Tag Archives: nErdcampMI

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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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.

 

Virtual Summer Camp 2015

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!

1538725First up is nErDcampMI.  I am determined to roadtrip my way across the coun1621704_667566729951571_1638043617_ntry 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!

You can see a complete listing of EDcamps at: EDcamp Calendar 2015

summit-logo_0Next up were the Scholastic Reading Summits scattered across the country from Boston, to Austin, to Birmingham and more. Featured speakers included:

Again, I could follow along on twitter with the hashtag #readingsummit or check out these RESOURCES on the website.

 

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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!

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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!

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