Oh my goodness you guys!! I am so over the moon about telling you all about our first Louisiana Blogger Meetup!! 

I've been known to ramble on, so I'm going to attempt to make this short and sweet and to the point!

I didn't get to take a lot of pictures, I was entirely too busy talking and listening to the fabulous bloggers we had with us! 
BUT some of the other fantastic teachers there did take some pics! So please make sure you get to hop over and check out their posts. 
In addition to reading about our meetup, you'll have a chance to enter to win some sweet swag! 

Well, here we go! Thanks to the absolutely fantastic Jasmine from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain some Louisiana bloggers finally got to meet in person! We have been following each other on Social Media and reading blogs for months and sometimes years and it was great to put faces with names. 

Everyone had cute sunglasses and name cards at their seats after we signed in. The agenda was perfect and kept things moving. 

I gave a short presentation on ways to get started with blogging. I talked about all the great linkys as simple ways to get your name and ideas out there. 

You can check out the presentation by clicking {HERE}. Sorry! I didn't change any of the fonts for Google Drive. 

Grabbed this pic from Kristi at the soon-to-be Pelicans and Pipsqueaks blog. Stay tuned for her blog launch!! 

Here we are at the end of the grand event!

Mia from Putting Words in your Mouth (the 2nd top seller from Louisiana on TpT) gave a great presentation on Teachers Pay Teachers. She's getting a blog facelift as well! Make sure to check it out!

After each presentation we had some great discussions and questions about blogging and TpT. Tons of ideas and answers were passed around. For example, I learned that you should not only use your blog button, but also your pic for a more personal feel. Already changed out my pics on all my social media. What a great tip, Mia!

Lunch was delicious and we had some yummy cupcakes and adorable cookies. I really hope someone posts a pic because I didn't take any!! :(

After lunch we broke into small grade level groups to discuss things we do in our classroom, particularly behavior! Lots of different opinions and ideas. I love collaborating with other teachers! This has been the most fulfilling (and fun) part of this whole experience!!

My biggest takeaway from this fabulous event was just that: support from your fellow teachers, near and far. I have formed so many valuable friendships through my blogging/TpT experience and I strongly believe these bonds have helped me to become a better teacher. It is amazing how meeting up with people who feel just as strongly as you about what you do can give you the confidence and strength to continue doing what you do and bringing it to the next level.
 It seems that since the launching of Common Core, educators have been divided over issues, dragged through the mud, fighting tooth and nail, harshly criticized, and yet here we are, still going strong creating and strengthening our classroom practices through the valuable support of people just like us. It validates my position as an educator. Even though I am not attending TpT Conference 2015 (NEXT YEAR!!!!) I am reminded of the Conference tagline: Come together, Go Further. Our mini meetup did just that. 

Too soon the event was over and we had to say goodbye, but not before group pictures!

Here are all the Baton Rouge Area Bloggers!! Hoping to stay in touch and try to get together every once in a while for lunch or dinner. 

And who doesn't love swag?
We had Go Noodle, water bottle, tumblers, dice, cards, digital gifts (CD from Erin Cobb!!!), on and on!!! And the teacher gift exchange? Fabulous! I received some chalk markers from Philicia over at Motivation in the Middle. 

And then at Office Depot it was kismet - I found some of this awesome tape! Don't know what I'll do with it yet, but something amazing! 

And we had amazing sponsors!!!

Lots of great Louisiana businesses and fellow teachers. 

Well that's it! I seriously cannot wait until the next one! 

Please enter the rafflecopter here: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And click the links below to check out everyone else's posts about our meetup. Can't wait to see the others! 

An InLinkz Link-up


Happy Tuesday everyone!! This week's topic: 
I am excited to share with you my favorite summer flashback - when we went to Hawaii in 2007!!

Look how BEAUTIFUL it is!! That first picture is of Carly Summer when she was only 6!! The second is a pic of Diamondhead Volcano on Oahu. We stayed at the Wyndham Waikiki Beachwalk. 

This was our view from the balcony. 

It was a family vacation because my cousin Kathleen graduated from high school and wanted to go to Hawaii. Well, OKAY!! It was mom, dad, me, Carly, my sister and bro-in-law, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandmother. Here are some family candids:

It was such an amazing trip!! 

Turtle Bay where they were filming Lost!! We didn't see any stars though. 

Beautiful sunset!

We went snorkeling in Hanuama Bay and saw sea turtles!!

We also visited Pearl Harbor. It was a very sobering experience. 

You arrive at the memorial early and stand in the long, long line hoping to get a ticket for the day. 

When you step onto the memorial, it's silence. There literally isn't one single sound save the gentle lapping of water around the memorial. You walk down and peer over the edges and see the Arizona right below the surface, like you could just take a step in and touch it. 

You can still see the oil leaking on the surface. 

I am still amazed at the respectfulness shown on the memorial. Even though Carly was only six, she still remembers how in awe she was. I am so glad we were able to experience this and I will definitely visit again when we go back. 

Had some fun playing indoor 3D Mini Golf. 

And we learned all about lei making. 

Why yes, we did have matching outfits! I made them myself. 

Hula lessons!

I would go back in a heartbeat!! 

Well that's it! I do hope you link up with us because I would love to see your favorite summer flashbacks! 
Thanks for reading!
Inklinkz Code: 

Whoop Whoop! What's up everybody? Another week has come and gone and it's been filled with lots of stuff to do. At this rate, summer will be over soon!!
Happy to be linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly linky party, Five For Friday. I love this linky because I get to ramble on for 5 random things, which I love to do if you know me, and it reminds me what day it is!! 

Here we go!

I started the week at the U-High Lab School at LSU planning with our AWESOME mentor. She just got back from doing some trainings around the state for Eureka Math. She talked to us about the research and reasons behind the curriculum and it makes more sense now! We mainly focused on the sprints and how they are designed to help children think. 

While we aren't using the Eureka math curriculum religiously, we do pull some of the fluency exercises and application problems to support our teaching so it was good to know the research and reasons behind the exercises. 

I'm pretty sure this is all I do!

She showed us her presentation on Problem Solving and how to write problems that required students to do more than just look for "key words" and numbers to perform an operation. The lab school teachers are really just amazing!! 
Planning time!!

I'm doing the Whole 30 next week. I have heard such amazing things about this lifestyle and I'm excited to get started. I've spent this week reading the book and planning to begin. It's an easy read and I've had health issues in the past that I'm hoping will be pinpointed during the next 30 days. Love reading all the testimonies in the book. 

Also found some great blogs from people who document their progress and recipes and meal plans. Instagram has some great accounts to follow. I'll be going to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's at some point today to shop and spend some time preparing for Sunday!! 

Have you ever done the Whole30? What was your 30 days like? 

Tomorrow is our first ever Louisiana Teacher Blogger Meet Up!! I am so excited to get together with other teacher bloggers around my state. Went to the school yesterday to help Jasmine (Buzzing With Mrs. McClain) and Kristi (Pelicans and Pipsqueaks) set up for the get-together. It is so stinkin' cute!! I didn't take any pictures because I want the place to be a surprise for everyone! 

Jasmine asked if I would give a little presentation on blogging. It will be very short and sweet!!
I'm going to talk about the easiest ways to get started, such as linkys,  and why I personally do blogging. There's going to be about 24 teachers there so I'm a little bit excited about this presentation and a little bit nervous!! 
Have you ever done a blogging presentation? What did you say/do? 

And as part of the Teacher meetup we are doing a little gift exchange. I have crocheted a pencil scarf and I'm going to tuck a Dollar Tree gift card in with it. 
Totally crocheting while watching Pretty Little Liars <-----LOVE this show. 

Finished product. And who wouldn't love a Dollar Tree gift card??

And finally this week I updated another product as part of the #TpTSellerChallenge. It's my best selling product: Main Idea and Details Card Sort. 
Check it out in my store by clicking the pic or link above. It's on sale 50% off til tomorrow!

I changed the fonts, the card size, added some colors and borders, and did the whole set in Blackline! I love it so much more now!

Well that's it for this Friday! Thank you for letting me ramble on and on and for reading my rambles. How was your week? 

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