Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Conference Review!

Hey Kinder Friends,
I have got to share this experience with you because it was just that good. Last spring I was given a ticket and invited to the Frog Street Splash conference. I have always loved Frog Street products but the conference I knew little about. I kept asking anyone I thought would know what is SPLASH like? Every single person had almost the same reply...
There is nothing quite like it!
When I found out that the conference would be held at Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center I was pretty excited. I have been there for a few different conferences and I knew this was going to be a great place for a conference and to spend a little time. I could write an entire post just on the Gaylord but I will save that for when I am gearing up to go to SPLASH 2016 because I am going for sure and I can't wait.
When I found out the theme for the conference was a circus theme I knew I would fit right in. But I had no idea that a theme in SPLASH terms meant going all out or literally over the top
As I walked in to the opening ceremony I was taken back. My first thought was WOW just WOW maybe this is a little bit bigger than what I had thought. My second thought time I am bringing the good camera! From the first moment and ongoing all I could think about was coming back! Yes, I felt like I was at the circus and couldn't wait to see what was under the big top!
Under The Big Top!
The Frog Street SPLASH conference consisted of internationally recognized keynote speakers, professional consultants, expert teachers and musicians. Trust me, the list was impressive and the professional development did not disappoint! And one of the keynote speakers was Mrs. Laura Bush! Yes, you read that correctly and it was not a typo. Bringing the former first lady was over the top! And the breakout sessions did not disappoint either. They were filled with appropriate teaching strategies, research based topics and educational trends. And I sure want to add that I got in to each session I wanted to attend. That is saying a lot trust me. No skipping every other session to get in line for the next just to be sure you get in. No disappointing closed doors with SESSION FULL signs...none. I can't say thank you enough to the person responsible for that!
To say this was just a motivational and inspiring experience would be an understatement!
Every single detail was thought of right down to the table toppers. The small things add up and trust me they were noticed. And all of that extra detail just adds to the electrifying and inspiring feeling that filled the room. Can you imagine the excitement that only early childhood educators could bring to a circus like this?
Seriously nobody told me that there would be a live band along with the dinner celebration. The band must have played at least two hours long and they were good and just added to the feeling of celebration. I sat and wondered how many conferences are like this...none, just none. I do not know how many prizes were given out and there is a simple reason for that. There were so many I just lost count! It was a lot and they were awesome. I didn't win a thing but I felt like I had already won by just being there!
In between sessions there was plenty of time to walk around, talk, mingle and shop. Everywhere you turned there were references to the circus that added to the overall excitement that filled the convention hall. I liked all of the different areas to take pictures and talk to everyone. And let me not forget to mention each of these stations had props to use. What a fun atmosphere to kick off the Back to School season.
I was thrilled to be able to pick up some science materials at the Steve Spangler booth. Even better I did not have to pay shipping. After hearing a lot of "teacher talk" about sensory tables I decided it was time to give this area a little boost and I found it at the Steve Spangler table. Heck, I wanted to work that booth!
And I had time to browse the Sit Spot booth. I am happy to say that I will be having a Sit Spot giveaway soon. The vendors were all helpful and willing to answer questions.
The conference was wonderful and something I will never forget. I laughed, I learned and I was inspired beyond measure to get out there and celebrate jumping right into my 16th year of Kindergarten. This is the way we all should feel as we prepare for another year. And there is a reason for this feeling and it boils right down to the people...the people who made it happen and the people who participated. I have to just leave it with that. They deserve their own post! I will be super excited to share that here.
And to the special people at Frog Street Press...thank you for the experience.
I really feel like I went to the best show on earth!

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