I was very lucky to have been invited to Frog Street Splash and a blog ambassador before the 2015-2016 school year! So I packed my bags and headed to Splash and attended the BEST early childhood conference I have ever been to!
1. The classes were AMAZING! Frog Street plans sessions that are targeted to the current best teaching practices for early childhood teachers! The classes have practical strategies that use research based approaches that will help your little learners grow! The classes were engaging and loaded with ideas that could go right back to the classroom!
(Photo credit to Frog Street Splash.)
2. The classes were taught by leaders in the early childhood industry. Frog Street brings in the leading keynote speakers, consultants, classroom teachers, and musicians to teach the Splash classes. Vanessa from Pre-K Pages, Crystal from Kreative in Kinder, Palma from K Fundamentals, Debbie Clement from Rainbows Within Reach, Don from The Learning Station, and Steve Spangler Science to just name a few!
And this year Valorie Burton, the author of Successful Women Think Differently did a session that was geared just towards life and not teaching!!! Frog Street recognizes that we are so much more than teachers by providing this class and it was AMAZING!
3. There were amazing keynotes! This year Laura Bush gave an amazing keynote! Her message was to remember that students are people and they need respect and love from teachers! “Today children face very different challenges and they often have less people to turn to.” She shared some stories from her teaching days that she shared in her book Spoken from the Heart that really inspired us to think beyond reading, writing, and math! The even cooler part is that there was a meet and greet with Laura before her keynote and MANY Frog Street Splash participants got to go.
I was so afraid to meet her, afraid that I would have a Forrest Gump moment and say “I gotta pee.” So I asked my Teacher Facebook Group what I should ask so I was well prepared. Truth be told… I was told to say “Hi my name is ____” and so that’s all she said. I am such a rule follower. She probably thought I was weird. LOL.
4. The teachers who are there are excited, energetic, and focused on learning. Teachers from all over the country came and they were all so kind!
5. Teachers attend year after year and entire districts go! I was amazed to see so many people at this conference and then to find out there there are entire school districts that come year after year was so cool! One district had like 100 staff members there! (#crazybutcool) Then during the dinner they ask you to stand and sit down for how many conferences you have attended. It was amazing to see how many people return again and again and there was even a handful of teachers who have been to every single Splash conference (which is like 30!) (#crazierbutcool)
6. There are add on classes that are WELL worth it! Vanessa from Pre-K Pages did a Make-and-Take class that although was an add on to the conference ticket, was super cool!!! The class made centers and activities that teachers could literally take back to their classrooms on Monday and use immediately! Check out what these teachers walked out with!
(Photo credit Amanda from The Educator’s Spin on It.)
7. The conference was jam packed with super cool things.. like every moment! One moment you are in a class learning amazing things and the next moment you are in the corner singing and dancing with Don from the Learning Station and Stephen Fite!
8. The conference has a theme! This years theme was a Circus Celebration and boy did they go all out! The decor in the hallways was all
9. All conference tickets include an amazing dinner. What? A teacher conference that feeds you? Yes!! We were all invited to this amazing dinner that was in theme! Teachers came dressed up, the decor was all circus related.
10. The dinner had an amazing band and almost everyone danced! What happens when you put 2000 early childhood teachers in a room with an amazing band? Watch and see! I could not just pick one to share.
11. They gave away cash prizes! And a lot!! Like over $5000 in cash was handed out to teachers!! Frog Street Splash knows what teachers need for back to school and it extends well beyond Frog Street Press materials! They stepped up and had an anonymous donor fund cash prizes up to $500 and gave out TONS!
They also gave away these amazing center pieces!
12. We had a pajama party! What-what?! A pajama party hosted by Kreative in Kinder?! Hundreds of people came to just hang out, dance, and just socialize! It was loads of fun! A huge thank you to GoNoodle for providing some great dance music!
13. There were some AMAZING bloggers there! Amanda and Kim from the Educator’s Spin On It, Laral from Little Miss Kindergarten, Crystal from Kreative in Kinder, Debbie from Rainbows Within Reach, Kaci form Mrs. Hoffer’s Spot, Jennifer from Herding Kats in Kindergarten, Cheryl from Crayons and Curls, Palma from K Fundamentals, and Vanessa from Pre-K Pages. If you are a teacher blog follower, this is a great conference to meet some of your favorite bloggers!
I have to say, I have taught for 15 years and been to many conferences and this was the best teacher conference I have ever been to! It was well organized, engaging, loaded with content, and the people at the conference were amazing!