NCTE 2011: Chicago

I have so much to share from my short, but super busy time in Chicago for the 2011 NCTE National Convention. Lots of buzz about Common Core [which I’m currently writing curriculum for as my school is going full CCGPS next semester] and “tools” [which if you’ve followed along with my thoughts, you’ll find I love tools but have a problem when it comes to focusing on tools (if that makes sense)].

Be on the look out for my reflections on the Convention AND for some thoughts on the semester this year. I know I haven’t posted as much as I should be [I need to work on getting my handwritten notes turned to posts on here], but my goal is to write much, much more! Also, I want to share with you some notes of thanks that my students gave to me before the Thanksgiving break. These notes were a reminder that the little things truly do matter the most.

Hope you all are refreshed after your breaks and ready to head into the homestretch of the semester!  Only 10 full days of school left for me! [read: where in the WORLD did this semester go?]

Hello, Chicago!

Image

Hello, Chicago!

Very excited to be in Chicago for the NCTE 2011 National Convention!

This year, I’m presenting on how digital literacy narratives bring a classroom together [and how Third Space Theory is intertwined in our students’ reading/writing practices].

Will definitely be sharing things that I learn with you all once I have time to reflect and write:]

You call THAT reading?

I keep thinking about two specific comments from my AP Lit workshop that I am struggling with in regards to adolescent reading and writing practices today. When I first started researching new literacies and the ways in which students (and really all of us) are becoming increasingly multiliterate, I truly believed that “Literacy as we know it is not in a crisis, but instead evolving as we know it.” This belief still holds true today as I think the majority of kids are reading and writing, a lot, just not in ways that the traditional classroom has always valued.

With my belief in place, I think many of you will see why the two comments below got my attention… Continue reading

Thoughts on AP Lit Workshop

During the AP Lit workshop I attended a bit ago, I truly learned about a lot of different techniques and resources that will be VERY helpful for me not only with my new prep (AP Lit, of course!), but also with my other classes as well. I have to admit that I have been a bit nervous about the transition from AP Lang to AP Lit…however, I was reminded that though there are differences between the two classes, reading is reading and writing is writing. And it’s true. Helping kids become more critical thinkers, readers, and writers is key in all of my classes no matter what the title of it is.

One thing I really liked a lot Continue reading

Philly!

I recently headed to Philadelphia for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference. Through my experiences with ISTE, I’ve already been lucky enough to meet a ton of other educators from all over at the conference (and virtually) who are using technology in really neat ways!

A goal of mine is to help other young educators connect with the ISTE Young Educator Network. Too often my colleagues say, “Oh, that’s not me! I’m not tech savvy like you!” However, the reality is that this network isn’t about how “tech savvy” you are, but instead it’s a place to share ideas and gain confidence in utilizing technology in the classroom to enhance what you are already doing in it. One of the ideas I brought up at the conference was to host a Twitter “chat” (like #engchat) to help extend the conversation of the YEN. We’ll see how it develops … maybe even joining the conversation of the #ntchat sometimes, too! (By the way, if you aren’t branching into all of the edu chats going on, you should do so. It’s a great way to not only network, but have instant PD!)

Below, you can watch me and all of the other award winners during the opening Awards Ceremony. It was a huge honor to be named one of the Emerging Leaders for 2011! Enjoy!

NCTE Day 4: Final Thoughts

I left for the NCTE National Convention looking forward to coming back refreshed, loaded with new ideas, and reaffirmed that many of my beliefs on teaching English today were shared by educators from all over.

I came back home with all three of these things accomplished.

The Convention has become a place where I have grown as an educator and had the opportunity to meet so many influential people to work with, learn from, and talk about everything related to teaching English with. And, needless to say, I’m looking forward to next year’s gathering, too!

Thanks, everyone! See you in Chicago!

NCTE Day 3: Teachers are learners, too!

And isn’t this the truth!

The day started off with one of the NCTE author strands with some of the big names in our field (Sara Kajder, Deborah Appleman, and Bob Fecho to name a few). I really suggest checking out this series as I’ve already checked out Kajder and Appleman’s books and know the rest will be great, too, if these are any indication. Another point that hit me when I listened to these authors talk is that researching and teaching DO go hand in hand (read my previous struggle/thoughts here). And I absolutely believe that they SHOULD.

The next talk I attended was another great one that dealt with Google. (However, I’d have to say that many people were still talking about the “tools” and not the “whys” and “implementation.” See previous note here about my thoughts on moving this mindset.) The presenters all praised the Google Teacher Academy as they participated in the program (note: I only wish it weren’t half way across the globe this year or I would absolutely LOVE to submit an application! just have no idea how I would EVER find the funds for that trip).

One of the biggest things I liked with this presentation was the idea of using Google Docs to have kids collaborate, publish, and share as link to others (note: I’m thinking it would sort of look like this example shared by Jim Burke here — which will lead me to another blog post in a bit on the idea of multimedia essays). In addition, I liked the idea of sharing lesson plans within a department using docs (and ties into my thoughts here on collaboration).