Saturday, July 23, 2016

TpT Orlando

I think I'm finally recovered after an amazing time in Orlando last week! Oh my goodness  y'all it was seriously one of the best weeks ever for me!
My time in Orlando actually started the Sunday before the conference. My friend from school Darla and I, decided to turn the week into our working vacation. After arriving Sunday morning we spent the day at Magic Kingdom.
Aren't we fabulous! Those Minnie ears are on point!
There's always something magical about seeing Cinderella's Castle!

For dinner we met up with my friend Tamara Russell at Ohana. If you've never eaten at Ohana it's a must do restaurant while at Disney. Everything they served us was family style and DELICIOUS! It's a good thing we did so much walking, because I definitely did tons of eating.
Tamara came to dinner all pretty and glamed up! We certainly had lots of laughs at dinner.
We continued to visit the parks in the days before and after the conference. Every day was a blast! Of course I had to meet more Disney princesses this trip.
Tiana loved my tank top and shirt I had wore just to meet her! If you're ever looking for custom Disney shirts and ears, check out Etsy!
I got a part in Enchanted Tales with Belle! I got to play the role of Phillipe, the horse. Don't think Hollywood will come knocking on my door anytime soon, ha!
If you've never seen the Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom it's a must do. The floats are unlike anything I've seen in any parade. This dragon from Sleeping Beauty actually breathes fire as it goes by.
Tuesday evening we headed to the Garden Grove to attend the Cool Kids Meet and Greet. This was my second year to attend, and it will definitely be a conference must do for me. 
We even got a visit from Goofy and Pluto during dinner! It was great to catch up and chat with old and new TpT friends!
At last the days of the conference arrived! You could feel the excitement in the air Wednesday morning. Jen Bengel gave an excellent keynote speech. One of the things I love most about TpT is lines of communication are constantly open. We are always kept in the loop of what's to come. God bless Adam Freed, that man knows his data well and can break it down so easily to understand. When Day one of the conference wrapped up it was finally time for the BIG teacher meet up. Check out Tallahassee Sunday on Etsy for custom door signs. The had this sign available to take pictures with; too bad it couldn't be taken home!

The second morning of the conference we were served a poolside breakfast! It felt so fancy to me!
The sessions were amazing! I was pleasantly surprised to see I made a cameo appearance in one session.
Call me a dork, but this made my day! Sherri Tyler from Literary Sherri and Mary Beth Nerone from Brain Waves Instruction had a wonderful session on organizing meet ups. Seriously, these ladies know their stuff. 
Another reason to love TpT is how down to earth Team TpT'ers are! Adam, Paul, Amy, and others were walking around attending sessions and chatting with people. Every Team TpT'er I met was approachable and easy to chat with. 
It was fun to have more time at happy hour with everyone, but that also meant one thing. It meant the conference fun was coming to an end. 
Before saying our final goodbyes, we had one last dinner. Last year Michelle and I chatted poolside in Vegas, this year she joined us for dinner Thursday night at The Boathouse. The food was delicious! Check out Michelle's blog Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching
I came home tired, but with a happy heart. Happy because of the new tips and tricks I learned. Happy because I reconnected with people I've been waiting a year to see again. My biggest takeaway from the conference was meaningful connections. If you've never attended a TpT conference you must go next year if possible. I promise it will be worth every penny, and you won't regret a moment of it. Go by yourself if you need to and you'll quickly find people to connect with!

I look at the quote in this picture and agree with it 100%. TpT helps me keep my passion for teaching when it gets tough. I'm reminded that I became a teacher because I'm passionate about helping children reach their potential. I have so much love and respect for TpT. Now comes the LONG wait until next year!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Twitter 101

Last month, I shared some quick tips and tricks to build a PLN through social media. I'd like to dig deeper and really explore Twitter, which I believe can be the most beneficial source for teachers seeking quality content.

Let's take a closer look at Twitter and how it go beyond a basic tweet. This is how my Twitter profile looks on my iPad. Your profile page will look somewhat different based on how and where you're using Twitter, but the basics are still the same.
Before we dissect some tweets, allow me to get on a soap box for a moment. Notice how I have a profile picture that shows my face and a description about me?  You NEED a profile picture of yourself; not a cartoon, cute animal, or stock photo. You are not an egg! We want to see your beautiful face and know a little bit about you. It grinds my gears to come across a profile and see an egg. Rant over, let's move on.

When you post to Twitter you are limited to 140 characters unless you use something like TwitLonger. Let's take a look at a basic tweet. A tweet may or may not include a hashtag. Some of us will remember when a hashtag was really a pound sign. (Feeling old yet? I sorta am now.) What's a hashtag you may ask? A hashtag is a word or group of words used for a specific topic.

A basic tweet has no hashtags, special characters, or emojis included with the text. You will notice under each tweet you send there will be three options; reply, retweet, or like. 
When you reply to a tweet, you first click on the left facing arrow underneath the text. 
In the example below you'll notice I've replied to someone welcoming them to a Twitter chat.

Now let's move on to retweeting. A retweet is when you share a tweet already shared by another person. There are two choices for a retweet; you may just retweet the original content or you may quote the tweet which means you add your comments or thoughts about what you're sharing. Below you will see examples of a basic rewteet and quote the tweet. 

Moving right along, let's take a quick look at liking a tweet. When you like a tweet, it's saved to the Likes section of your profile so you can reference it later. In the screenshot above you'll notice each tweet has a heart. The number next to the heart indicates how many likes that particular tweet has received.
Next week I'll share more tips and tricks for using Twitter. Enjoy what's left of your week! I'm preparing to present at my district's iPad conference next Monday. I can't wait to share what I've learned!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Giveaway Time!

Happy Friday friends!! I'm teaming up with some amazing teachers to help celebrate a blog launch!

Congratulations Ashley on launching your blog Ashley's Brainy Centers! One lucky teacher is going to win a TON of great prizes!!! Who wouldn't love free money to spend at TpT and Target?
I'm donating my Coins Task Cards as part of the giveaway. 

There are three sets of task cards combined to help students learn and apply multiple ways to count coins. 
Don't forget to stop by Ashley's blog and enter this giveaway. You don't want to miss your chance to win some serious teacher swag!