Sunday, July 20, 2014

3rd Annual Teacher/Blogger Vegas Meet-Up... and a Give-Away!!!

ep•ic adjective \ˈe-pik\
: very great or large and usually impressive
: extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope
: telling a story about a hero or about exciting events or adventures
*    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *     *     *     *
That is the word I’m choosing to use to describe my week of professional {and personal!} development in Las Vegas this month.  I mean, truly, to put the experience into words…
Well…  It kinda’ leaves me speechless!   So, I’m sticking with EPIC

Truly, truly EPIC!

The adventures began on Sunday, the 7th, the moment I got off the plane and met up with my roomie, Elizabeth from Kickin’ It In Kindergarten,  and our BLOG HOPPIN’ buddy, Cheryl of PrimaryGraffiti. {Love those girls… AND their blogs!  If you don’t already follow them DO IT NOW!  You can thank me later.}
(Notice the message... "Vegas roomies forevs...because we like our own beds!"  This week is typically like an enormous teacher slumber-party... with up to 6 teacher buddies sharing a hotel room for the week.   Just sayin... Elizabeth and I don't mind having our own beds and bathroom.) 
#highmaintenance #roomietradition

We checked into our swanky hotel, the Palazzo.  (If you are unfamiliar with Vegas, the Palazzo and Venetian are really pretty much the same hotel.  Ya’ know like “sista’ hotels.”  They are connected and share amenities.  BTW… These hotels are far and away THE BEST on the strip!)   #staythere 

Now, as much as I would LOVE to blog away about every single thing I did that week… I gotta just hit the highlights because I would run out of cyber-space.  Just sayin’. 

Monday through Thursday, I had the pleasure of enjoying THE BEST professional development sessions on the planet.   True Story.  SDE (Staff Development for Educators) knows how to plan a conference, my friends.  They bring in the most in-demand, knowledgeable, cutting-edge presenters in the field of education.   (Tell your principal NOW… you MUST come next year!)  

 SDE Logo
Click above to see what PD opps are coming up!

{Did ya’ know that the National Conferences for “I Teach K,” “I Teach First,” “Differentiated Instruction.”  AND “Singapore Math” all happen this same week in Vegas at the Venetian Hotel?}  #toogoodtobetrue  #bestinthebusinessunderoneroof

Every single day was filled with good food and GREAT friends, as well!   Check out some of our pics!

How about that photo bomb?!  This is my dear friend, Hope, of Elementary Shenanigans blog (formerly Second Grade Shenanigans). Let me just say, I think all 9 of us tried to "help" her eat that slice... and we still couldn't get it down!  If you like your desserts, make sure you put Serendipity on your "must-see" list! And talk about SWEET... this girl embodies the word!   She is soooo inspiring.  (I'll give you more details about that soon in an upcoming post on student engagement!)

Look at these faces!  (I'm sure you know most of these beauties!) I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my blogging buddies!  They are the sweetest, smartest… and super-healthiest teachers on the planet right now, thanks to our inspiring friend, Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants.   {Need inspiration to get “fit?” You will find it on her new “life blog,” For Blogness Sake!

I also had the opportunity to meet up with some "old" friends!  Love these gals whom I met at previous blogger meet-ups!  

(Lcie comes all the way from Germany every year!)

Of course, we didn’t forget where we were!  As they say, “When in Vegas…”  

{Of course we had to throw in some Blog Lovin’ scavenger hunt fun!  Have you started your Instagram collection for the contest??  If not, read more HERE.}

And talk about THROW BACK fun.... 

We even went and saw NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK in concert!  

And… my favorite activity of the week:  Pool Side P.D. (Professional Development)  
Oh yah!  Soaking up the sun… as we share ideas and resources.  
#doesntgetbetterthanthis #106andlovingit

Hangin' out with Cara Carroll (First Grade Parade), Erica Bohrer (Erica's EDventures), Elizabeth Hall (Kickin' It in Kindergarten)... and many more friends. (We just couldn't squeeze them in this shot!)

Friday was filled with sessions and socials hosted by none other than… TPT!  Gotta’ love Teachers Pay Teachers!  That company is changing lives all over the world… touching thousands of students all over the globe and also empowering teachers!  Seriously folks, I am a better teacher due to the resources I’ve found on TPT… and I’m both a better educator AND person due to the relationships I’ve built through TPT and blogging.  #soblessed

YES!  This is me with Paul Edelman, founder of TPT.  

And finally,



Our Teacher Blogger Meet-Up was a HUGE success!! It was loud, it was crazy, and it was a completely full house (600+), but that didn't stop us from having an incredibly fun time. 

Natalie, from What the Teacher Wants, took over 200 pictures of the event, and there's no way to showcase them all, but here are a few snapshots of the night.  Thanks for your photography expertise, Natalie!

It was so fun getting to meet some of our online bloggy friends for the very first time! Plus, we got to meet so many teachers from all over the country - we even had teachers from across the world!!
(Shout out to our friends from Spain and Australia!)

*To see more pictures from the meet-up, visit the 

Here are the wonderful ladies who made this meet-up possible and helped us line up such amazing sponsors.

(Not pictured: Kathleen Pedersen)

Besides meeting such amazing bloggers and teachers, the best part of the meet-up was all of the amazing prizes that were donated from our sponsors! 

Here are all of our generous friends who offered prizes for our meet up:


Thank you to everyone who came to this event! We appreciate everyone who was able to come and mingle with us. We're already thinking about next year's meet-up, so start saving your money for next year's Vegas meet-up!!

Feeling sad that you couldn't join us this year? Wishing you could win some of these fabulous surprises? 

Well... as a special treat, we are giving away two Erin Condren gift cards!! Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. You are the sweetest for including me in your pictures. It's always a pleasure to see you and Elizabeth.; you both have such kind hearts. Thanks for always making me feel welcome.

  2. Your big recap was awesome! It took me three posts for all I wanted to share!

    Learning at the Teacher Table