Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up

Last year when I came back from the Spring Teacher Meet-Up, I didn't think anything could be better than the weekend I had just experienced.  I was wrong. This year's meet up surpassed anything that I had imagined.

Last year, I went with my husband and mother. I'm a VERY shy person and didn't feel like I knew anyone well enough to room with them.  My husband and mother are gamblers, so they didn't mind tagging along with me.  This year I wanted to stay with some of my blogging friends from IN. Well, I waited too long and everyone already had roommates. I reached out to the group and found some others looking for another roommate so it worked out perfectly.

I was lucky to be the roommates of Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard and Hilary from Second Grade is Out of this World. We stayed up talking late into Friday night. It was fun hear about educational things going on in other parts of the country.

Hilary, Greg and I I mentioned earlier, I'm a very shy person. I'm trying to put myself out there, so I made myself sit with people I didn't know. I ended up finding another 5th grade teacher, Lauren from Tastes Like Paste . Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of our table :(

The first thing we did was eat lunch. What is a get together without food, huh?? Then we did an ice breaker that ended with everyone introducing themselves.

Next we did our teacher tool swap, which you can read about HERE. I received this cute jar and Flair markers.

We did a whole group "Tips and Tricks" session. They had everyone fill out cards with topics they would like to discuss and then had an open forum. They presented the question and anyone that felt knowledgeable on the topic stood up and spoke.

We did some organized table sessions were we talked about anything from how to fit it all in to apps to use in your classroom. I was asked by Jenny from Luckeyfrog's Lillypad to join her in talking about great science and social studies websites.

This year for prize giveaways, they gave us five tickets and we put them into the bags of the giveaways we were interested in.  I won this cute t-shirt from Claire Lynn Designs.


Special thanks go out to all the companies that donated to the giveaways:  SDE, Sit Spots, Tallahassee Sunday, Schoolgirl Style, ESGI, Hue Animation Studio, Brain Pop, Seat Sack and Younique by Dana.


We also had some great goodies that everyone received.

We got markers, gel pens and stickers from Scentos.

A teacher planner from Erin Condren.


Stickers, Mini Designer Cut-Outs and Mini Magnet books from Creative Teaching Press.

Bags from Lakeshore and Vera Bradley.

and a nail file from Origami Owl donated by Brenda from Primary Inspired.

The evening was topped off by the Pajama Party sponsored by Teacher Pay Teachers and Go Noodle. We got a large stickers from TpT and a lanyard from Go Noodle. We played music, took pictures, decorated pillowcases and of course had some food. A great time was had by all.

I can't wait for next year's blogger meet-up!!

You can enter to get you own bag of swag by entering below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the blog posts of the other bloggers that joined us for the weekend.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gift Exchange Linky

I had such a great time at our Spring Blogger Meet-Up and I can't wait to tell you about it.

We did a "My Favorite Tool" exchange while there.  I took my favorite stapleless stapler and hope that the person that received it likes it as much as I do.

Since there were so many people this year, we broke up into grade level bands. I was in the 4-5 group.

I got one of my favorite tools from Tracy at 4th Grade Dynamic Duo:  

Flair Pens!! I use them all the time!

They came in this cute little jar. I can't decide if I want to take it to school or leave it at home as it matches my home office.

Be sure to check out all the other cool tools that teachers received!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Classroom Organization: Taming that Paper Pile

For years, I would end up with a pile of ungraded papers that was a mile high.  This year I finally found what works for me!

This paper tray was used for many different things over the years and this year I decided to re-purpose it!

I don't collect math homework because it is for practice. I want the students to be able to ask questions about the problems they had difficulty with the night before which can't happen if I collect their homework. They do get credit for the homework, but it is based purely on completion.

I do collect science and social studies homework and of course I have tests and quizzes to grade.

The trays sit on the corner of my desk. I made mini signs, printed them on cardstock, laminated them and then attached them with double sided tape (use this all the time in my classroom!).

I use the top tray for tests and quizzes because I allow the students to make corrections to those and it is really easy for them to just drop the corrected papers on top.

I think being able to see exactly how many papers I have to grade for each subject area keeps me from putting off the grading (I don't know about you, but that is top on my list of things I don't like to do!!) and getting a pile a mile high.

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