miss you dearly! "CHA-CHING!!!"

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Year Yet Blog Hop!

Let me sum up 2013 in one word....

If you've seen how very little I've blogged this year you might be nodding your head  saying, "ah... so that's why she didn't blog very much!"

Hopefully, 2014 will bring less stress to my life.


to help you go back to school after the holidays feeling stress free, my bloggy friends and I have some FREEBIES to help you get started!

Welcome to the BEST YEAR YET Blog Hop and Giveaway!

From New Year's Eve until January 2, you can hop around our blogs and grab a FREEBIE from each of us.  Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at The Teaching Tribune for your chance to win one of these fabulous prizes.

Christina Marie's photo.
Today I am offering the product below as my freebie.  Simply click on the picture to take you to my store to download it.


While you're at my store you may also want to check out these products, just perfect for those first few weeks back at school.



Be sure to continue the circle on the blog hop by clicking the button below.

We truly hope that 2014 is your best year yet and that it brings you good health, happiness and many other good things.

Friday, December 13, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Countdown!

Hard to believe how fast this year has zipped by and it is almost time for Christmas... AGAIN.


To celebrate, I will have one item in my store at 50% off each day for the next 12 days (minus tomorrow for a day of remembrance for Sandy Hook Elementary).  Each day, the product will get bigger and bigger!

Today you can get my Dear Santa, Letter Writing Activities for ONLY SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS!!!


Want to grab some more units at half-price?

Visit these stores for more great deals!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Giveaway at The Teacher Studio

Have you checked out my friend, Meg's, HUGE giveaway over at her blog?

She's celebrating her new blog with over $600 worth of prizes.  It's running for 6 days, so stop over and show her some love and enter to win!

giveaway button november 2013.png

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Language Arts Excitement

Do you struggle to find great Language Arts activities for your students?  For some reason, Lang. Arts just always seems to be the one lacking.  To help you find some great products, I've teamed up with several other top sellers and Educents to provide you with this great bundle for 3rd and 4th grades.

Very excited to be a part of the bundle with Educents!  I know you will love my "Let's Learn About Newspapers".  This unit will help you teach informational text in your classroom by simply adding your local newspaper.

There are many other products in our bundle to get your kids learning!  
Centers, printables, vocabulary, book studies, interactive notebooking and so much more!  I am very excited to use these items in my classroom.

Hop over to

to see what great product she is offering!

But that's not all!   Since you are on my blog I would like to give you a chance to win something extra for free!  Please follow me or pin something or shout it out on Face Book and enter to win any item from my store.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The deal won't last long so head over now!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Trick or Treat Blog Hop

Trick or treat!  Cynthia is busy tricking people over at my blog for today and you are stuck with me!  This is Michelle here {from Well Michelle?}!

I'm taking over this blog today as my trick, but keep reading to get your treat!  Hehehehe {haunted laugh}!

Several bloggers at {The Teaching Tribune} have joined together for this Trick or Treat Blog Hop. You will find more tricks as well as plenty of treats as you hop from door to door.

So now here is my little Halloween treat for you!  This FREEBIE includes a healthy Halloween party idea complete with a parent letter to get it organized. Also included is a mental math skeleton game that the students can play during the party! Happy Halloween!

{Click here to get his special treat!}

Now it's time to go "next door" to discover the next trickster and collect another treat. Click on the picture below to take you there!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Interactive Centers

Do your students enjoy doing interactive activities?  So sad to say (but true), for several years we weren't allowed to cut and color because it was not true instructional time.  Seems CRAZY doesn't it???  Even my 4th graders enjoy getting to color, cut out, and glue!!! 

While I learned loads of valuable teaching strategies while we were a Reading First school (for many, many years), I greatly missed the fun and enjoyment that was taken out of centers and activities.  I am a firm believer that if the students ENJOY what they are doing, they will LEARN!!

Here are some of the interactive centers my students have been doing...

 My kiddos ask every day if they are going to get to play with their Cootie Catcher.  (The answer is usually yes.)  After our reading lesson, they get to use these with a partner to answer comprehension questions.  I'm so glad they consider it "play"  haha.  I love to walk around the room and hear their questions and answers!
 It just seems like fall is a great time to learn about spiders.  With this activity, I got to bring in some informational text for the students to read.  We talked about facts and opinions also.  They loved doing this activity and wanted to know "when do we get to do something fun like this again??"  Yep...FUN!!!
 We have worked so hard this past month on multiplication of 2-digit by 2-digit numbers and also 4-digit by 1-digit numbers.  Once again, by just changing the format and doing it as an interactive activity, the kids thought it was so much more FUN than a traditional worksheet.  I'm so glad they haven't caught on yet!  lol
Earlier in the year, we worked on rounding.  I was really surprised at how difficult it was for so many of them.  We continue to work on it daily in our Daily Math Spirals and notebooks.
I was so excited to see after they finished this Rounding Rakeup Interactive, that they have finally gotten it!

In case you haven't tried using Interactive Centers and Activities in your classroom yet, I have a FREEBIE for you!  We've been learning about idioms, so I whipped up a little interactive to use this week.  Just click on the picture to get your own copy.

You can see this new unit, Interactive Centers and Activities for Fall,  in my TPT store.  Click on the preview to see all the Interactives we've been making.

I LOVE to make learning FUN!  
That's just...