Vegas Baby!!!

I had an amazing time at ITeachK in Las Vegas!  I met so many amazing teachers and presenters (and a mostly naked version of the band KISS…but that’s another story).  
Kim Adsit’s presentations ROCKED as always, and I came back with lots of great ideas for literacy.  She is always so inspiring.  Totally making a “boa constrictor” out of a stretchy fabric for the boa constrictor song.  She had a volunteer come up and step into this big sleeve of fabric with a snake face on it, and she slowly pulled it up over the guy as we sang the song about being eaten my a boa constrictor.  My kids will LOVE it!
SDE hosted a dinner for presenters on Tuesday night, and I was a nervous wreck meeting all the presenters #wayouttamyleague.  2 amazing things happened though, and it turned into a great night!
Amazing thing 1 (backstory):
The first year that I went to IteachK, I was sitting in a session about literacy with an amazing (and hilarious) presenter named Danny Brasell.  He was showing some slides that had teacher sites he loves.  So he starts talking about this site…about how he would love to meet the teacher someday…all these nice things….then he puts MY site up on the screen.  It’s ME!  He was talking about me!  
I kind of gasp and he turns and looks at me and I say “that’s me!”.  He said some more really nice things…and I promptly burst into tears (because that’s how I roll, I guess).
Anyway, fast forward to this year, I got to see him present again about vocabulary, AND I got to take my picture with him (and hear him tell people the story of me bursting into tears).

Awesome thing number 2 was meeting these 2 wonderful ladies Palma Lindsay fromKFundamentals and Jayne Gammons from smartkids  .They were both so sweet, introduced me around, gave me the inside scoop on lots of things, and shared dessert with me!  I <3 them!

I spent WAY too much money at the vendors.  Did I REALLY need 3 more kindergarten shirts?  I bought two more kits from Katie & Co.  One is to go along with the gummy bear song, and the other is the cutest watermelon/seeds game for the beginning of the year.  I LOVE Katie & Co. and always, always buy something from them!  

My two favorite things from the vendors, though are these amazing whiteboard paddles, and an awesome reknrek like I’ve never seen before!
The whiteboards are from KleenSlate, and here is what is amazing about them:  One side is just a regular whiteboard….the other side has this plastic sleeve that you can put anything in….like a 10 frame, handwriting paper, etc.  The marker (which doesn’t smell bad and will NOT lose it’s point even if you bang the tip) clip right into the handle of the board, and have an eraser cap.  The big soft cloth eraser (that’s the blue thing) is hooked to the bottom of the board with a ring.  BOOM.  Pretty much all my problems I’ve ever had with whiteboard solved!  I handed over my credit card and bought a whole class set (that arrived at my house a week later!).  Oh, did I tell you they come in rainbow colors?????!
The other is this awesome rekenrek from MathLine .  I love, love, love this!  It works so well with how we work on the concept of 10, as well as decomposing teen numbers.  I love that if I have all 10 rings, and push 5 of them away, the numeral 5 is right there, so the kids are manipulating the rings, using it as a tool for solving problems, AND learning number recognition.
I talked with the Mathline guy forever!  He has “big number” ones too.  I am thinking I want a 100 one for whole group activities, and a set of these “20” ones for each of my kids at small group.

I can’t wait for next year!!!!!

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