Best and Brightest of 2012

So, I said it would be after the New Year before I got to write again, but here I sit, looking at other blogs, and I can't resist!  It has been a busy year of many firsts for me, so I am linking up with Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for her 2012's Best and Brightest Linky.

Here goes!

The best thing I did in 2012 was start my blog. After blog stalking for so long, I knew it was time for me to start sharing my ideas too.  I have had so much fun not only writing on it, but designing it as well.  I am actually ready for a new look, but I don't think I want to do it all myself.  The blog itself has been the best thing I have ever done!

The second best thing I did in 2012 was to upgrade my TPT store to a  Premium Account.  I have been selling since Teachers Pay Teachers started when I read about it in a magazine.  I just had some piddly things on there that I had made, and sold a few things a month just to have some extra spending money.  When I started adding some of my new stuff that is soooo much better, I started selling more and realized how much I was losing out by not upgrading.  Now I feel like I am actually making the money I deserve!  

My favorite blog post has to be the Early Grades and Leveling Books post.  It really opened my eyes to practices I had used in my classroom and got a lot of other people thinking.  If you have not read the book Beyond Leveled Books, you should!  It really makes you think about the books we use in the classroom and gives purpose to what children choose to read.

 The best product I created is my Read It With Emotion Fluency Phrasing Activity.  It is a fun way to practice fluency, an important part of the balanced reading diet.  I created this one after reading an article from The Reading Teacher about fluency while SOL testing.  This is one one of my best sellers, and my students have enjoyed it!
I have made some great friends through blogging.  I have really enjoyed getting to know more people through blogs.  Here are some of my favorites:

Melissa from Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late and I have found out we have a lot in common, even down to where we have lived!  I have really enjoyed getting to know her!

Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
Another of my favorites is another reading specialist whose blog I found through blog stalking.  I really enjoy reading Lori's (Conversations in Literacy) posts.  They inspire me and give me great ideas for my little classroom!

Conversations in Literacy
And, of course, I can't forget about my good friend, Sarah from Learning is for Superstars.  I am lucky enough to work with her and see her great ideas in action!  She inspires me to be the best I can be!

So, what is the best and brightest for you in 2012?  I can't wait to find out!


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and becoming a new follower! I really appreciate it! My goal is to get up at 5:00 and work out some mornings and then work out in the afternoons on different days.

    My best for 2012 was to start my blog. Thanks to my best friend at for inspiration!

    My brightest was starting a TPT store. It is a great way to make a little extra money. :)


  2. Wow, Andrea, I am honored that you gave me a shout out! Thank you so much for that- so sweet of you. :) The book you posted about sounds really good. I always like hearing about new books that I need to read!
    Conversations in Literacy

  3. Andrea I am just thrilled that I found your blog - it is adorable and your ideas are fantastic. I am happy to be your newest follower :) thanks for sharing!!

  4. Thanks for linking up! Best wishes for continued success in 2013!

    *Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*

  5. I am so glad that I found your blog! I am your newest follower!

    I would have to say that I have had a very eventful 2012. Some of the bright spots have definitely been becoming a seller on TpT, starting a blog, and having my daughter attend the school where I teach (I can actually see her in action!).

    Andrea M. Bentley

  6. Love, love, love your blog! I am looking forward to following you! I am really excited to read " Beyond Leveled Book"s." thanks for the suggestion. I would love for you to stop by my blog sometime!


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