Conference Fun & Much More!

If anyone out there is a mother and has been away from their children for a 'long' period of time, you can definitely relate... but I'm SO glad to be back home!  Don't get me wrong - I had a BLAST in New Orleans at the Reading, Writing, Math & More conference but I missed my babies!!  Four days away was just way too long!  :(  But alas, I'm home now and can't wait to tell you all about my trip!  

If anyone's ever been to an SDE conference, you'll know what I'm talking about - but I got to meet so many amazing and fantastic teachers this week.  It truly re-inspired me and reminded me of why I'm an educator.  For these teachers to take time out of their summer to come and learn and develop when the sun/pool is calling is just truly selfless.  The passion throughout the building just radiated throughout.  I wish I was able to attend the sessions - I head they were amazing.  Instead, Brenda from Primary Inspired and I made the courageous decision to set up tables in the exhibitor hall.  Take a look at our display!

We got a lot of great compliments on our display.  "Very eye catching, very professional, draws you in"  We were very pleased with the feedback we got!  We even had two special visitors drop by to say hi!

Ms. Amanda Nickerson (One Extra Degree) and Ms. Jennifer Smith Sloane (4MulaFun)!  (Please excuse the belly - 7 months preggo!)

And the one, the only - Miss Deanna Jump!  Two of my idols in the blogging/teaching world.  Believe me folks - they are JUST as nice as they seem!  

While we were there, we had planned to get to see as much of New Orleans as we could - neither of us had been there before.  But instead, NOLA had other plans - RAIN!  It rained each night we were there.  One night we were having dinner and a monsoon came through!  Puddles up to my ankles.  Luckily the restaurant sold ponchos.  Check us out rockin' those!  

So 3 1/2 days in NOLA - most of the time working, networking, working some more, but I wouldn't have changed it for anything.  And I'm very happy to say I have a new good friend - Ms. Jennifer Smith Sloane.  She is SO nice and we really got to know one another over those few days.  This pic is seriously one of my FAVES!  We all look so good!!  (Eating at The Butcher - if you're ever in NOLA, make sure to check it out!)

So while working at the conference I was kind of taking mental notes of the comments some of the teachers would make as we would talk about the products in our store.  I have a lot of great blogging ideas that will be coming soon.  I'm going to do a 3 part series on the Gradual Release Model - I had a lot of questions about what it was and how to implement it, so make sure to keep an eye out for that.  

I also had a LOT of interest in my Fantastic Five Word Problem Unit.  (Sneak Peek Below)

The Fantastic Five is a researched based work problem strategy that can be implemented in any grade.  I've used it the past two years.  This last year, I had 8 of my students get Pass+ (which is the highest level possible) on their math standardized test.  So proud!  I contribute a lot of that to using The Fantastic Five.  Teachers at the conference were really impressed with what this unit included.  

*Anchor Charts
*Pre/Post Tests (3 versions)
*Rubric to help grade
*Example Answer Key
*8 Detailed Lesson Plans 
*I do, We do, You Do printables for each lesson
*3 end of the unit games/activities

Teachers walked away with THREE weeks of math already planned and ready to go for the upcoming school year.  They were so happy!  

I always start the year off by teaching the Fantastic Five - therefore I can use the strategy all year long.  It's a great beginning of the year, back to school unit.  Almost like my 'anchor' to begin math with.  I've done it for the last two years and I wouldn't start the year off with anything else.  

Don't let the black and white fool you - this unit is 70 pages of amazing lessons and resources that truly do work.  Great for grades 2-5 - 1st grade - you COULD use the strategy, but the word problems may be a bit hard (just to be honest!)  Make sure to click on the photos to download the preview to take a closer look. Or click HERE!

 And let me know if you have any questions!  

I hope you are all having a great summer.  And I leave you with a photo of these adorable little ones - see why I missed them so much!? 


  1. You booth looked fantastic! I can't believe you did all this with two little ones at home and another one on the way!?!?!? When I was seven months pregnant I managed to eat lots of Cheetos and watch Storage Wars like a pro. Congrats- the new pack looks great!

  2. Great Job! It is very eye catching!

  3. I went to the GT Conference in December and it was the first time I left Daddy alone to take care of My Girl (4 @ the time). It was fun, but man I missed her! 3 kiddos under 3, wow!!! That seems challenging. I'm a mommy to a singleton who takes up a lot of time and energy.

    It looks like you met a lot of neat people & were completely inspired!! Great trip.

  4. Looks like you had an amazing time. It all looks wonderful! Love the pack and all the pics!

  5. That looks super exciting to be able to meet all those fabulous people and get your name out there!




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