Sunday, March 22, 2015

2015 Teacher Tool Gift Exchange LiNkY!

Last weekend over 100 of the best teacher bloggers in the country joined me at the beautiful French Lick Resort for a weekend of inspiration and learning at the 
2nd annual Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up! 

Friends, it was an AMAZING experience!  And we can’t wait to share it with you!  We will be doing a HUGE linky party next weekend about all of our meet-up events!   Trust me, you will NOT want to miss it!  {We have LOTS of incredible goodies to give away to our followers!}

But for this weekend, you will have to settle with just a sneak peek at one of our favorite activities!

Our Teacher Tool Swap Gift Exchange
During our luncheon meet-up on Saturday, one of the activities that I planned was a “Teacher Tool” gift exchange.  Because our group was so large this year, we broke up into grade level/subject groups to do the exchange.  Each group got into a large circle and held the wrapped teacher tool gifts that they brought.  

The amazing Amanda Pauley {Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten} wrote a fun “left-right” passing story that she read for everyone.  {Every time she said LEFT, we passed gifts to the left.  Every time she read RIGHT in the story, we all passed our gifts to the right.}  At the end of humorous teacher blogger story, each person took the gift he/she received and sat down in the circle.   We then went around and had each person open his/her gift, show the group and then the gift GIVER shared who she/he was and explained what the gift was and why she/he loved it.  It was AWESOME to see new tools that others had never discovered, tools that these creative teachers developed themselves, and to see a pattern of the same gifts given to see what is trendy and hot right now!
The Teacher Tool that I gave was…
When I started thinking about what “teacher tool” has been the MOST beneficial help to me in the classroom this year, the answer was clear!  The tool I had to give was this…

While it may not be the type of tool that first came to your mind because it’s not a stapler or desk accessory, let me assure you… it is a TOOL that will undoubtedly change you as a teacher!  {I have personally have two copies of this book in print, one at school and one at home… AND I have the book on tape in my car!!  #truestory    If you are looking to re-energize your teaching and take your instruction from drab to FAB… this book is your answer!  I’ve seriously read/listened to it 5 times in it’s entirely…and it never gets old.  It’s changed my instruction…and as I’ve shared it with co-workers…it is changing my school, people.  I mean it.  It is changing what my students will experience as “school”…and it will undoubtedly change their lives too.  #enoughsaid?  #readthebook  #getitnow  #changeyourlife

The Teacher Tool that I received was…
Eeks!  Look at this little bag of goodness! The gift I received included a teacher journal (which I’m using to record my blogging and TPT “to do” ideas), an epic set of X-Grip Zebra Comfort Grip Pens, and something I’d never seen before…. My favorite type of staple remover  WITH A LETTER OPENER on the end! Say what?!  Oh, yeah. It’s for realz! 

Bonus  Goodies that my generous blogging friends gifted to me…

People, the goodness did not stop there!  Un-be-knownest to me, all of the teacher bloggers who attended the meet-up conspired in a secret to mission of generosity!  Uh-huh!  You know it.   Teachers are just “good people!”  I’m not sure who the mastermind was, but a collection was taken and during the meet-up I was presented with these awesome group gifts from the attendees as a thank you for planning the meet-up.

I know, right?!  The generosity was overwhelming! Brendy Frady (Primary Inspired) one of my fav teacher bloggers who is also an Orgami Owl rep, designed this BEAUTIFUL necklace just for me!  I mean…Folks, it’s perfect!  And as if that was not already too much… They gifted me a VERY GENEROUS Target gift card too!

Am I done yet, you may ask.  The answer is NO. I am not!   When I say I was overcome and humbled.  I mean it.

My sweet friend, Dana Lester {Common to the core}, worked her design magic and created these monogram bags for Brittany Banister {Mrs. Banister's Kindergaraten}, my co-planner, and me!  Aren't they epic?!  

Emily Peden {A Neighborhood Kindergarten}, You are the sweetest and I will enjoy using these in my classroom with my kiddos!  THANK YOU!

To the All Y’all Need Girls, could you be any bubbly and giving?!   I LOVE these photo booth props!!  

Kinder Glitter Girls, what a pleasure to get to know you!!! This t-shirt is ROCKIN’!  You are too generous!

Maja Austin {KookyKinders}YUM! YUM! YUM!  These personalized cookies were not only BEAUTIFUL…but they were delicious!   {Confession: It took me almost a week to eat them, because they were just too pretty to eat! But, in a moment of weakness and sugar deprivation, I dug right in! LOL}

And I was THRILLED to receive this special teacher tool that has been on my wish list for a year!!   A Scentos chunky marker holder! My dear friend, Deanna Jump {Mrs. Jump's Class} brought me this.  It was made and designed by another sweet friend's hubby (Katie Mense of Little Warriors)!   I'm so excited to fill it and place in my writing center!  The kiddos will go nuts!
Now at this point, I was literally thinking.... How can my incredible blogging friends be any more generous?!
And then THIS happens!  Yep...a full hour of Swedish massage!   #loveyoudeanna

I just need to shout out a ginormous...

to all of my teacher blogging friends.   
You are a true blessing in my life!
God has blessed me with so many life long friendships through this adventure!

Want to see what all of the other teacher bloggers received in the swap?
Check out the links below!
You might find a TOOL that you never knew you needed!

A BIG shout out to Miss DeCarbo for 
setting up this epic linky party!   
Go and check her out HERE right now!



  1. Holly you are fantastic! I loved being part of your team at the meet up! It was a great experience to not only see the behind the scenes but to get to help as well! You deserve all the love that was sent your way last weekend. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others!!
    Heidi Neels
    Flipping for First

  2. Holly, you are so deserving of all of this! You are amazing and I'm so glad to consider you a friend! Let's get together again soon! I know you are a busy lady, but we need to get together..and I still want to visit your classroom. :) Thank you for all that you do!

  3. The weekend was absolutely amazing, thanks for thinking of so many fabulous ways for us to connect with each other. I can't wait to start thinking about next year!

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

  4. Based on all of the IG photos, blog posts and FB updates about this meet-up, I would say you did an AMAZING job of organizing it all!! It looked like a super fun time and I am already trying to figure out how I can get to Indiana next year to join your PJ party!!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

  5. Holly, you are amazing! The weekend was fantastic! Thank you so much for coordinating a weekend of fun, enthusiasm and sharing! We appreciate all you did to make the Meet Up such a wonderful experience!

  6. Cannot say THANK YOU enough for putting this all together and giving us this amazing opportunity to meet each other!! It was a fantastic weekend and makes me even more excited for Vegas again this year! Let me know if you need any help for next year!
    Tickled Pink in Primary

  7. You deserved every bit of it!! You worked so hard on it all. It was an awesome weekend. We still talk about it!! We are so glad you like your shirt, we want to get one made for us now!

  8. This looks amazing! Please tell me how we get an invite to attend next years? We are in our second month of blogging and know it's going to continue to grow successfully, thanks to God.

  9. Hi Holly, Thank you for sharing! This looks like so much fun!!
    I'm trying to get a TpT meet-up together for the NY/NJ area. I've never done it before, and I've never been to one either =(
    Can you offer any suggestions or tips? Did you have guidelines for your teacher tool Gift Exchange that you emailed out before the meet-up? Again, any advice is GREATLY appreciated!