When you live in an amazing state like Maine, “Staycations” are a favorite, especially in the summer. Winters are long here, and we often don’t want to give up a single day of our Maine summers. Though there were several conferences and camps I would have truly enjoyed going to, I elected to attend them virtually. Thanks to social media it’s not only possible, it’s easy!
First up is nErDcampMI. I am determined to roadtrip my way across the country for this one someday, but the next best thing is following the tweets of my favorite nErDy campers (Katherine Sokolowski, Donalyn Miller, John Schumacher, Cindy Minnich, Teri Lesesne, and Lesley Burnap -among others. Another way to learn along with these campers is by visiting the IDEA BOARD where participants brainstormed topics to explore and archived their notes/resources. Colby Sharp is the amazing educator who organizes this camp and one of the founders of The Nerdy Book Club. If you love books you can follow the blogs of these nerds and get your nerdy on!
- John Schumacher- http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/
- Katherine Sokolowski- http://readwriteandreflect.blogspot.com/
- Donalyn Miller- http://bookwhisperer.com/blog/
- Colby Sharp – https://sharpread.wordpress.com/
- Cindy Minnich – https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/tag/cindy-minnich/
- Teri Lesesne – http://professornana.livejournal.com/
You can see a complete listing of EDcamps at: EDcamp Calendar 2015
Next up were the Scholastic Reading Summits scattered across the country from Boston, to Austin, to Birmingham and more. Featured speakers included:
Last week was the first summer conference for the newly renamed International Literacy Association (formerly International Reading Association). Previously they have held this conference the first week of May, but this year it was summer in St. Louis. Having grown up in the Midwest, I knew that could be H-O-T! Twitter was again my go-to entrance ticket to this event! Following the hashtag #ILA15 I was able to see photos, read quotes, and link to videos. Still looking for notes and resources from this one!
As you can see, you don’t have to go far for professional development. Sure, it’s great to go in person, to experience the camps and conferences with other passionate educators. But when you can’t, there’s no reason to be left out! We can be as connected as we choose to be. I’ll be at NCTE 15, but this summer I chose virtual PD-fun and free!
What’s On My Book Radar
My #bookaday challenge is going great! You can follow my daily reads on Facebook: Book-a-Day Summer 2015. One book I have been recommending to many is The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Harry Potter fans will find many similarities, as we follow three young mages (gifted with magic) who enter the Magisterium when they turn twelve. I worried at first it would be too much of a copycat series, but those worries vanished as I was pulled into this adventure. First of five, I highly recommend this Maine Student Book Award nominee!
My new favorite picture book is Little Red Henry by Linda Urban! I love this twist on a familiar story. Rather than looking for help, Henry is looking for independence…something his family doesn’t seem ready to offer! This will be a fun read aloud for classrooms and livingrooms!