The first day of Nerdcamp Michigan was amazing. What is Nerdcamp? Nerdcamp is a literacy focused Edcamp.
Excitement was buzzing as early birds waited for Nerdcamp to start. I enjoyed helping pass out the swag bags as over 300 nerdcampers arrived today. Nerdcamp has some amazing sponsors as the bags had a fantastic assortment of books in them. The first read I devoured? Comics Squad: Recess!
One thing I love about edcamps in general is the enthusiastic atmosphere. Educators are excited about learning and sharing. Nerdcamp was just as excited as the edcamps I’ve attended in Wisconsin, but I love the literacy excitement angle.
Today was a special half-day where 15 great presenters shared on topics ranging from Purposeful Tech in a Reading Workshop to Close Reading to Poetry Throughout the Year. I attended Katherine Sokolowski’s (@katsok) session on Building Relationships at the Start of a School Year. With 13 new sections of fifth graders at my school next year, I’m grateful for any and all suggestions on building rapport. I enjoyed seeing all the different ways katsok had her students reflect, from using notecards to Google Drive. I also appreciated how she worked to start building relationships with her students before school even started. One thought provoking question was what are you doing o get to know your students that don’t demand your attention.
Next came the keynote presentation. Colby Sharp introduced Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. This engaging session looked at how we can build readers who can independently self-select books rather than readers who are dependent on adults for reading ideas. She shared great ways to build a reading community at school through student-led book commercials, doors displaying titles in teachers’ reading lives, student-created book displays and more. We were encouraged to think of who the reading epicenters of our lives are.
Tomorrow Nerdcamp Michigan continues with an Edcamp styled day. I can’t wait to see what sessions people come up with. Nerdcampers can propose what topics they’d like to learn about during the four hour-long break out sessions tomorrow. I would love to see a session on libraries, Nanowrimo or writing games to encourage student brainstorming (the last idea may be influenced by the Story Cubes in my computer bag).
A last fantastic thing about Nerdcamp is how many people from my PLN (professional learning network) are here. It is great to be in the same real space as the educators I admire. As a rather shy introvert, I may not say much to you face to face, but I greatly appreciate all that you do.