nErDcampMI or Bust!

It’s been on my bucket list for six years and I’m finally going to nErDcampMI. The brainchild of teacher/author Colby Sharp, this “uncamp” is free to attend but tickets “sell out” incredibly fast. Teachers from all across the country trek to Parma, Michigan to learn along with some of the nerdiest people on the planet. Kidlit lovers like me will be in heaven, surrounded by a jillion of the most amazing authors and illustrators of our favorite books.

Thanks to a nudge by my author friend Clare Landrigan, (and the fact that my son’s summer soccer days are behind us) I finally booked a ticket for Michigan. It takes a lot for me to leave Maine in the summer and I know this will be totally worth it. Having Clare for a travel/learning buddy will make the experience even more priceless.

I submitted a proposal for Day 1 and was delighted that it was accepted. Day 1 is like a traditional education conference with featured speakers,  while Day 2 is an (un)conference that is self-designed by participants who decide what topics they want to learn about. My session is called “Thinking Through Our Fingers: Reimagining Writing Possibilities”.Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 3.53.10 PM

I’m on a bit of a mission to expand our definition of writing so that everyone has a place at the writing table. I want us to see the value in all types of writing that can help us explore thinking and feeling, that can help us communicate more, and that is FUN! I’ll proudly be sharing the work that teachers and students have been doing in our Augusta Schools and hopefully come back with even more ideas from nErDy teachers at camp. Here are the sketchnote handouts I’ve created for my session:

I’ll be sketchnoting during other sessions and look forward to sharing new learning with colleagues who couldn’t attend. Summer is a great time for teachers to refill their buckets and I know this will be a huge part of my summer rejuvenation.

One More Off My TBR Stack

Continuing my audiobook summer series I was able to listen to two audiobooks as I traveled to visit my parents in Wisconsin this past week but I’ll share one here.

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The Tattoist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Based on interviews with Holocaust survivor Ludwig Sokolov (Lale–Lah-lay), who became the Tätowierer (tattooist) who permanently marked arriving prisoners, after it is discovered he speaks several languages. He managed to survive over 2 1/2 years in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps while risking his own life to exchange jewels from murdered Jews for food to help keep fellow prisoners alive. One day he tattoos the number 34902 on the arm of a frightened girl named Gita. He vows that he will survive and one day marry her. But the Germans don’t care about the hopes and dreams of their prisoners and the odds are against Lale and Gita as they experience and witness unspeakable atrocities. I didn’t think I’d want a ‘heavy’ book for my summer reading, but this one was amazing. The audiobook is read by Richard Armitage and he brilliantly conveys the voices of German, Russian, Slovakian men and women with a complete range of emotions from fear to intimidation to hope.

 

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