Ruby Slipper Reflections – Pro Driven – August, 2018

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Guest Blog Posting by Julie Gordon Buccitti

Like many educators, I’ve been spending time this summer on my own professional development through reading, participating in book studies, and preparing a PD presentation for when we return to school.

One of the book studies I participated in was through #BookCampPD on Twitter, where the book, “Professionally Driven” by Jarod Bormann was featured.  This book reframed how I look at professional development, and even evaluations (both my own and those I conduct with students).  In the book, Jarod Bormann describes the four steps to his ProDriven PD model, which include:  Research, Integrate, Reflect, and Share.   This model has made me reflect on several of my personal PD endeavors.

A few years ago, I noticed a significant increase in our Spanish-speaking population within our district.  Approximately 25% of our families speak Spanish in their homes.  Each year, we receive new students who have not yet been exposed to the English language.  This touched my heart as I saw kindergarten students beginning their first ever school experiences, surrounded by people who they weren’t yet able to communicate with.  I thought back to my own experience in kindergarten.  It was scary at first, even without a language barrier.  I tried to imagine how I might have felt, had I entered my first classroom surrounded by people speaking a language that was new to me.

I began using my limited high school Spanish skills, but it was still so hard for me to communicate effectively.  Inspired by our wonderful ELL aide, affectionately known as “Miss Claudia,” I decided to start taking Spanish classes.  This was two years ago.  Miss Claudia encouraged me to put my learning to use, assuring me that it was ok to make mistakes.  Spanish is Miss Claudia’s first language.  She told me that it is good for our students to see their teachers trying to use their language.  It shows them that we care to learn their language, that it’s ok to make mistakes, and that that we’re all lifelong learners.

I consider my Spanish classes part of a long term personal professional development journey.  It is an essential skill that I need in order to be better at what I do and to be able to make connections with more students and families.

Finding the right class and teacher for me, along with my coursework, has been an ongoing research phase of my PD journey.

This year, with the support of our wonderful kindergarten team, I was able to begin to integrate my new skills in the classroom setting.  It was later in the school year, and we had a brand new student come to our school.  She was not speaking English (yet!).  As the school psychologist, I come to our K-1 classrooms weekly during centers for SEL instruction.  I asked one of our amazing kindergarten teachers if she would be willing to change her center groups, so all of her bilingual students were grouped together.  This way, I could conduct the SEL lesson in Spanish with this group, and do the same lesson in English with the other groups.  The teacher excitedly replied, “Yes! Let’s do it this coming week!”

The connections and reciprocal learning that took place during that lesson were beyond what I ever could have imagined.  Our new student hugged me after the lesson, and again when I returned to the classroom the following week.  The other children asked me if I could do their lesson in Spanish again.  They loved helping me when I stumbled or forgot a word, I loved learning new words from them, they loved when I told them they were being teachers too.  They beamed when I thanked them for their help, and told them that I hoped I could someday speak two languages as well as they do. They told me they liked speaking Spanish with me.

Shortly after my first Spanish lesson, another kindergarten teacher invited me to do the same with her students too!  Then I used Spanish in my lessons with the first grade students.  I made new types of connections with all of the students, and the children who did not speak Spanish started asking their peers and myself how to say things in Spanish.  As more lessons followed, our new student started using more English during our time together.  It truly was a win all around.

Upon further reflection, this has been such an important lesson and learning experience for me.  I now have better understanding of what a student might be feeling as they acquire a new language.  I think differently when I’m in a meeting with a parent who speaks English as a second or even third language.  I can understand how difficult it can be to learn a new language as an adult, and how long it takes.  I am more thoughtful about the words I’m using in meetings, as I try to explain things in a clear and user-friendly way.

I’ve discovered that with long term types of PD projects the four steps may not always proceed in an orderly way.  Rather, they may revert back and forth and may even overlap slightly at times.  I am by no means finished with this journey.  I want and need to continue to build my skills.  I need to go back and do more research, and integrate what I learn to fulfill needs that arise.  I will take more time to reflect and determine additional needs and areas of further research.  I will take time to share progress at various stages in this journey, and then do more reflecting, researching, and integration.

I am so thankful that I have such a supportive staff to allow me to take the risk of putting my new language skills to use in their classrooms.  I treasure my time with our amazing students and am so grateful that they have enjoyed learning and helping their new friend learn English while helping me learn more Spanish.  I am also extremely fortunate to have an amazing PLN to share this new learning with.  Thank you for taking time to read about this professional development journey that is so dear to my heart.

I hope you find joy in your professional learning journeys!

Julie 👠

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Book Resources – Social Comprehension

From the time I was a young child, in the early 1960’s, I always wanted to be in education. Instead of playing with dolls, I tried to check out books from my parents’ extensive library to my brothers. To my dismay, they weren’t interested. My best friend and I would write long class lists with all of our students’ names. I would beg the teachers to let me have to mimeograph worksheets (I can still remember that distinctive smell), to pass out to my make-believe students. Interesting to note, that I thought class lists and worksheets were the key elements in being a teacher!

In high school, we were to write a research paper and I didn’t have a clue what topic I could spend hours learning more about. The teacher suggested that it should be something I was passionate about. Ohhhhhh – education! I was very interested in making a difference by teaching Native American children so that was the topic. My grandfather began that passion by taking me to Sioux Falls, South Dakota when I was about five or six to the reservation near there. Writing that research paper started my teaching journey that would take several twists and turns along the way.

In high school, 1972, I began by volunteering in an elementary school for a couple of hours every afternoon and continued the following year by spending half a day, in a high school organized, early childhood setting. In 1975 and 1976 I was completing my college student teaching work in elementary schools in special education and a fifth grade classroom. In 1977 I began teaching in an intermediate school, a 4th – 6th grade resource room in a university town. It wasn’t until 1997, twenty years later, when I was being interviewed for an elementary principal position, that my passion for working with Native American students came to fruition. The Superintendent mentioned the reservation that was within the District’s boundaries and my long-ago dream was awakened!

I loved the nine years, in northwestern Wisconsin, I spent working with a community of educators who were the closest, tight-knit, caring individuals that I had the pleasure of working with. I was fortunate to learn from them so much about the culture and beliefs of their tribe. Many hours I spent listening to the stories and knowledge the Chief and members of the tribe shared with me, so I could try to learn more about Native American students.

Fast forward another twenty years and although I am not walking the hallways and classrooms of a school each day, I am trying to provide learning opportunities for current educators using Twitter and Facebook. I have the wonderful opportunity to stay connected, through social media, with the current Native American coordinator, Cherokee Rivers, from the school in northwestern Wisconsin. When our paths crossed during the past summer, I encouraged her to continue to share her tremendous knowledge about the Native American culture using Facebook.

Earlier today on Facebook, she shared amazing resources about books for children.      americanindiansinchildrensliterature

I responded with the following posting on Facebook to her:

On Twitter, I have shared the story of my good intentions, 20 years ago, to purchase leveled reading material for the students that focused on the Native American culture. I was so excited to show Anabelle the books when she returned to school in the fall. Man, oh man, did I ever make a mistake. I share the story with others so that they too can learn from the error I made. She enlightened me and shared lists of books from Native American authors. I am thrilled to read that you will provide the same resources for those who ask. It’s a perfect example of not knowing what I didn’t know.

She responded:  Meredith, your humility speaks volumes to your intent and treasured drive to support Native American students (by going directly to Anabelle) and in your continued quest to remain educated and to advocate for accurate representations and the use of authentic resources.
Miigwech Niijii

I had a “light bulb” moment when I connected the resources she was sharing with the amazing book, Being the Change by Sara K. Ahmend that #BookCampPD is currently highlighting. I quickly shared her resources with others on Facebook and Twitter. My Facebook posting:


#BookCampPD has a two-week focus w/ Questions of the Day about the book “Being the Change – Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension” by Sara K. Ahmed. I highly recommend it! This Facebook post below speaks volumes to the lessons in the chapter, “Being Better Informed” and several others within the book.

Do you have Native American students in your school? Perhaps you’re not as fortunate as some schools to also have a Native American Coordinator to help guide your actions and decisions or increase your awareness? Fortunately, my connection with Cherokee Rivers and her willingness to communicate with you, could make a huge difference in the life of a child. Thank you for considering this.      americanindiansinchildrensliterature

I realized I wanted to share more of my connection with social comprehension and Native Americans but felt the 140 characters on Twitter certainly wouldn’t be enough. Ah, but a blog posting would do the trick! Sara K. Ahmed’s book and Cherokee Rivers’ Facebook posting are resources that can impact the lives of children. Please take a moment to investigate them further.

Thank you for your passion to educate our youth!


Guest Blog Post by BreAnn Fennell

BreAnn Fennell is an elementary school teacher from Ohio. She has published two children’s books “Play? Yay!” and “Choose Your Cheer.” She is a defender of play and advocate for children!


Twitter has been a fantastic avenue for me to connect with other educators. Being a teacher, wife, and a mom of two very spirited boys I don’t have a lot of time to sit down. When I saw “From Striving to Thriving” was going to be the focus of my Saturday Morning Chat #bookcamppd I knew I had to pick it up (or put in my cart on Amazon Prime). I loved “From Striving to Thriving” because it was precise, it gave lots of great ideas that you could use right away in the classroom, and it was full of color and celebrated other educators!

The part of the book I most connected to was Chapter 5: Book-Match Relentlessly. This was the part that made me say, “ WOW, I am doing something right and I can’t wait to do it better! “

When I was in sixth grade, I had a fantastic teacher. She had a lovely personality, her room smelled like home, and she had a giant blue elephant on the counter. What I remember most about this teacher is when I came to her as a sixth grader and told her I wanted to read “Little Women” for my book project, she didn’t tell me no, she didn’t tell me that book was going to be too hard for me or I would never be able to read it in a months time. She didn’t even give me the mini -made for kids version. She knew me as a reader and that the book would be a great match for me. “Little Women” is still a favorite of mine, I feel like this quote sums us up as teachers of reading:
“I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle, something heroic or
wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the
watch for it, and mean to astonish you all some day.”
― Louisa May Alcott​, Little Women
Is there anything more heroic than opening up the world to a person by helping them love to read?

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My most favorite thing as a teacher is getting to know my kids as readers so that I can book match with them. I like to challenge, engage, teach strategies, but when I get the right books into the hands of a kid that has been craving a connection to text, it is magic to me. I’ve been known to go the library after a long day of school and pick out the next book in a series for a child who is begging for it. I have had beads of sweat dripping from my forehead as I scoured the library books sales and lugged bags of 25 cent books to my car. I’ve spent nights, summers, and weekends writing projects on DonorsChoose and sharing them with everyone so that I can keep my library full of exciting books chosen by my class. I can tell you what books each student connects with because I have made it the most important part of our reading instruction. Book matching is worth it because they deserve a life that is rich with reading.

Poverty. It’s a word that can impact our readers. I myself came from poverty, however, I didn’t realize it until I noticed not everyone had a little blue lunch ticket indicating that I had free lunches. We can’t assume that our kids have books at home to read or see others reading at home. We can​ send books home. When I read this quote in From Striving to Thriving it impacted me so much, “Even when books are damaged or lost, the money spent on the replacements pales in comparison to money spent on reading interventions.” We need to communicate the importance of reading to parents without making them sign a sheet everyday saying they read with their kids.

In the fall, we take our first graders to the library and send home applications for library cards. Teachers, if you aren’t BFFs with your local librarian you need to take a trip and buy him or her a coffee and sit and talk about how to connect. There are so many opportunities for collaboration because they have ALL the BOOKS!! Our library has free little libraries around town, a summer reading program, and a great children’s area. Send information about library events to your families throughout the school year, trust me, it will help with the volume of books your kids are reading!

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How I set up an area for library books in my room:
Get four Heavy Duty​ bins and number them.
Teach the kids that the books with the barcodes on the back stay in those bins.
Get books from the library.
Rotate the books each week for four weeks.
Return them.
Learn more about your kids.
Get books they love and put in the bins.
Pay a fine for a lost books.
Have kids write down books they’d like you to get this month.
Kids read books and smile.
Kids bring books to you and say, “LOOK it’s the new *insert series name* book!”
Return books.
Kids ask you to renew their favorites.
Kids read more.
Repeat the next school year because it WORKS!

Connect with me on Twitter @PlayYay

Guest Blog Posting by Kym Harjes – Velez

Date: July 2018

Author of Post: Kym Harjes-Velez @KymHarjes

Title of Post: Giving & Receiving…My Journey in Teaching

The actions of giving and receiving are ones that were modeled for me early in life. I was blessed with a family who understood the importance of these traits and was given opportunities to both give and receive during the course of my childhood. Whether it happened during the holidays through gift exchange, or in church as I placed my coins in the basket being passed from person to person, I grew up thinking I knew all there was to know about what it meant to be both a giver and a receiver. Naturally, I was wrong…there was a deeper meaning waiting just around the corner.

In 1995, as a senior at the University of Delaware, I was welcomed into the first of two student teaching placements. The second graders in the classroom I joined were from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. One little boy caught my eye and attention quickly. For the sake of this retelling, I’ll refer to him as Adam. In stature and weight, Adam was small for second grade. His personality, however, was anything but small. He was a mover and shaker, exuded enthusiasm and was a striving reader who longed to pick up a book and read it like the classmates around him. He was often pulled from the classroom and provided with instruction in the area of reading by well-meaning and well-trained teachers, but I could see his discomfort and wanted to get to know him and offer supports in other ways. Whenever there was a moment, I’d strike up conversations, find out his interests and hoped to discover a bit more about his curiosities and strengths. During this time I found out that Adam lived with his grandparents. He had several siblings, many of whom were younger. He often went to bed without a full meal in his belly and depended on the free breakfast and lunch provided by the school. He didn’t have access to a phone at home. He didn’t have access to books.

On the last day of my six-week placement, I struggled to find the right words to say to Adam. With the support of my cooperating teacher and several college friends, I’d helped set up a food & book closet at the school, but this didn’t feel like enough. I wanted to give Adam something more. I wanted to give him words of wisdom. I wanted to give him more chances to see himself as a reader. As it turned out, Adam had his own plans about giving that day.

As I packed my bag and began collecting the odds and ends of my time in the classroom, I felt a little tug on my arm. I turned around to find Adam standing before me with his hands behind his back. I saw the usual light in his eyes and an enormous grin on his face. “What is it Adam? What do you have behind your back?” I inquired. His smile grew as he said, “I have something for you.” “Something for me?” I asked in surprise. Adam took his hands from behind his back and revealed what had been held tightly in his palms just moments before. I found myself looking at a small toy dump truck. It was no more than an inch in length, was missing a wheel or two and had a good portion of its yellow paint scratched off. There was a small wind up crank on its side which Adam quickly let me know was broken. He grinned at me as he offered me the truck. “Oh Adam,” I said, “This is so kind, but I can’t take this from you.” Without a moment’s breath in between and with his same sweet grin, Adam’s next words taught me a lesson I still to this day carry in my heart. “Oh Miss Fischer,” he said, “You’re not taking it from me. I’m giving it to you.” In that moment with open ears and a humbled heart I learned a deeper lesson about the connection between students and teachers and giving and receiving than I’d ever known before. I opened my hand and Adam dropped the toy dump truck into it, gave me a quick hug and ran off to be with friends as I whispered a shaky but heartfelt thank you.

Nearly twenty three years have passed since that experience with Adam, but I can bring to mind the details of it in a moment’s notice. Recently, while participating in a Book Camp PD discussion, around Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward’s book From Striving to Thriving, I was reminded again of its early impact on me. Part I of the book encourages teachers to trust their striving readers and “have kids teach [us] something.” Adam, a long-ago striving reader, certainly taught me an incredible lesson that day.

As teachers we have the complex task of knowing our students and believing that each, whether striving or thriving, has the innate ability to learn, grow and achieve. As Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward so thoughtfully tell us in From Striving to Thriving, we must work to “table the labels, cultivate curiosity, ensure access to and choice of quality books, book-match relentlessly, teach thinking-intensive reading, assess readers in the round and advocate tirelessly.” Teaching is no small task and certainly not for the faint of heart. It takes grit, determination, intelligence, flexibility, empathy and joy. Mixed into all of that is the need to be open to what each student has the power to give and teach us. Donald H. Graves, a long time educator, researcher and author was known to say, “Teachers are the chief learners in the classroom.” Thanks to Adam, I know this is true.

In September I’ll be starting my twenty-third year of teaching in an elementary school. It is the very same elementary school I was hired in when I graduated from the University of Delaware in the spring of 1996. I currently teach second grade and am amazed and hopeful to consider that Adam is now a thriving thirty-year-old man. Although I am unsure of his whereabouts, I am sure of the lesson on giving and receiving he taught me so many years ago. The toy dump truck, still broken and scratched, is a daily reminder of that lesson. It sits proudly in my top desk drawer and has remained a constant for me in every classroom I’ve taught in. Much like Stephanie Harvey and Annie Ward’s book From Striving to Thriving, I know the significance of giving and receiving in the classroom and am grateful to be on both sides of it. Thank you Adam.

Michelle Howell’s Guest Blog Post

    A few weeks ago, I was hosting/moderating Florida Educator Chat (#FLedChat), and Meredith posted a tweet about #BookCampPD, sharing the website and a little information about what would be happening. I took a screenshot of the post to remind myself to look into it a little deeper, and honestly forgot about it. I’m really glad Meredith stayed with it, because a week or so later she posted about it again. This time I immediately went to the website and saw that things were beginning. I bought the book, “The Path to Serendipity: Discover the Gifts Along Life’s Journey,” by Allyson Apsey and began to read.

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    I was immediately struck by the author’s voice in this book. Apsey wrote this book from the heart, sharing her journey with an honesty that makes it accessible to both those veteran and new-to-the-profession teachers, but also to people who have vocations other than teaching. I was touched by what she shared. I cried when she wrote of her mother’s passing, and I laughed at the idea of having a dance party at lunch. I had just this year begun to open the Media Center at my school to kids to come in and use technology, explore with robots, and build with LEGOs and other building toys. This made me laugh because many of my babies—and yes, they are all my babies—used this time to look up videos and to practice their dance moves. I had never done this before, and even though sometimes it wore me out before school even began, I did it because my babies deserve it.

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    Now, I have made the commitment to continue through the remainder of #BookCampPD. I have bought the books and my goal is to read them and to participate as much as I am able in the chats, daily questions, and with #booksnaps. This will help me to continue to grow as an educator, after all, if I honestly believe that I should never stop learning as an educator and as a human being, I should walk the walk. And I should share. If it helps even one fellow educator to be inspired to keep learning and growing in the profession, then it will be worth it. Thanks for reading, and if you would like, you can reach me on Twitter @kmichellehowell. Let’s keep the conversation going.

from Meredith Johnson – Tremendous thanks to Michelle for sharing her thoughts about #BookCampPD’s summer, professional learning – FAR – Friends and Reading. Lead learners like her enrich all of us!

Sharing is Caring

As I sit and look out over the Gulf of Mexico, watching the sunlight dance across the water, I wonder how I can write a blog posting that expresses my gratitude to those who have so thoughtfully shared their thoughts during the initial two weeks of #BookCampPD’s professional learning? They are indeed trailblazers, lead learners, who realize that by sharing their thoughts with others, everyone benefits! ♥

What is This All About?

#BookCampPD’s summer, professional learning – FAR – Friends and Reading is a way to get engaged with other educators, when your schedule permits, about books that will be highlighted during June, July and August. You can tweet anytime, day or night! You have all day to tweet, retweet and reply to colleagues. Several times each day a question, related to the book that is highlighted, will be posed at the #BookCampPD hashtag for you to respond to. If you miss the stream when the question is posted, just search #BookCampPD and you will find the question. Be creative!

Examples of Those Who Have Jumped in With Both Feet

June 11, 2018 the “Question of the Day” – If you had to choose one lesson that the author @AllysonApsey was trying to teach us with the book she wrote, what would that be? Barbara @BarbaraGruener shared her thoughts. Thank you, Barbara!

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Michelle @kmichellehowell shared her sense of humor with us this week! Michelle, you are appreciated!

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Tim @TimRiley is so thoughtful to share his responses to the “Questions of the Day.” Tim, you rock!

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Emme @Emmemack46 shared her heart-felt thoughts about making a difference when asked about knowing the only person she can control is herself. Emme, you are a difference maker!


Chain with heart

The quote above speaks volumes about those whose names follow. They have stepped out, shared their thoughts about Allyson’s amazing book “The Path to Serendipity,” and provided a perfect example of leading by example with their heart. Jumping into posting Tweets about a new concept of online, professional learning demonstrates their leadership. I appreciate each one of them so very much! ♥

Week of June 1 – 8
Twitter Participants
@ChouinardJahant Cheryl Kraker
Teacherto teacher Julie Humphress
Tim Reily Melody Bingham
Elyse Hahne Renée L. Villeneuve
Kari Healey15 Tammy Allen
Lynette Richau Danielle Pall
Rachelle dene Poth Vanessa Medina
Dana Gambardella Adrianne Rose
Kathy Meehan, M.Ed. Melody Bingham
Carla Meyrink Audrey_KH
Mike Schulte Kimberly Isham
Kathy Alexander Joel Leal
Rise Up. Shine @emmemack46
kmichellehowell BarbaraGruener

Ready to Learn With Others?

You will earn points that will generate badges, depending on your level of participation, during the two weeks a book is highlighted. BE SURE TO ALWAYS USE THE HASHTAG #BookCampPD when you create a posting. At the end of the two weeks, during the chat when the guest author of the book joins us, two amazing educators with the greatest participation will win a book, they select, from the remaining #BookCampPD chats – June, July, August.

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Interested in the second book that will be highlighted? Who wouldn’t love to learn more about “Supporting Struggling Learners?” If you wish, you can purchase the book here.

Patricia Vitale- Reilly June 30th

Oh, my! Your schedule is busy until mid-July? Here are the other books that will be our focus. We hope one of them jumps out at you as the perfect topic to extend your learning this summer.

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Why do I put so much of my time into all of the resources awaiting you at It is my passion to help others and I truly believe, “the person you will be in five years is based on the books you read and the people you surround yourself with today.”

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Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to read this blog post.

You are appreciated!!

#FAR – Friends and Reading – Summer Professional Learning at #BookCampPD!

Let’s get engaged with other educators, when your schedule permits, about books that will be highlighted during June, July and August at #BookCampPD. You can tweet anytime, day or night beginning June 1st! You have all day to tweet, retweet and reply to colleagues.

Hope you will get as excited as I am about the following, ongoing activities, that will take place during the two weeks each book is highlighted.

How You Can Jump Into Participating!


Several times each day a question, related to the book that is highlighted, will be posed at the #BookCampPD hashtag for you to respond to. If you miss the stream when the question is posted, just search #BookCampPD and you will find the question. Be creative!

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Twice each week, four times during when a book is highlighted, a photograph or graphic will be posted at the hashtag #BookCampPD. Please share what the photograph or graphic idea reminds of you from the book and post at the hashtag #BookCampPD.

Copy of Copy of question!

Everyone has favorite quotes from the books they read. During the two weeks a book is highlighted, please share out that quote and add the page number. Caring is sharing! We are excited to read what quote you select.

Copy of Copy of Copy of question!

Extend your reading of a book to include collaborating with someone at your school, district or #PLN member. Share out how you would like to collaborate with someone and what idea you’re excited about putting in place during the upcoming school year. Please have this be from a strategy/resource mentioned in the book and include their Twitter handle or name.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of question!

When you’re in the middle of reading a book does the thought ever enter your mind, “Oh my goodness! So-and-so does that already! I could ask him/her about it.” Personal recognition of others is such a powerful acknowledgment of their dedication toward their passion. Again, caring is sharing – post a tweet to the #BookCampPD hashtag with the name or Twitter handle of a person who is already implementing an idea mentioned in the book.

Guest Authors

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At the conclusion of each two week period, we are so fortunate to have the guest author(s) join #BookCampPD on Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM EST. One amazing #PLN member suggested that chat questions, and times they “drop,” be shared. This enables those who have a busy life or vacation plans, that keep them from sharing their ideas, to schedule them using Tweetdeck or whatever program they like using. The questions are always posted on the website that accompanies weekly chats —> QUESTIONS If you miss one of them or want to grab a resource/idea that someone mentioned during a chat, you can also review what was shared by others —> SUMMARY of CHAT

Guest Moderators

I can’t say enough about the tremendous appreciation I have for the following educators who agreed to be a guest moderator during our summer #FAR professional learning. The rotation is a guest moderator and then the author and this continues to alternate all summer long. What lead learners they are!! Please thank them when you have a minute.

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Badges for Participation

Last summer #BookCampPD badges were collected by those participating. For each of the ideas mentioned in the graphics above, you will earn points that will generate badges depending on your level of participation, during the two weeks a book is highlighted. BE SURE TO ALWAYS USE THE HASHTAG #BookCampPD when you create a posting. At the end of the two weeks, during the chat when the guest author of the book joins us, two amazing educators with the greatest participation will win a book, they select, from the remaining #BookCampPD chats – June, July, August. The graphic below was from last summer’s participation. Several educators shared that they posted them in their classrooms and lots of questions from their peers and students were generated about where they came from.

Ongoing - Consistent support of chats Badge - chat participation

Have an Idea That Would Enrich the Summer Professional Learning – #FAR – Friends and Reading Concept?

Hearing your ideas of how to make this summer even better in connecting with others about the books you’re reading would be GREATLY appreciated! Please share any ideas by clicking on this link –> YOUR AMAZING IDEA  Together we can make this an amazing summer of professional learning with each other!

Guest Authors and Their New Books!

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@EduMatch Podcast

When I sit here, trying my very best, to develop #BookCampPD into a resource educators will seek out for their own professional learning and suddenly Sarah Thomas of @EduMatch contacts me to be a guest on her podcast – I was “over the moon!” It was my first time being involved as a guest on a podcast but my excitement about sharing the details of #BookCampPD far overshadowed any butterflies. What an amazing opportunity to explain to others about our dedicated community of learners that meet each Saturday morning! If something new and unexpected comes your direction, jump in! YOU CAN DO IT! Tremendous appreciation sent out to Sarah Thomas, who is leading this @EduMatch initiative. I encourage everyone to listen to as many of her podcasts as your schedule allows.

As with anything new, it was a terrific learning experience for me. At the beginning of the podcast, I am afraid I was too lengthy about my 40 years of experience. If you would like to fast forward to the 8:00 minute mark, when I begin talking about my passion, #BookCampPD, please feel free!

As I share during the podcast, #BookCampPD is about all of you. I can help guide the “ship” we are sailing, and hopefully, add a little wind to your sails as you take off in amazing personal learning adventures. If, at any time, I can be of assistance please just ask.

I would be remiss if I didn’t share with all of you that #EduMatch is just beginning to publish books! How exciting is this??!?! Stay tuned for more books in the near future. Would you like to read more about the book and those being published in the near future? Just click on the book below!




FAR – Friends and Reading

Warren Buffet stated, “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” Years of experience has shown me that this is very true. Do you agree with his reflective thought? How can we best invest in ourselves? Some of the most successful people read a lot. Warren Buffett was once asked about the key to success, he pointed to a stack of nearby books and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

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Being involved with children, educators, families and communities, experience taught me that literacy, being able to read and exchange ideas with others about the book, opens doors to the future. It is with these thoughts in mind, that I sought to plan a #BookCampPD summer reading, professional learning, initiative that would reflect educators’ interests. I asked the opinion of a wide variety of educators, including recommendations from those currently involved in weekly chats. Here are the authors who will be joining us during #FAR – Friends and Reading! Educators will be learning when far from school with others who share their passion for increasing their knowledge.

June 16 – Path to Serendipity:  Discover the Gifts Along Life’s Journey – Allyson Apsey @AllysonApsey

June 30 – Supporting Struggling Learners: 50 Instructional Moves for the Classroom Teacher  – Patricia Vitale-Reilly @pattyvreilly

July 14 – It’s All About Books:  How to Create Bookrooms and Classroom Libraries That Inspire Readers – Tammy Mulligan, Clare Landrigan @teachersforteachers @clareandtammy

July 28 – Striving to Thriving:  How to Grow Confident, Capable Readers – Annie Ward and Stephanie Harvey @annietward and @stephharvey49

August 11 – Professionally Driven:  Empower Every Educator to Redefine PD – Jarod Bormann @jbormann3

August 25 – Being the Change:  Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension – Sara Ahmed @sarakahmed

summer reading

During the summer the chats will rotate with a guest moderator, who has been involved with weekly #BookCampPD sessions discussing aspects of the book, followed by the author of the book joining us. There will be a new book every other week! During the two weeks a book is highlighted, special contests and engaging activities will take place to increase the element of fun.

Just as exciting as the authors who will be sharing in our learning, are the guest moderators who are volunteering their time and efforts! It is thrilling to have June 23 – Amanda Sopko, July 7 – Chris Cooper, July 21 – Elyse Hahne, August 4 – Rachelle Dene Poth and August 18 – Roman Nowak as guest moderators. Sharing this information with you, months in advance, will hopefully provide the time necessary for you to purchase and read the books that are jumping off the shelf into your arms. Please consider purchasing one of these books that can be your “ticket” to, as Warren Buffet states, “compounding interest.”

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