Monday, November 23, 2009

NCTE - Part 2

Ok, I forgot to tell you 2 more very special parts about the session I attended on book choice Friday. First, Donalyn Miller, of The Book Whisperer fame, was there, twittering about how excited she was to hear this particular group of women present. There is actually a group photo that I am in with Donalyn after the presentation. I will forward it as soon as my friend, Lisa, who managed to be the only one with a camera ready, sends it my way. Second, my friends (some new and some old) from Choice Literacy joined the session as well. Like I said in my first post, LOTS of smart people in one room -- it was incredibly invigorating!

Moving on to Saturday -- I was thinking about technology and literacy together all morning.

I started by listening to a panel of which Kevin Hodgson was a part. They talked about assigning and assessing multimedia writing. Kevin shared how he, working in tandem with his students' art teacher, science teacher, and librarian, helped his students make digital picture books on a scientific concept (cell mitosis) complete with animation and video. He used the Magic School Bus series as his mentor text. Another presenter, Dawn Reed (a high school teacher from Michigan) had her speech students compose very moving essays / podcasts titled "I believe...". I found myself making all sorts of connections to possibilities in my own classroom.

Then, I went to hear Bud Hunt and Troy Hicks (author of the Digital Writing Workshop) speak about Newer Literacies and Technologies. These two men are brilliant! I can't wait to read Troy's book! These men were twittering and answering questions in real time with the audience. Their mental agility was phenomenal! And they had pretty wicked senses of humor, as well. The thing they said that stuck with me is that the technology needs to be part of a writing workshop process where students have choice and time to write. See what I mean about them being brilliant?!!

Stopped by the exhibit hall after all this technological information, and picked up even more books. I was especially excited to get Patrick Karman's latest series, Skeleton Creek, and have him autograph them. I also got to meet Lisa Yee.

After that, I got to hear Kelly Gallagher and Jeff Anderson speak about Rethinking Literacy Instruction. Kelly Gallagher is the author of Readicide, Jeff Anderson is the author of both Mechanically Inclined and Everyday Editing. Many great points were made. Even though their target audience was probably more middle and high school, I was able to take away many good ideas.

I ended my day listening to an authors' panel about blogging. My blog and author friend, Barbara O'Connor, was part of the panel, so I really wanted to hear what these authors had to say. It was interesting to listen to them talk about how much the time they spend blogging means to them. Fascinating insights into each one of them, but especially good to see Barbara again.

Out to dinner for Italian food with Dublin friends Saturday evening. I found myself in disbelief that the weekend was drawing to an end.

If you've ever been to the NCTE convention, you know what I mean when I talk about the rush I felt being surrounded by not only smart people, but people who share similar beliefs as me when it comes to literacy, and more recently, 21st century literacy. I left the convention feeling so energized!!! It was an amazing weekend.


  1. Thanks, Karen, for your kind words about our session (and our sense of humor).

    I look forward to continuing the conversation with you!


  2. You did a great job with your presentation!

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  4. I sent the pictures to you yesterday, Karen. Did you get them? Sorry for the delay. Great post!