#EdcampLI’s Rigor, Wonder, and Book Love

Saturday was amazing.  I attended #EdcampLI held at the Willet’s Road School in Roslyn Heights, Long Island and left energized and excited to go back to school on Monday. Some common threads addressed by the workshop leaders and attendees included: engagement, relevancy, growth mindset, and connections.

If you do not know much about EdCamps, they are anti-conferences or a choose your own professional development opportunity tied into one. Teachers and administrators show up to an Edcamp and can either lead a session or attend sessions presented by a host of educational experts. By educational experts I mean current teachers, administrators, authors, educational consultants and more. Edcamps are no to low cost and allow attendees to attend the workshops and discussions that are most meaningful to them. These unconferences are a great way to meet like-minded colleagues who are looking to improve and learn from one another.

Throughout the day I participated in four workshops, talked with a ton of people, tweeted nonstop, and made lots of connections. The two workshops left a lasting impression on me were Carol Varsalona and Blanca E. Duarte‘s interactive presentation Discovering Wonder: Increasing Student Engagement with Curiosity and Awe and JoEllen McCarthy‘s Book Love: New Titles, Tools and Tweeting to Energize All Readers & Writers!

Here are some sticking points:

Invite vigor and engagement into your classroom with wonder and passion.

To create WONDER in your classroom:

Redesign the literacy landscape — think outside of the box and create a classroom that promotes inquiry and excitement right when they walk in the door. It is not just about what you are doing in your classroom but also how your classroom is set up and looks. You want your classroom to be inviting and pleasing to one’s eyes.

Never stop learning. Use websites like Wonderopolis, Google Cultural Institute, Google Wonder Projects, Google Art Projects, and How Stuff Works with your students.

Check out and download Scholastic’s Open a World of Possible ebook that is filled with amazing essays written by authors, educators, and celebrities about their love of reading the role that books play in their lives.

Pair and Layer Texts

If you do not already follow The Nerdy Book Club on Twitter and the blog, then you should!

Here is one last secret that I will to share. I am currently in the process of organizing EdcampMville at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY for K-12 educators and also those in Higher Education this upcoming Spring 2015. The idea is to bridge educators of all grade levels and content areas together for a day of conversation, collaboration, and connecting. I will be sharing a lot more about this endeavor over the next few months. If you are interested in participating, please contact me.

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