Box 1, 2, 3, and 4 ready to go! Don’t forget to mail them by June 25th. Do you think that box will hold together? What do I do it the boxes do not make it? Have I forgotten anything?
Questions, questions, question. But I think I am ready. Ready for what you ask? Well, Vegas baby! In two weeks, I will be heading out to Vegas to present 4 different sessions at the I Teach K National Conference. This conference brings Kindergarten teachers from around the world to learn and network over 4 days. I had put in my application to present just one session, but was excited to learn they wanted me to do 3 more! On Tuesday, July 8th, I will be presenting the following sessions (click on the word session to read the titles).
I have to say this has been different than any other workshop I have prepared for in the past. Thinking through the materials and how to get them all the way across the country is not an easy task. Having been to Vegas before, I did not want to take a chance of having to run around trying to find a Wal-mart or another store for materials! What does it take to plan hands-on sessions when you are not in your own neck of the woods? Well, it takes lots of planning and organization! Here is what I had to do to get ready:
1. Build the presentations beginning with the end in mind. This means planning backwards and identifying what I want teachers to know, understand, and be able to do when they leave my workshop. It also means planning different types of activities and changes of states to make sure that in the 75-minute session, teachers will never have a chance to get bored. Out of the 4 sessions, teachers will experience 17 different activities and will walk away with 4 different bags of materials to use in their own classrooms!
2. Make list and check it not twice, but three times maybe four. Once I finished designing the sessions, I made a list of materials, purchase said materials, and then redesigned several activities. Yep, after I had designed one session, I had to rework one of the activities because I could not think of how to ship some of the materials! It simply would have cost too much. Thank goodness I have a plethora of different activities I could pull from to use!
3. Box, box, box. Once I had all the materials, I then put each workshop into a separate box. Everything is in plastic storage bags and labeled with the title of activity and the session it corresponds to. Participant bags have all the necessary materials. Of course after I had packed all the boxes, sealed them and addressed them, I realized I forgot to put some stuff in. Thank goodness for a suitcase large enough that I can just check the rest!! Now to make sure I don’t pack more clothes than I need! So if you see me wearing the same pants more than once, forgive me-I had to pack light in order to make my sessions fun and engaging!
4. Call the hotel to double, triple check how to send it. I actually called the hotel three different times to 1) make sure I had the correct shipping address, 2) check on reservation and make sure the boxes would get to my room and 3) ask again about the shipping address to make sure the boxes would get there! Can you tell I am a little worried the boxes will not arrive? I am currently working on a contingency plan should this occur. I will accept all the prayers and positive thoughts I can get my friends! I do have to say, the staff at the Venetian have been fantastic and answered all of my insane questions!
5. Leave time to ship. I knew as I started packing the boxes I needed to find out how long it would take to ship to Las Vegas. Thankfully I did not wait until the last minute to determine this. Who knew it takes a week to ship materials out to Vegas! After almost a roll of packing tape, the boxes will be shipped out this Wednesday for arrival right before July 4th!! Boxes should be in my room when I arrive!! Now I just have to make sure I have a pair of scissors in order to perform surgery to open these boxes!!
And there you have it friends! Here is to hoping all my boxes arrive on time and in one piece! Be sure and come back later this week to read more about my adventures!