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Ten Favorite Posts From 2014

Yesterday I posted my 10 most popular blog posts from 2014.

Today I'm posting my 10 favorite posts from 2014.

Some actually overlap with the ones I posted yesterday. Some don't.  I think they should have been popular, but for some reason not as many people viewed them.  

Some have to do with education, some with my personal life, and some, just life in general!  Enjoy my favorites!

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Feel free to link up with your favorite blog posts from 2014 or your most popular blog posts from 2014. If you do link up, please make a point to comment on a couple of other links as well.  Thanks!


Top Ten Posts for 2014!

I really love being a teacher/ blogger!  
This time of year, I get all sentimental and reflect upon the past year.
I suspect others do this, too!

Let's do it together!


So, all you have to do is look back at your stats and see which were the Top Ten posts from 2014!  Or, if you'd prefer, just pick your ten favorites. Here's my Countdown!

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Come on and Link up!  Just find your 10 favorite blog posts from the past year, and link up.  Bonus points if you use my image from the top!

If you choose to link up, please visit and comment on a couple of other posts as well!  All bloggers love comments!


Fourteen in '14

How can it be that another year is nearly over?  

It's been another busy year.  They all are, and they seem to keep getting busier!  Luckily, most of it has been GOOD busy!

Here are 14 things that went on in 2014!

1. Guest Post!
Way back in January 2014, I wrote a blog post that was shared on Corkboard Connections about using gestures.  You can see that post HERE.  It just so happens, Laura Candler of Corkboard Connections is letting people vote for their favorite guest posts HERE. Feel free to vote for my post or any other posts... they are all quite good!

2. New England Blogger meet up!

Several teacher bloggers from the New England area got together last January at the Cheesecake Factory in Boston.  I can't tell you how much I love getting together with other teacher bloggers.  I always leave with new ideas for the classroom, new ideas for my blog, and new friendships.  You can read more about that get together HERE.

3. My Most Popular Blog Post for the Year!

I've had several blog posts that were well read this year, but THIS ONE had more views than all the others this year.  I'm glad a lot of people read it, since it's near and dear to my heart.  I've never been of the "everybody gets a trophy" way of thinking, and I believe that honest feedback is a true way to learn.  (I'm not a fan of criticism or humiliation either, but there's a happy medium!)

Just in case you're curious, THIS POST was the second most popular. 
4.  One Million
Way back in April, I hit a milestone: my blog had one million views!  It was pretty exciting for me!

5. Easter!

As crazy as life gets, I always make time for my friends and family.  We went out to eat on Easter Sunday, and had a glorious time!

6. My Amazing Daughter!
My amazing daughter was chosen Outstanding Student of the Year at her college.  Here she is accepting her award.  It's just like the Oscars!


7. College Greek Reunion

My college held a reunion weekend in June for all the Greeks.  Here I am posing with my sorority sisters, most of whom I'd never met before! I regret to say, I was the oldest of the group.

I'm trying not to admit that we look more natural with drinks in our hands.  (Seriously, it was cider!)

8. Vegas, Baby!

For the second year in a row, I went to Vegas to meet with other teachers whom I'm met through blogging. HERE is my blog post about the "golden nuggets" I brought back with me!


9. Red Sox!
Yes, I know, it wasn't a big year for the Red Sox, but I am still loyal.  My daughter got tickets for the 4 of us to go to a game. We had a blast! (No, the Sox didn't win, but we still had fun!)

10. A Terrible Loss
My singing group, Voices of Distinction, suffered a terrible loss on Labor Day.  One of our members died suddenly in a plane crash.  We held a touching memorial service for him, and shared lots of happy stories, but Bruce will be missed. HERE is a blog post I wrote about this.

11. Another College Visit
After having such fun in June getting together with old friends, I didn't hesitate to go back up to my old college to get together with this same group.  Although most of this group were still in school or fresh out of school, there were several I knew from "my days".  Plus, I wasn't the oldest one this time!

12. New York with Teacher Friends!
In October, I went way out of my comfort zone and went to New York City by myself! It was so totally worth it because of all the people I hung out with there! We went to Brain Pop, Bryant Park, an awesome dinner, Teachers Pay Teachers, and I even got to see Carol Burnett in Love Letters! You can read more about that trip HERE!  (But I do have to include a couple more pictures, since it was such an awesome trip!)


The people from Teachers Pay Teachers are awesome!  Definitely a highlight of the NYC trip!

13. Bright Ideas Blog Hops!

I'd been involved in several Bright Ideas Blog Hops this year. Our goal was to share blog posts with good, valuable content.  In November, we had a round up of all those blog posts, which turned out to be several days worth of reading!  There must be some sort of Staff Development credit involved in reading all these posts!  If not, you will surely get a whole lot of great teaching ideas!  I know I did!  You can find that Round Up post HERE.

14. Family!


After all is said and done, it always comes back to family.  This picture is from Thanksgiving, but I spent Christmas with most of the same people, and it was fabulous as well!

2014 was a great year.  I have a feeling 2015 will be even better!

Don't Blame Santa!

Don't Blame Santa! Here are some reasons why the children struggle this time of year. It's not really Santa's fault!
I've heard a lot of teachers blaming the holidays for the struggle many children have in school this time of year.

I suspect it's not the holidays that are making it tough for them to concentrate. I think it's a couple of other things.

1.  These little guys have been pushing since August!  They've had a couple of long weekends, but they really haven't had a real vacation!  They're due for a break!

2.  The days are short.  They get up in the dark. By the time they get home from school, the sun is pretty much down. Not only are they not getting outside to let off steam, but so much darkness robs them of Vitamin D, and makes them sleepy!

Some of my little guys can barely hold their heads up during the day! 

I had a little girl today looking lost, so I asked her what she was looking for. She said she couldn't remember.  (I admit, I do that all the time: walk to the other side of the room, then can't remember why I walked over there, but I blame old age!)

Honestly, I think the holidays are the only thing that hold them together!  The promise of fun activities, Santa's watching to see if they're good, seasonal literature and games... there's still some great learning happening, despite their low concentration.

They'll be back on track after a good rest.  We have almost 2 weeks off coming up, if we can make it through 4 more school days!

...but I'm not blaming Santa!  He's the one who's helping them hold it together!

An Educational Winter Art Project

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!
I love a craft that ties into something educational.  
I also love a craft that allows room for individual creativity.  

This time of year, we have to pull all the stops out to get them enthusiastic about learning, so we did this art project.

The kiddos made snow people with snowballs for each of the letters in their names. They made a math equation to represent their names, then decorated the snow people. 

Sorry, I had to cover the last names.
Middle names were optional, but several wanted to include them. 


Look closely at this one: the third snow person is sad because the wind blew away his hat!


Here's another, aren't these adorable?

One thing I really like about these: I can hang them in the hallway now, and I can keep them up until January!


A Weekend in the City


A few weeks ago I went way outside my comfort zone: I took a trip ALONE to New York City!  It was an opportunity to see loads of other teacher/ bloggers from all over.  Some of them I met when I was in Vegas, some I'd never met face to face, but I knew them through their blogs or their TpT stores, and through some of the teacher facebook pages I follow. We'd been planning this trip since we got back from Vegas!


I flew in, although from the Boston area I could have driven, taken a bus or a train.  It all would have cost me about the same amount. When I got to the city, I immediately went to TKTS to see what Broadway shows were playing.  (Yes, I am a huge fan, but rarely get to NYC for the real thing. )

As soon as I found out Carol Burnett was playing in Love Letters, my decision was made. Musicals would have to wait, I HAD to see Carol Burnett, and she didn't let me down. She was amazing!

Here's a review of a the show I saw:  Love Letters With Carol Burnett  


Yes, that's the office of Brain POP! We spent a couple of hours here, chatting with other teachers, eating a free breakfast, and learning some of the new features on the BrainPOP site. If you're not familiar with BrainPOP, it's time you found it!  They do offer a free membership for a month.  I'm more of a BrainPOP Jr. kind of gal, which is geared more to the primary grades. 

The office was on the 17th floor, and gave us the view in the picture at the top of this post.

We had amazing weather for the end of October, and decided to go for a walk through the city after the BrainPOP visit.  We had lunch at Bryant Park (great conversations!) and made a few other stops!


Everyone recognizes me by my pose, not by my logo. Oh well, if it's working, I'll keep doing the pose!

Dinner with 20 amazing teacher bloggers was such fun! Let's just say it wasn't quiet at our table!


There's no way you could find me from this angle, since I was way down the other end. These are the people I didn't get to chat with at dinner because they were sitting too far away!


The next day many of us were able to stop by the Teachers Pay Teachers office!


This is Adam, the CEO of Teachers Pay Teachers. He stopped in to ask us our opinions as teachers. Honestly it's so rare these days to have anyone value the opinion of teachers! It felt good! We had some incredible conversations!

This was such an amazing experience, and such a great group of people! The energy in this room was amazing! Thank you TpT for such a great visit!  I think we were all smiling for a long time after this visit!

As with all trips, the best part was coming home. As much fun as I had, I was glad to come back to New Hampshire and breathe fresh air again! 

We're planning to make this trip an annual event! 
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