I am still processing all that just happened in Baltimore but Melanie Meehan’s TWT post HERE inspires me to share three things here today. Then after turkey-eating day, I’ll have time and brainpower to add more.

My Top Three NCTE Moments:
1. I got to present twice!!!
Making Invisible Thinking Visible – Reading Workshop: As my two colleagues and I walked to our room 30 minutes before our 2:30pm start time on Thusday, we saw people gathered around our room. I saw one lady motion and point and say, “This is the notebook one” and we suddenly realized they were gathered for us! We were presenting about our work to help students place their invisible thinking as they read into a reading notebook page, making it visible and helpful when readers talk about a book. We shared our WHY and our process and then we invited the participants to give it a try. Amazing author, Lulu Delacre, read aloud her short story, Burrito Man, from her collection of short stories, Us in Progress. What a treat to have the author read aloud her story! What a treat to have a packed room choose to come learn from us! Here’s the padlet linkwe shared. On it is the link to our powerpoint presentation,  as well as resources we use with our students.

Take Charge of Your PD through Teacher Research – For the past 15 years, I have spent each school year choosing a topic I want to study and do so as a Teacher Researcher. Two of my colleagues and I spent Friday morning sharing our process and we invited the participants to give it a try. They reflected, wrote a question related to a topic they want to learn more about and then they actd as critical friends. All got up and walked around the room and added a suggest to the posted questions. We were honored to have Ellin Keene be our Respondent. She had us pause midway to mention “I am hearing in this presentation a theme of conflict. A teacher researcher embraces the conflict. It is at the heart of the research and the catalyst.” At the end, she reemphasized the importance of teacher researchers being open and allowing their question to evolve because it will change through the process. If you want to know more about teacher research, check out my blog  and here is the link to our presentation. FYI – I call my TR group, ROTA TR CLUB, because “rota” is Latin for wheel and it also stands for Reflect Often, Then Act. 

2. Sara Ahmed’s Moderated Discussion with Five Authors – I used Sara Ahmed’s book ideas as I started off my school year. So when I saw she was moderating a discuss, I went. Plus the title sounded interesting; From Curiousity to Civic Engagement: Using Literature to Create Social Comprehension and Changemakers. What a gift to learn about five YA books that I can easily add to my Social Issues Book Club Unit. I especially liked the questions Sara posed for the authors, questions I will use with my students.
Authors – Book:
Cynthia Levinson – Fault Lines in the Constitution
Katherine Marsh – Nowhere Boy
Laura Resau – Tree of Dreams
Tamara Ellis Smith – Another Kind of Hurricane
Andrea Wang – Magic Ramen

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3. Crictical Reading, Thinking and Teaching in a Digital Age: Using Inquiry to Make the World a Better Place – I went to this because Maggie Bettie Roberts taught me years ago at TCRWP, Katherine Hsu has taught me in my district and is a briliant presenter, and the other 2 presenters, Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke, I knew of as great tech teachers. This was a win, win, win, win, win presentation. My biggest take away was about learning a new way to structure my padlets (I already love using padlets!!). It was modeled to move from column to column to read and react. Here’s a link showing how to do an inquiry around my favorite city, Venice – LINK.

More to add….but must go teach today and enjoy Thanksgiving. It goes without saying, I am thankful for smart educators and organizations like NCTE and TwoWritingTeachers who provide gathering spaces.