Sunday, July 14, 2013

nErDCampBC 2013

I had to get up before five o'clock to drive, but it was a beautiful morning and I loved walking up to the high school in Battle Creek and catching sight of the nErDCamp sign in the window. I was so excited to be part of this unique professional development opportunity put on by the Nerdybookclub.

Our Awesome Leaders!
If you have never been to an EdCamp, watch this video explanation. 

If you have an opportunity to attend one, please give it a try. By the way, for people in or near Wisconsin, there are several coming up soon. 

July 27, EdCamp Janesville/Milton in Milton
August 7, EdCamp Oshkosh

I arrived early and was actually feeling a bit of my childhood shyness sitting at a table alone. It didn't take long though to start connecting with new people and also those I had met on Twitter over the past few years. I was so happy to meet Jen Vincent who has inspired me to do Teachers Write and is such an encourager.

After grabbing some food and settling in, Colby got us started. 

It was cool to meet this amazing teacher who has gotten so many students excited about reading. My students will be jealous when they find out I have now met the man who walks on desks when he talks about his love for reading. I also got to talk to author Laurel Snyder for a few moments. Squee!

It didn't take long for our morning session topics to start flowing. The session chart was filled in quickly. The nifty thing about the chart was that it also had a google doc linked to each session and notes were taken so if anyone wasn't able to attend a session, they can still access the notes. I was happy since there were times when I really wanted to be in two places.

I was able to share with other library media people in the first session and then learn with Donalyn Miller and Suzanne Gibbs as they shared about Reading Writing and Technology. Donalyn said, "Whoever is doing the most work is doing the most learning." She explained that she has students create newsletters or messages for parents for that reason. Suzanne & Donalyn provided many great examples of ways to encourage reading and writing through the use of technology.

After lunch, I had an excellent time learning about Graphic Novels in the classroom. We were lucky enough to have Jerzy Drozd, Laurie Keller, and Katherine Sokolowski leading the session. I wouldn't have believed it, but I even made my own little comic while we were there. The session tied in really well with this month's topic for Book Boot Camp and is very helpful since our fifth grade teachers have just added a graphic novel unit this year. I had purchased Adventures in Graphica and brought it home this summer, but hadn't read it yet. Now with their encouragement, I have started reading. I learned a lot, and I got to meet Laurie Keller afterwards too. The day just kept getting better and better.

My final session was about book clubs with Holly Mueller. I am excited to make some changes and maybe some additions to my book clubs/groups this year. Travis pretty much convinced me to do a Mock Caldecott with my second graders. I know they will love it and learn a lot about reading critically through the process.

The day was full of laughter and learning. We also had some swag! I came home with posters, bookmarks, misc. lit items and best of all...books! If you hadn't noticed, this EdCamp had a literacy focus.

We were tired when we left, but it was a happy and satisfied tired. There was so much information to process, but it came with excitement and enthusiasm. There is already talk of doing it again next year. Sign me up!

The end of the day


  1. It was great meeting you Crystal! :) I'm glad you had a great time at Nerd Camp!

    1. Thanks for helping to make it happen! So glad to have met the actual person behind the tweets we've exchanged. :)

  2. I am loving reading everyone's blog posts about nerdcamp! And yes you should definitely do a Mock Caldecott. I did one for the first time last year with second graders after being inspired by Travis Jonkers on twitter. In fact, I got my entire team of second grade to participate. We even watched the awards live.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement about the Mock Caldecott. Travis definitely is convincing. :)