Thursday, July 10, 2014

An Intellectual Hangover

So what happens when you take nerdy, passionate teachers from around the country, stick them in one place, and let them talk for two days?

You have nErDcampMI.

Nerds being nerds.

You also might be left with an intellectual hangover by the end.  More on that later.

When I joined Twitter over a year ago, my intention was to tweet classroom events and thinking to students' parents.  I never imagined in a million years that Twitter would lead me to meet people and make actual real-life FRIENDS with other teachers who love reading and writing as much as I do.

It's such an odd phenomenon to become "friends" with someone on the internet and then meet them in real life and realize OMG THIS PERSON IS JUST LIKE ME!  WE ARE BEST FRIENDS!

I cannot even begin to blog about everything I learned in Parma, Michigan those two days.  But I will try to list a few:

1. "Building a classroom library is an act of curation." - Donalyn Miller (Yes!)

2. If you want to teach writing, you need to be a writer yourself. - Jen Vincent (@mentortexts)

3. Google docs can be easily utilized in Reader's Workshop to survey student interests and form small groups. - Franki Sibberson and Gretchen Taylor

4. Comprehension work in 3rd grade could begin with wordless picture books to allow all students access to text. - Franki Sibberson

5. "Lexiles were meant to be tools for librarians.  Not badges for children." - Donalyn Miller (Yessss!)

6. It's never easy to facilitate learning in front of a large audience, but it's easier when you have a trusty sidekick like Lesley Burnap on your side.

My sidekick, @auntierez.

7. The nerdybookclub crew is just as kind and awesome in real life as they are on the internet.

8. The NerdRun/Walk is fun, even if you are 14 minutes late and dying of heatstroke. 

Heatstroke at the 5K with @RobeyLMC.

9. If you come to nErDcampMI, YOU WILL MEET AUTHORS!  Real-life authors!

L to R: Jess Keating, (author of HOW TO OUTRUN A CROCODILE WHEN YOUR SHOES ARE UNTIED), me, Colby Sharp

Liesl Shurtliff, author of RUMP.  I stalked her in the lunch line.

10. You will learn so much and meet so many wonderful people, that you may feel like you have an intellectual hangover when you leave.  Wonderful and exhausted.

And finally...
11. Watch out for participants from Massachusetts like these two.  They look innocent, and are very smart, but they will get under your skin and make you miss them when they are gone!  

Massachusetts friends @auntierez and @jasontes5th

Thank you so much to everyone who made nErDcampMI possible this year.  I know it was so much work, and the freebies are absolutely amazing.

Free swag

So join us next year!  July 6-7 in Parma, Michigan.  Nerdies unite!


  1. Thanks for coming! I'm still in love with your shoes! :)

    1. Hee hee! Thanks, Katherine! I wouldn't have missed it. And if you ever run into fun, colored, cute shoes (especally red), let me know! :)

  2. Ann is an AMAZING teacher, and as an added bonus....I get to call her FRIEND,

  3. It was an amazing time! I love the intellectual hangover! Best hangover I've had ;) Did you guys eat at Olive Garden?? If you did, I think we were on the other side of that partition!!

    1. We did eat at Olive Garden! The people I went with were a little crrrrazy, though. It's a good thing I was there to keep them under control. ;)