Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What Happens In Vegas (Continued from my last BLOG post)

The Big Day!

3 of the 4 sessions I presented.

July 9 was the day I was scheduled to present four 75-minute presentations.  I could not sleep a wink, well, maybe just a few winks.  Actually, I slept a total of 1.5 hours and then it was time to rise and shine!  I put on my new polyester dress, I grabbed the biggest necklace I had, and I was down at the conference room by 6:30 AM setting up for my first presentation at 8:30.

Turn You Students Into Addition & Subtraction Magicians:

This amazing teacher in the front row stayed for 3 of my sessions
and even helped clean up after one of them.

247 people signed up for this session and I did NOT want to disappoint any single one of them!  I set up my computer & projector, I patched into the sound system, and tried it out.  It worked!  Yes!  My biggest worry is that the technology will not work so I was feeling a little more relaxed now.  

I set out the samples while my dear friend, Cindy, set out 250 "make & take" kits.  What would I have done without her?  She was simply amazing!  She set up and took down all four of my presentations.
Cindy was such an amazing help to me.  Such a fun roommate too.

Teachers began to enter the room.  I like to play a 5 minute video of my classroom as people walk in. The videos I use include inspiring songs like "The Rainbow Connection" by Kermit the Frog, "Forever Young" by Joan Baez, and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Iz.  It just sets the tone for the entire presentation.   

I talked about "Circle Math" and teaching addition with 2-sided counters and fun containers.

I introduced them to Rekenreks and we all got to make one out of Fun Foam, pipe cleaners, and pony beads.  They also go the link to a 44 page FREE booklet filled with ways to use Rekenreks with kids.  

Later, we made subtraction strips and I showed them all kinds of FUN ways to teach subtraction.

Last, I introduced them to my shopping activities which is the best way I know to make addition and subtraction real.  I can do an entire workshop just on my shopping projects and centers.

Well, no one walked out and they were all so kind by clapping and coming up to visit with me after the presentation.  I was so thrilled!  They liked me, they really liked me  :)

Keep On Going!

Sessions 2, 3, and 4 rolled around before I knew it.  I should have gotten a coffee to give me that extra boost, but there was no time.  My second session was on integrating Math and Art.  It was also a "make & take" and the attendees got to make some really cool beads out of recycled magazine pages.  A teacher came up to me at the end and told me about how she made the same type of beads in Uganda with ladies who lived there and supported their families by making these beads.  She promised to bring me some the following day.  I was so touched to discover that she had looked for me and left the beads with Kymra who was in charge of all of the presenters.  She left her name and email address and I quickly emailed her to thank her for her kindness.  I'm so sorry to say that the email bounced back as undeliverable because "that email address does not exist".  IF YOU ARE THE TEACHER WHO LEFT THE BEAUTIFUL BEADS FOR ME, PLEASE CONTACT ME SO I CAN THANK YOU PROPERLY.  

It's A Great Day For Science!

Those are the words that a wonderful science teacher from my junior high school would say each day and I dedicated this session to him, Mr. Hayes.  This session got teachers up and moving as we created flying paper tubes.

Teachers tossing their paper tubes to see how far they can fly.
We also got to manipulate drops of water and make the lifecycle of a butterfly out of four kinds of pasta.  

Emergent Writing:

My last session was on writing.  We had fun using the graphics from my Instant Writing set and we made a sight word Pocket Locket. (You can get 2 of them FREE by clicking HERE.)  

Bloggers' Event:

Thousands of dollars in prizes.

That evening, I attended the Bloggers' Event.  Hundreds of teachers attended.
Heidi from
and my best roadie, Cindy.  :)

It was so good to see so many familiar faces from blogs I follow.
Many of the Southern California Bloggers who participated in
 the very first Bloggers' Bash at the So CA Kindergarten Conference last Feb.
You have to check out their amazing BLOGS:
Kristen from The Teeny Tiny Teacher, Hadar from Miss Kindergarten, Annie from The Moffatt Girls, Heidi from Heidsongs, Christy from Crayons & Whimsy.
So much talent all in one room.  There were prizes, drinks, SWAG, and tons of FUN.  I even won a prize!
That's Jayne Gannon from Smart Kids.Check out her blog for some really great ideas.

So many hugs and photos.  I loved every minute.
Cindy and I at the Bloggers' Event.

Afterwards, a group of us went out for dinner.  What a day!  One I won't forget for a very long time.  

Come back to find out what happened at Camp Common Core 
and the 1st Ever TPT Conference.

See you all tomorrow
(or in a day or two; I'm in Cabo flyfishing this week.)

Palma :)


  1. Great post. Congratulations!! If you don't hear from the teacher about the beads, my guess is they are from Bead for Life. A wonderful organization --

  2. Thank you, Mrs. Wyman! I'll check them out. Were you at I Teach K too? I'm so glad you liked this post. I hesitated before I wrote it because it was all about me, but my next post will be about Camp Common Core with Dr. Jean and then I'll BLOG about the amazing 1st ever TPT conference. Did you attend either of these?