Tag Archives: nErDcamp

nErDing Out!

Following up on last week’s post …I made it to nErDcamp Michigan! It was everything I’d hoped for-and more. There were basically 3 parts to the conference.

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Day 1 were the featured speakers and presenters. We started with an incredible panel called “Feminism for All” that really resonated with me. I created a sketchnote to capture some of my big takeaways.img_7861

 

I was especially intrigued by the concept of Intersectionality; the idea that that people are often disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression and that when we focus on one at a time (gender, race, sexual orientation) we are fighting small battles separately rather than trying to lift all and elevate all voices.

 

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We then heard 3 great nErDtalks by authors Minh Lê,  Cece Bell, and Laurie Halse Anderson. They were inspiring advocates for the power of kidlit and for teachers to make a difference in the lives of their students.  Minh spoke so beautifully about our need to counteract dehumanization through story and books. Cece shared how she looked for books with characters like her, and how important it is for our students to be able to find themselves in books. Laurie gave a brutally honest talk about the critical need for information on healthy sexuality and TALK BEFORE TOUCH. If you haven’t read her book SHOUT, I beg you to check it out. Such an important text.

Then The Book Whisperer, Donalyn Miller fired up the crowd with the charge to “Make good trouble when you leave here”. Her message is that teachers need to be more engaged to advocate for the lives of our students. I love her quote, “Every exchange of book to kid contains hope.”

We then broke out into sessions from featured presenters. I was lucky enough to be one of those presenters and shared my passion for writing and my desire to expand our definition of writing so that all learners have a place at the table. You can see my full presentation on THINKING THROUGH OUR FINGERS here.

The day finished with author signings and lots of free books. I was in kidlit heaven. Getting a chance to meet and talk with authors about their work was inspiring. Here are some of the authors I met at nErDcamp, there were so many others I didn’t photograph!   AUTHOR PHOTO ALBUM

Day 2 We built our idea board. People lined up to propose session ideas and thenErDcamp team created a Google Doc menu of each session. There were so many to choose from, but the great thing is if you can’t be in two places at once  you can read the notes attached to the Google Doc for all sessions!

I offered a session on sketchnotes that  filled a classroom with eager teachers. It was so gratifying to have several share their first attempts at sketchnoting later in the day and post to Twitter with the hashtag #nErDysketchnoter!

Day 2 ended with nErDcampJr. THIS WAS INCREDIBLE. 1500 kids in grades 1-12 signed img_8027up for mini-workshops with kidlit authors. Each child got to work with 3 different authors, have a pizza dinner, and watch a ‘Draw Off’ with kidlit illustrators. I was a group volunteer who took “Team Ibis” to meet and work with Matt Tavares, Jon Sciezka, and Jennifer Torres. All of this was FREE for these students. Thanks to the work of the nErDcamp team organizing an army of volunteers and truckload of donations!

This was definitely two days I’ll never forget. If you get a chance to attend a nErDcamp, don’t pass it up. There will be one in Maine Sept. 28th. Look for registration to nErDcampNNE soon!

One More Off My TBR Stack

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THE PARIS PROJECT by Donna Gephart

I was so fortunate to get an ARC of this book at nErDcamp. Donna Gephart is such an ally to kids whose stories need to be told, who need to see themselves in the stories they read, and a gift to the kidlit world. In this novel we meet Cleveland Rosebud Potts whose greatest desire is to attend the American School of Paris and live a life of culture. She’s created a checklist of six tasks that she thinks will help her attain her goal, but nothing seems to be going right. Her sister is trying to get into college far away in Vermont, her mom is working extra jobs, her best friend from elementary school has turned on her, and her closest friend Declan has a crush on someone Cleveland is angry with…but worst of all her Dad has done something that has made life almost unbearable for the Potts family. Donna Gephart has a way of breaking your heart and putting it back together so compassionately by touching on so many challenging issues our children are dealing with. Set to be released October 8, 2019-If you are curating a collection of ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) stories you just might want to pre-order this one!

 

 

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nErDcampNNE

IMG_5117This past weekend I attended the most amazing professional development!  Created BY teachers, FOR teachers, WITH teachers this “Unconference” in Biddeford, Maine was tailor made for everyone! Dubbed nErDcamp Northern New England (nErDcampNNE) was inspired by nErDcamp Battle Creek which was created by Colby Sharp

So what was nErDcamp?  From their blog  I found, “nErDcamp is an “unconference” modeled after edcamp but the focus is on literacy. An “unconference” means that participants decide which topics will be explored. During the first half hour we will fill a session board with different topics generated from participants. Participants decide which sessions they wish to attend. You are encouraged to move to another session if you are attending one that isn’t working for you. Some sessions may be led by participants who want to share a strategy, tool or idea that has worked for them (ex: Using Evernote in the classroom). Other sessions may be more like round table discussions in which participants discuss and share ideas on a topic (ex: How to engage reluctant readers).”

I HAD to try this!

The evening before the conference the organizers held a Nerdy Evening with the Authors and Illustrators at a local library.  Children’s book and YA authors from Maine and beyond came to greet children, families, teachers and fans.  Talk about an opportunity to network!  Some authors discussed skyping with our classrooms and connecting via Twitter as ways to reach their young audiences.  They all took time to talk and sign books.

I had the good fortune to meet:

Ed Briant, Kate Egan, Cynthia Lord, Lynn Plourde, Megan Frazer Blakemore, Cathryn Falwell, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, J.E. Thompson, Gail Donovan, Kevin Hawkes, Sashi Kaufman and Lisa Jahn-Clough all in one place!

IMG_5115Having a blast with Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Lynn Plourde and Cynthia Lord.

The next day, I joined educators from around the state (and beyond) to create our own conference.  Susan Dee (incredible Biddeford educator) facilitated the auditorium audience as we chose topics and created a Google Doc for sessions.  People volunteered to facilitate sessions and others to take notes to capture the essence and resources in the discussions.   We all headed off to our assigned rooms and immersed ourselves in rich discussions, abundant resources and tons of tips!  I found myself checking out notes being created in other sessions I wanted to attend, wishing I could clone myself to be in more than one at a time!

IMG_5128Susan Dee, kicking off the event and facilitating the session development

We learned how to motivate ‘striving’ readers and writers, incorporate technology more easily into our classrooms, build our booklist of ‘must haves’, connect with authors, organize better book clubs…and more!

IMG_5145Authors Julie Falatko, Megan Frazer Blakemore and Lynn Plourde facilitated a session on ‘Making Writing Visible’

We took charge of our own learning!  Creating our own professional development with a “tribe” of open minded and supportive educators was so empowering!  We made connections with others that will go far beyond the one day event and it was FREE!!!!

IMG_5164Teachers browsing the incredible amount of freebies the committee organized for attendees.

So if your district, region or state is interested in creating their own edcamp they could post questions or comments on twitter #nErDcampNNE, follow their nErDcampNNE Blog, check out Colby Sharp’s nErDcamp in Michigan or follow Susan and the other nErDcamp team on twitter.

IMG_5168The amazing nErDcampNNE committee:  (front) Cathy Potter, Susan Dee, Mary Lou Shuster, (back)Jennifer Felt, Kate Sullivan, Chris Pirkl, Gigi McAllister, Justin Stygles

What’s on my Book Radar?

9780325050843Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts have put together a superb book that provides us lessons beyond literacy learning in the classroom that will give readers a greater appreciation for the literate the world around us.  Close reading is a real buzz word these days, I would recommend this book for teachers trying to encourage deeper thinking within the “4 corners of the page” and beyond. I think you’ll definitely fall in love with it!

I’ve also got to dive into all the books I had signed at the Nerdy Evening With the Authors!IMG_5252

Autographed books by Kevin Hawkes, Cynthia Lord, Lynn Plourde, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Gail Donovan and Lisa Jahn-Clough

Happy Reading, all you nerds!