Dear Teresa.....

Dear Teresa,

I have been struggling with this post for a couple of days now, as I can’t seem to get the words together to express how I feel.

My heart is heavy, knowing I will never get a chance to meet you in real life, to give you a hug and tell you how much you mean to me.

As technology progresses and social media becomes sophisticated, we can now so easily communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world.

This is what happened to me.

In July 2012, I stumbled across a website called TpT, purely accidentally, as I was browsing Pinterest.  My curiosity was piqued and I had to take a closer look.  How had I not noticed before? Teaching resources to download at the click of a button, regardless of where you lived - I was amazed!  I soon found the TpT forums and although I was initially too shy to post, I read and I read.  I learned that people had teaching blogs and I read some more, all summer long!  I thought ‘I could do this’ and jumped in with both feet, as usual!  But I had to learn, so back to the TpT forums and that is where I first met Cynthia around November of that year.  She was desperately sad about her friend, Teresa, who was so ill, and wanted to help with Teresa’s medical expenses.  I was so moved, I made my donation and sent a ‘stranger’ a ‘Get Well’ card, all the while amazed at this caring, close knit community.
Little did I know at that time, that Cynthia would soon be contacting me to join a facebook group with some others who had also donated to Teresa’s cause.  Fast forward to April 2014 and our small group of bloggy friends is still going strong.  What started as a support group for TpT sellers turned into something much more, much greater than we could ever have guessed at the time – all made possible by the wonders of modern technology that allows us to connect no matter where we are.

Every day, without fail and despite time zone differences, we log in to say hello, catch up and share life’s up and downs.  The bonds that have formed with this group of girls are amazing!  I feel like we have known each other as friends for years.  I can’t ever imagine not being able to chat with them every day and to share our joys and sorrows, our successes and failures.  I know we will always be there for one another.

This story really explains how I came to meet Teresa and how much she meant to all of us.  Despite her failing health, Teresa was a beacon for positive thinking.  She had a happy outlook on life, her humor was infectious and she always had a kind word for everyone.  She was with us as much as her health allowed and never failed to be encouraging and loving in everything she said and did.  Words can’t adequately say how much I, we, will miss her.  Teresa was famous for her ‘happy dances’, her ‘money dances’, her ‘snow dances’, so, Teresa, dance on in heaven, my sweet friend, until we meet again. 

Much love, Teresa – I will miss you.

She is gone

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins (1959 – )

Teresa's TpT Store

Teresa's Blog - she loved pigs!


We go noodling - do you?

Well, have you been noodling? Lol!  Everyone seems to be catching on to this wonderful website:  
Just click on the pic below to watch a useful video and check it out!

My class started a couple of weeks ago and if I dare let a day go by without showing it on my SmartBoard, I get serious trouble from my kiddos!
I have always included time for brain breaks in my daily schedule, as I have particular students who need it, but the whole class benefits as well.  If we have a long work session, my students need to get up and moving again - refreshed and motivated for what comes next on the timetable.  Brain breaks are particular useful on wet days when kids can't get out to play.
Go Noodle has it all going on -  from dance to zumba to sports to yoga!  You can get your students moving or calm them down - there is a wide range of activities to choose from.
There is also a demo class if you wish to check it out first.
To begin with, you get to choose your champion who will grow in size as your class completes the challenges.  We chose Freckles!  The champ tells silly jokes and asks questions.  Certificates are also available to reward your students for their progress.   You can see we are currently close to finishing Champ Level 2.  
My students have been asking to play at home.  Our class newsletter has a Tech Corner, so I added the details there.  Some are already on Level 6 - they are so keen - they absolutely love it!
You can select your favorite dance ..........

.......... or your favorite stretch:

You can sing along with your favorite songs:

Do some zumba ..........
.......... or some sport.
Choices are recommended by grade level and you can bookmark your favorites to return to them quickly when your students are raring to go and getting impatient!
I so hope you get on board - it is so much fun!!  I try to fit one in during the school day and one just before they go home - they always leave super excited and happy!  My old, creaking bones get a good work-out too!

Checkbox Challenge, a Bunny Hop and a freebie!

Hey everyone!  It's been a wee while!  I have been busy enjoying my spring break - a whole 2 weeks off school - it has been great!  Luckily the weather has played ball so far - the sun has been shining very day, so of course I have been on the beach with Blue - he loves the water!  I have been having a good old clear out at home - I love spring cleaning!  Having time to catch up with friends and family has been great!  I even managed to go clothes shopping and get all my appointments fitted in.  I feel like I have been catching up on many months of a 'to do' list - which never seems to get 'done' when I'm at school!  I have my little Easter display up ready to greet family as they arrive tomorrow for our big Easter dinner!

On the TpT front, I finally got a new product finished!  I'm afraid I had lost my mojo for a while and hadn't posted any teaching products since the beginning of February!  I have lots of ideas hidden away in 'work in progress' folders - they seem to take months to see the light of day!  I was so happy and excited to finally get this product posted, as it has been simmering away for soooo long.  I have to thank my bloggy friends who helped keep me on the path of correct American English - what a minefield!  

Ta-da!  Here it is........

If you check my facebook page, I am currently giving away 2 packs!  It is also 50% off in my TpT store.  The preview has a freebie text, should you wish to try it out.

I created this pack to encourage struggling readers from second to fourth grades to practice their comprehension skills, using non-fiction text with age-appropriate content.

The texts vary in length, but I have tried to keep the sentence structure and vocabulary simple. The passages are mostly written within the third to fifth grade Lexile bands. A word of caution however - the levels should only be used as a guideline - some of the more challenging topic vocabulary increases the Lexile level. (This type of vocabulary is topic specific and students would not be expected to know it).

The pack contains 2 pages per topic, which can be printed back to back. The first page introduces the text and questions. On the second page, students can highlight the piece of text which contains the answer. Some questions may require the students to look beyond the text to infer the answer.

I have used this pack with my advanced first graders, although the basic premise is for intervention with older grades.

• The texts help students develop skills in retrieving information from text.
• The check boxes allow those students, who struggle with handwriting and writing skills, to demonstrate their understanding and achieve success.
• These texts are suitable for independent work and ideal for shared and guided reading. They are also suitable for small group work where reading skills can be modelled, practiced and developed. 

These texts are suitable for independent work and ideal for shared and guided reading. They are also suitable for small group work where reading skills can be modelled, practiced and developed.

Please check the free preview – you will find a freebie text to download to help you decide if this pack is right for you and your students.


Polar Bears
The King of the Jungle
Ancient Egyptians
Community Helpers
Planet Facts
Earth Day
The Water Cycle
The Four Seasons
Weather Forecasting
The Journey of the Banana
Teddy Bears

Some bloggy friends and I are also having a facebook hop!  We are giving away some resources from whole packs, that might help you along on those last few months of the school year.  The freebies are complete in themselves, but belong to larger resources that you can win!  At the end of the hop, you will find a rafflecopter to enter.  The grand prize is an 'Easter basket' of all the complete products!  Just click the pic below to join the hop - look for the 'bunny hop' tab.

Lastly, something fun for tomorrow, if you have little ones to entertain after they have completed their egg hunts!

Our curriculum does not allow colouring in as a stand alone - it is seen as a waste of time.  However, what little one doesn't love to color in?!  It's also great for honing those fine motor skills and working on students' presentation of their work.  I have an untidy bunch this year, but the promise of an Easter egg prize does a lot to sharpen those skills!  This was the outcome - I just had to share here because they are so bright and colorful, they just make me smile!

I'm afraid the egg was hand-drawn on an uneven desk, so there are a few lumps and bumps here and there!  However, you are more than welcome to download it, if you think you might have a little one who would enjoy coloring it!  Click on the colored egg below to download the blackline.

Finally - I would like to wish you all a very Happy Easter!  I hope you get time to spend with loved ones!


Educents Anniversary!

Have you heard of It's the first group deal website for Educators where you can save up to 90% on curriculum, educational toys, and other learning products. They are turning 1 year old on April 2, 2014 and to celebrate, they are giving an additional 20% off, site wide until April 7, 2014! Just use code "Anniversary20." In addition, they are SO EXCITED to kick off an AMAZING month of fun activities to celebrate. They will have 30 giveaways (one per day) in the month of April! And, their grand prize winner will receive a family vacation in Florida (thanks to Wyndham Vacation Rentals) & with a runner-up prize of a $1,000 Educents Gift Card!

Just a few of the companies that will be giving products away in April: Math Mammoth, SayPlease, Systematic Mathematics, DNA Educational Games, Red Apple Reading, Critical Thinking Co., Times Tales, Seat Sack, The Latin Road, Intelli-Tunes, Simply Fun, Institute for Excellence in Writing, Luv Chicken, Center for Hands-On Learning, Classical Academic Press, Your Story Hour, Wordsmiths, American High School, Middlebury Interactive Languages, My Year Look, The Latin Road, Intelli-Tunes, The learning Journey International & MORE!

The mission of Educents is to provide affordable education to all. In just 1 year, Educents has saved educators over $5 million dollars and over 150,000 products have made it into homes and classrooms all around the world.

So, what are you waiting for? Go save an additional 20% and enter to win tons of giveaways.  For every giveaway you enter, you get an entry for the two grand prizes! -- The Best Place for Educational Products at a discount!


Wordless Wednesday and a Freebie!

Ok, I know it's not Wednesday, but it's been a long week!  I'm linking up with Sugar and Spice's Wordless Wednesday Linky with the following image:

April is Autism Awareness month and this image reminds me of all the students who have passed through my hands over the years.  I currently have 2 students with autism and I constantly think about the struggles they face as they make their way through our education system and face their futures with those who have little understanding of their condition and how if it affects them on a daily basis.

I don't feel adequately trained, do you?

Click on the pic below for a resource that you may find helpful.

Check out other Wordless Wednesday posts by hopping over to Sugar and Spice's blog - you may find something to inspire you!

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