Monday, December 29, 2014

Making 2015 Better for OTHER People!

If you know me, you may know that I tend to be a "giver" by nature. 
{Thanks Mom, cause I get that from you!}

I also tend to get frustrated with the fact that it tends to feel like our kids are being raised in a generation of "entitlement."

I find myself in a constant struggle trying to teach my own children, in addition to my students, how to GIVE to OTHERS... and think of themselves secondarily.  So as the New Year approaches, I've been thinking about how accomplish these things... and this is one simple activity I have come up with!

...And of course, I want to share it with YOU!

Start 2015 out right with your students by helping them focus on how they can make this year awesome for OTHER people! 

Need a little inspiration?  
Check out this YouTube video by Kid President:

After watching this inspirational video, challenge your kiddos to think of a way they can make the world a better place in 2015.  

Download this little FREEBIE to make the activity a snap! {Just click on the image below for the link!}

Little THINGS can make a difference…
and Little KIDS can too!

Happy New Year!

Oh.. and what better way to celebrate the New Year than by throwing a SALE?!

Click on the button above to go to my TPT store and enjoy a 20% off of all of my products!

Join in the fun by joining in the "linky" sale party! 
Primary Inspired is hosting this epic sale so join in by grabbing the InLinkz code below:
 <!-- start InLinkz script -->
<div class='InLinkzContainer' id='480083' >
<a rel='nofollow' href="" title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up</a></div>

<script type='text/javascript' src='//'></script>
<!-- end InLinkz script -->

Friday, December 26, 2014

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up 2015

2015 Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up

Hey bloggers (and blog stalkers!)... looking for a weekend of fun?  
The French Lick Resort and Casino in French Lick, Indiana, has graciously offered to host our 2nd Annual Spring Blogger Meet-Up!   

This incredible resort is located in southern Indiana...but is within 3 hours of Cincinnati, Nashville, Indianapolis, and St. Louis!
And let me tell you...they are ready to pamper us again!  

Here are the details...
WHO:  YOU are invited!

WHAT:  Spring Blogger/Follower Meet-Up

WHEN: March 13, 14 & 15, 2015

WHERE:  French Lick Resort & Casino - French Lick, IN

WHY:   To meet new friends, share blogging & TPT tricks & tips, 
and just have fun! {LOTS and LOTS of FUN!}

Need a little inspiration? Want to re-energize your teaching?  
Then join us for this fun filled weekend!

Below is the basic agenda for the weekend. Join us for the whole weekend, or just a day!
(Please note that if you are interested, there is a link at the bottom of this post you can follow to tentatively register.  Once you submit your info, I will send you (via email/message) even more event details, including hotel discount code. Sometimes it's better not to post "too" much info on-line!)    

Friday, March 13th

IF YOU CHOOSE... You may check in on Friday night and check out the resort on your own.. or meet up with those of us who check in early!   Rooms will be offered at the French Lick Springs Hotel in the "blogger block"  for a discounted rate.  (There is a concert on the grounds Friday night, so the rate for Friday is higher than Saturday's rate.  Friday's rate is $205 and Saturday's rate is $169.) Regular rooms have two queen beds and sleep 4...but there is room to add a roll-away and pack in even more co-workers or blogging friends!  The room rate doesn't just have one person book the room and then split the cost! Also, please note that during registration you can indicate that if you are willing to share a room with another teacher(s) and I can match you up with other teachers to save some money!  

Saturday, March 14th 

12:30 pm - Blogger Meet-Up Luncheon
(Private Meeting Room at the French Lick Springs Hotel)
Join us for a get-to-know-you luncheon event filled with TONS prizes and product give-aways! We guarantee some epic teacher-swag giveaways, my friends!  We had over $10,000 in the BEST teacher product giveaways last year... and we are working on surpassing that this year!  We will also be playing some seriously fun get to know ya' games, which will result in forming friendships for life!  Oh! And I can't forget to mention our annual "Teacher Tool" gift swap game! #funandfunctional 

The cost for attending this luncheon event will be $35, which includes your lunch and beverages, as well as a portion of the room reservation/technology fees.  This is the ONLY required fee for the entire weekend!  The rest of the event (hotel fees, if you choose to stay on site, and the remainder of the meal fees will be on your own, based on your choices!).  If you live close, you may choose to drive in for the day.  This fee needs to be paid by Feb. 25 to guarantee your registration.  (More details for payment will be sent via email/FB messager if you register using link at bottom of this post.)

2:00 pm - Teacher Tips & Tricks for Blogging, TPT and more!
After the luncheon and meet-up fun, we will be having a sharing session about teacher technology, blogging and creating TPT products.  Bring some of your best ideas and a list of your favorite resources to share with others!  You might want to bring your laptop for this too!  This session is totally optional...but is a fun way to share ideas and set up networks for blogging, Pinterest, "linky" parties, etc.  Last year's workshop session was INCREDIBLE... and this year's will be even better!  We will be sending out an email survey to everyone who registers, asking for topics of interest. Then, we will be recruiting topic discussion leaders with experience/expertise on the hottest teacher topics to help facilitate our group sharing. Oh! And look forward to lots and lots of informal pop-up presentations, as our questions lead us! We will also be doing some round-table sessions with special topic/grade-level break outs.  We believe everyone has an area of expertise and something to share!  

5:30 pm - Dinner Reservations at Resort Restaurant/s
We will meet up for dinner at one of the resort's casual, but classy restaurants!  This event is not required (just in case you plan to bring your spouse and would prefer a romantic dinner!?), but we will be offering group reservations for dinner that will offer an incredible meal at reasonable prices! (We are teachers, ya' know!)  

7 pm - After Dinner Options
After dinner, attendees may go their own ways, or travel in groups via complimentary shuttle, to any of the resort's entertainment hot spots!  Suggested group after dinner activities include visiting the West Baden Hotel's spectacular dome, where you can enjoy drinks at Ballard's Bar while watching the dome's colored light show, or visiting the French Lick Casino for some gaming fun! Other options include visiting the Xanadu Coffee & Creamery for dessert or gathering with new friends in one of the resort's grand lobbies to share blogging tips and tricks!  We're even considering planning a late night, teacher PJ party!   More details to come on that!

Sunday, March 15th

9:30 am - Sunday Breakfast/Brunch
We will meet at the resort's famous breakfast buffet for our last gathering!  
Good food, good conversations, and goodbyes!

After brunch, you are free to explore the resort or head home, 
re-energized to be the best teacher-blogger you can be! 

Wondering if this event is something you might be interested in?  Check out what some of last year's attendees have to say...

Annie W "Spending time with fellow teachers who share my passion for teaching and blogging was SOOOO invigorating and exactly what I needed last year. Heck this meet up is one of the big reasons I decided to become a TPT seller. Loved seeing and meeting new blogging buddies while exploring the gorgeous resort. Between the tips and tricks from experienced bloggers and the fun experiences we shared I will definitely be going again. "

Kelsey B. "This meet-up was so inspiring! I left ready to teach and excited about what I do. It is so fun to meet other teachers that share the same passion as you and are willing to share their ideas with you. I had never created anything on TpT, and I learned so much. I met new teachers that I've stayed in close contact with and have learned so much from. It was definitely a weekend I remember and look forward to!"

Allison S "This meet-up was very well put together and exciting because it included a room full of people just like me! It's refreshing to be in a room full of people that have the same passion for teaching that you do! It was rejuvenating and inspiring to meet new people and get new, fresh ideas! Can't wait for the 2015 meet-up!"

Simply click HERE to get more information about this event!
We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Week of Giving THANKS...

I'm here to share the final two letters... "K" and "S" in the BLOG HOPPIN'  T.H.A.N.K.S. linky series!

First, and perhaps most obvious in my thankful posts...

I am thankful beyond words for the kiddos in my life.   I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. my students, past and present, and am so thankful that I teach in a Christian school where I am allowed to TELL them how much I care about them... and actually hug the little sweet darlins'!   

And my own children... {Holdin' back the tears, here!}   Words can't express the depth of my love for them... and the gratitude I have feel to God for blessing me with these amazing children. I love you Hunter, Alexa and Colton!

Now for "S."      
In my book...

Go ahead.  Say it out loud... 
"Staff development?! Is this girl crazy?!"

Well.. maybe I am.   But for me... the staff development conferences I have attended in the last few years have literally changed my life! 

{Serious "shout out" to Staff Development for Educators 
right here!  LOVE. S.D.E.}
SDE Logo

Yes, I'm "that" teacher... the one who reads brain research books in her spare time and my "pleasure reading" is often about RTI or the latest trends in education.  So, of course I love staff development for that reason...but almost more importantly, I love staff development because it has provided me with some of the BEST and most wonderful supporting friendships a (teacher) girl could ask for!

I mean, truly... did you ever realize that STAFF DEVELOPMENT could look like this? 

I am the only kindergarten teacher in my small, private school... and the friends I've met through SDE events are often my life-line and inspiration on a daily basis!  

I NEED these girls... and I am so very thankful for the fact that attending SDE staff development events have brought these amazing and brilliant friends into my life!!!  {Not to mention... I never laugh harder than when I'm with these teacher-friends!}

So, if you are in need of a little inspiration... a new teaching supporter... or just a good laugh...  come and hang out with us this summer at the SDE National Conferences!   Come on people... Vegas.  Summer.  Shopping. Sunshine.  National Teacher-Blogger Meet-Up.   Do I really need to twist your arm any further?  LOL

What is YOUR thankful "S" this year?

Link up by hoppin' over to BLOG HOPPIN' and let us know!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving THANKS!

This week my sista' friends and I over at BLOG HOPPIN' are hosting a "Giving Thanks" linky series!  Each day we are focusing in on a different letter of "T..H..A..N..K..S" and sharing what we are most thankful for.

Well... I was so busy being THANKFUL for all of my teaching responsibilities this week {wink! wink!} that I fell a bit behind in getting my initial posts up.  SOOOO... I have decided to just be THANKFUL for your patience and understanding with me... and play a little game of "catch-up" right now! #keepinitreal

So... Let the THANKFULNESS begin!

Oh yes!  If you know me, you know I'm a bit "tradition obsessed!"   I think traditions are so important! Traditions can be BIG, small, serious or goofy...but their value, in my opinion is ENORMOUS!

Besides being down right fun, research shows traditions are incredibly important for families.  They provide a source of identity and can "tell a story" about your family and cultural or religious history.  Traditions have proven to strengthen a family's bond and provide comfort and security.  Traditions teach family values.  Traditions connect generations... and traditions create lasting memories.  {Wanna' know more about the value of traditions?? Click HERE to check an awesome blog post by The Art of Manliness Blog!}

I have intentionally started dozens of traditions in my little family including:

If you follow me on Instagram (@hollyehle) you've already seen our weekly family fun adventures.  Enough said.  

* Dates with Dad 
Since Lexi was about two, Troy has taken her out on "dates" to spend special time with her and show her (in action) how a real, Godly man should treat a lady (opening doors, pulling out chair, etc.) so Lexi grows up knowing how a man should treat her. (We do mother/son dates too! You'd better believe my sons know how to hold doors and pull out chairs for their momma!)

*While I'm Away Box
This is a little tradition I started when I had to travel away from my little ones.  It takes kiddos from crying and begging you not to leave... to "How soon can you leave, Mom?!"  LOL  Click HERE to see a previous blog post about it!

*Family Value Keys
This one may be my FAV!   I have had this little display in a hallway at my house since the kiddos were tiny. 
{It's NOT the best pic...but you will get the idea!}

  Each key you see is engraved with a specific "value" that we, The Ehle Family, believe is important to teach/pass on to our children.  
When we catch one of our kiddos showing or "living" this value, we take the key and "give" it to that child.   When they were young, I would string the key they "earned" on a ribbon as a necklace, and then that child would wear it around his/her neck for a day.  When their friends, preschool teachers, or even strangers would see the key necklaces and ask the kiddos what they were for... my kiddos would then explain that they are our family value keys and then explain how they earned that specific key.  As they grew a bit older, they were less fond of "wearing" the we would hang them on their bedroom doors and they would be exempt from chores for a day. LOL We also have a special box that we keep a candle and a journal inside.  At dinner, on the night that someone earns a key, we light the candle "in honor" of that child and the value they exhibited and record it in our family values journal.   A little bit cheesy, you say?  Yes.. perhaps.  But INCREDIBLY meaningful... and I've already begun my key collections to pass on to my kiddos when their first children are born.   

Ugh.. I have dozens more to share...but ya'll may get tired of them.  So I'll stop here!  {But if any of y'all are ever looking for a new tradition...just leave a comment!  I love sharing ideas about traditions with other tradition lovin' peeps!  Umm.. I may or may not have started a blog a year ago called "Traditionally Speaking"... that doesn't have a post up yet.  TIME! TIME!  Anyone know where I can find an extra day in the week??}

Anyways... In my heart, T is definitely for TRADITIONS.

My "H" for this thankful week is "HIM."  I am so thankful for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  He has showered me with countless blessings, none of which I am worthy to receive.  I am so thankful for the endless grace, peace and mercy He grants me each day.  To God be the Glory.  

Piggybacking on Elizabeth's BLOG HOPPIN' "A" post... I am thankful for "A Good Book" every day of my life!   Of course, the best "good book" is "THE GOOD BOOK," the Bible....but I have some other FAVS too!

As any avid reader would tell ya, my FAV list of books changes monthly....but here are some books on my FAV list right now:

1. Train the Brain to Hear
LOVE this book!   Seriously people, if you are a teacher... you NEED this book!  This book helps you with "those" students we ALL have in class.  You know, "the ones" that struggle...but we can't seem to figure out exactly why!   It's all about helping those kiddos who struggle to stay focused and explains how to use brain training techniques to encourage development of more effective auditory learning connections.  It also focuses on showing you how to reach those kiddos who struggle with ADD/ADHD, low spectrum autism and auditory processing disorders. In my opinion, it's basically a teaching course we all SHOULD have had in college...but never did!  

2. Crash Course
Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me

My #1 BEST READ of the year, my blogging friends, is this little gem!   It will change your life FOREVER!!!   If you aspire to re-ignite your passion for teaching and become THE BEST teacher you can be...simply read this.   TRUST ME.   

3. Set the Stage 2 Engage (TPT E-book)
Student Engagement: A Guide to Teaching Outside the Box
My girls, Babbling Abby and Cara Carroll, sum up the AWESOMENESS of this e-book with these reviews:
"If there’s one resource you purchase this school year, let it be Set the Stage to Engage! Not only is it packed with detailed descriptions of lessons, ideas, and engaging activities, but it is accompanied by pictures to help you visualize them at work in a real classroom! Hope will inspire a renewed sense of creativity and passion within your teacher-heart, and I guarantee she will spark the enthusiasm you need to make this your best year yet. With a focus on kids, creativity, and content, Set the Stage to Engage is perfect for first year teachers and seasoned veterans alike. Add to your cart NOW!"

Babbling Abby
Teacher Blogger
The Inspired Apple

"Set the Stage to Engage is a MUST HAVE for every teacher!! Whether you're in need of ideas & activities that engage & inspire, or just a breath of fresh "teaching" air, this comprehensive resource has it ALL! Hope has thought of EVERYTHING you need to engage your kids in fun, yet meaningful & effective, learning. If you invest in anything this year, invest in Set the Stage to Engage and in turn, you will be investing in an unforgettable school year for both you and your students!"

Cara Carroll
Teacher Blogger
The First Grade Parade

I know I'm preaching to the choir on this one, blogging friends....
But this girl is wiped out!   I love, love, love teaching and I dedicate countless hours to trying my best to make every day a magical, yet rigorous, learning experience in my classroom.  I sleep very little, and often don't spend as much time as I want to with my kiddos and hubby, all in the name of dedicated teaching.... so this weekend, this girl is going to take some time for the "N" in THANKS.... Needed rest!  

What about K and S, you ask??  Well, you will have to wait until the 28th and 29th for those posts!  

Until then... if you need me, I'll be snuggling with my kiddos in my PJs, playing Pictionary with the fam, or just plain sitting in my comfy chair taking a minute to just watch my family, taking in all the blessings that are sitting right before me.... 

Oh... And I'll be thanking God for YOU too!   Blogging has changed my life and provided me with the best, most inspiring friends a girl could as for!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today...


Oh! Don't forget to LINK UP with us over on BLOG HOPPIN'!  
Just click on the icon below!