At the blog meet up, Holly Ehle with Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections, the wonderful lady who coordinated it all, thought it would be a great idea for us to do a "teacher tool swap." The instructions were to bring our favorite teacher tool(s) all wrapped up and we would play a game to swap them with other teachers at the meet up.
I LOOOOOOOOVED my "tools" I received during this swap. I received a container similar to a Lysol wipes container that had been refurbished into an awesome container full of goodies. Inside I received some Crayola Pixie Dust crayons, a pack of gel pens, some bedazzled clothespins for organizing, and two other bigger, pretty paper clips. As soon as I got my tools, I began to think of ways they were going to be implemented into my classroom.
During writing time, I choose one student a day to be my "Writing Warrior." This is a student who, the day before, worked really hard on their writing, worked quietly, and produced a "share-worthy" piece of writing. The Writing Warrior got to use a special box full of special markers, pens, and crayons for writing time. The box that I had was getting pretty worn out, and the markers were all becoming used up. Pretty sure half of the crayons were eaten as well. This teacher tool worked out great to replace my old box, and gave my students a newfound interest in working hard during writing time. PERFECT TIMING!
Back to being at the blog meet up...
A ton of great companies donated items to be used as giveaways at our gathering. I was the first name drawn in the giveaway, and I won an item donated by Improv Electronics called a Boogie Board! Not one to be used at the beach, although I suppose it could be. A Boogie Board is a really cool LCD writing tablet that erases at the push of a button. Perfect for classroom use! I will admit, I have a classroom set of six iPads in my room in which we have an app called Doodlebuddy which is basically the same thing as Boogie Board; however, this is something new to my classroom, so you better believe my students will be super excited! I have yet to bring it in for them to use, but next week, it is happening. I can't wait. Here are the donated items that we received as gifts from generous donations...
Vera Bradley (and yes, those are the newest prints!)
SDE National Conference Tuition (Giveaway Item) and Erin Condren giftcard
Scentos Pens with ten different colors and scents in one!
The new Scentos markers that are yet to be released.
Jamberry samples! (I had never used this prior to receiving these samples, and I AM HOOKED!)
Have I mentioned how wonderful the teacher blog meet up was? I have? Well, let me give you three more reasons as to why it was so wonderful and refreshing:
1.) Anytime you can meet up with other people who enjoy the same things you do, and know what you go through every day at work, is seriously so refreshing. I can talk to my boyfriend, Alex, all day long about my job and he doesn't fully understand what I am talking about. Its not because he doesn't want to understand, but since he is in a totally different line of work, it all comes out as gibberish to him. The ability to sit and talk, leisurely, about teacherly things was so nice. I especially enjoyed when I got to talk to other kindergarten teachers because they, quite simply, get the madness that is endured day in and day out. I love my job and wouldn't trade it for the world, but some days it feels like I am a zookeeper. You can't put a price on the connections I was able to make with the other teachers that day. Period.
2.) The ability to get new, fresh ideas from other educators via blogs was refreshing. Since this was a teacher blog meet up, we all were given the opportunity to let others know about our blogs. We each brought our own "business cards" with our name and blog link so that everyone could, on their own, explore the many wonderful resourceful blogs we each have. It opened up an array of exciting new ideas. The ideas I have gathered aren't just activities and lesson plans to be implemented into my classroom; I have also learned some great classroom management, time management, and organizational ideas as well. (Not to mention some decorating ideas.) I am constantly looking for ways to continue to grow as an educator, and it makes it so easy to just hop over to these blogs and learn. I love it!
As I have referred to earlier, we had several companies donate items to be given to each person as either a gift for attending the blog meet up or as a giveaway prize. There is an opportunity for you, as a follower, to WIN ALL OF THESE PRIZES! Let me tell you from experience, you won't be disappointed. All you need to do in order to enter for the chance to win them is to go and check out the Primary Inspired blog and continue on through the blog hop. You will need to continue to hop through until you reach the blog with the giveaway. Good luck!
Click on the picture below to visit Primary Inspired and continue on with the blog hop.