Sunday, November 30, 2014

nErDy Author Night

Hello nErDcampers!

Our second annual nErDy Author Night is all scheduled! You will want to attend this event the night before nErDcamp NNE to meet all your favorite authors. They will be signing their books (available for purchase on site) and meeting all of their fans. 
This event is open to the public so bring your friends and the kiddos to meet their favorite authors in person!

Click here for more details. 

Here is the list of authors:
Charlotte Agell
Sarah Albee
Josh Alves
Megan Frazer Blakemore
Mary Cerullo
Russ Cox
Erin Dionne
Kate Egan
Kevin Hawkes
Linda Mulally Hunt
Jennifer Jacobson
Sashi Kaufman
Cynthia Lord
Amy MacDonald
Hazel Mitchell
Maria Padian
Ammi-Joan Paquette 
Lynn Plourde
Melissa Stewart
Matt Tavares
Lea Wait
Tamra Wight

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Author John Thompson Shares His nErDcampNNE 2014 Experience

John Thompson 

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be one of the attendees in what I believe was the second nErDcamp to be held, the first having been organized by Colby Sharp and others in Battle Creek, MI in 2013. This one, titled nErDcamp Northern New England focused on literacy and took place just south of Portland, Maine at Biddeford High School. As one of a small group of authors invited to participate, I was lucky enough to watch a bunch of wonderful, dynamic educators in action.
At a time when so many are hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing as they decry the sad state of American education, I can’t begin to tell you how inspirational it was to see a hundred and twenty some educators gather together on a very snowy Saturday to exchange ideas, attack problems, spread best practice information and network with one another to create ongoing ways to share going forward. No one got paid, no ‘senior management’ sent word from on high that this was what the teachers needed to do. nErDcamp NNE was totally voluntary, totally from the grassroots, an event that grew from the ground up, an event that was of teachers, for teachers and by teachers.
The teachers, literacy coaches and media specialists who braved the difficult weather came bristling with energy, questions, excitement and ideas, and the first task of the day was to figure out exactly what our mission was. Our head organizer, Susan Dee (@literacydocent) was unflinching in insisting that there were no “leaders” and no “experts.” After the group threw out ideas for questions, areas of exploration, discussion topics, etc, even if someone volunteered to moderate a session, their job was not to be the fount of all information, but to keep things moving.

Every single person was expected to learn and everyone was expected to share their own expertise wherever possible. To my amazement, this was not an exercise in herding cats. There were no egos on display, no pedants, no one insisting ‘my way or the highway’. The people in the auditorium quickly helped structure a blank schedule into a four block schedule with nine operating classrooms, each dealing with a different topic.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Registration for nErDcamp Northern New England 2015 is Open!

We are thrilled to announce that the second annual nErDcamp NNE is now accepting registrations. Last year was a huge success (even in a snow storm) and we are very much looking forward to another amazing event. Please spread the word about this day filled with free literacy-based professional development designed by the participants! 

See some reactions about last year on our Meet a nErDcamper page and read about the nErDcamp NNE experience from these posts below.
Dawn Pendergrass
Paula Bourque
Gigi McAllister
Brenda Power-Choice Literacy

The second annual nErDcamp NNE is scheduled for:
Saturday, January 17, 2015 (with a snow date of January 18)
at Falmouth Elementary School
48 Woodville Rd. 
Falmouth, Maine 04105
From 8:00am to 3:30pm

Lodging information coming soon.

Click here to register! 

We are also thrilled to announce that our Author Night will be held the night before (Friday, Jan. 16) at Falmouth Elementary School. Over 20 amazing local (and a few not-so-local) authors will be there to meet fans and sign books! Books will be available on site for purchase. Come and see Matt Tavares, Lynn Plourde, Cynthia Lord, Melissa Stewart, Lynda Mullaly Hunt and SO many more! This event was very well attended and received last year. 

If you have questions, email us at

Follow on Twitter: @nErDcampNNE 

Want to get updates on this blog? Follow by email in the sidebar.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Save the Date for nErDcamp NNE 2015!

We are planning our second annual nErDcamp Northern New England for Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Falmouth Elementary School in Falmouth, Maine. 

Last year's camp was a HUGE success and we are hoping to have even more people participate next year. Spread the news to your colleagues and friends to save the date!

Here are some reactions from last year's camp.
Dawn Pendergrass
Paula Bourque
Gigi McAllister
Brenda Power-Choice Literacy

Registration info to come. 
Remember to follow this blog to get notifications of new posts. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Friday, January 17, 2014

nErDcamp is Today!!

Yes, it is finally here! 

We hope you all enjoy the day, build your PLN and have a great time learning together.  

Below are some links and other information you will need for today. 

Our Twitter hashtag is #nerdcampnne. 

Today's Meet Link

Here is the schedule for the day. 
8:00-8:30 Registration, coffee and baked goods. 
8:30-9:00 (in the Little Theater) Introduction, complete session board for the first two blocks. 
9:00-10:00 Session One
10:15-11:15  Session Two
11:30-12:30  Lunch, DOOR PRIZES and complete idea board for last two sessions. 
12:45-1:45  Session Three
2:00-3:00 Session Four
3:00-3:30 More DOOR PRIZES!

Follow what is happening in the sessions on our Live Google Doc

Please take our nErDcamp Feedback Survey to give us some info about your experience and to help us plan for future nErDcamps.  

Don't forget to join us at The Run of the Mill restaurant for the after party! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Holly Mueller Shares her nErDcamp BC Experience

Today we are reblogging a partial post from teacher/blogger extraordinaire Holly Mueller. Here Holly shares the experience of attending her first nErDcamp in Battle Creek Michigan. We would like to thank Holly for allowing us to reblog her post.  You can view the post in its entirety at her wonderful blog: Reading, Teaching, Learning. 

I'm not sure where to start recapping such an amazing experience!  It was definitely difficult to know where to start when explaining nErDcamp to friends and family beforehand.  I even tried to recruit a couple of friends/colleagues to come with me who didn't know much about the Nerdy Book Club.  I ended up going by myself, which is quite a bit outside my comfort zone, I must say.  However, I knew I HAD to go.  I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the teachers, writers, readers, and learners of the online community of Nerdy Book Club, various blogs, Goodreads, and Twitter have revolutionized my teaching life.  It's such a positive and passionate community, and I wanted to meet many of them in person.  I had a five-hour drive (which turned into about six since I drove through terrible storms and tornado warnings) to get there and even had a Twitter conversation the night before about what audio book to play for the trip.  I decided on Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan after some enthusiastic recommendations of it .  I'm so glad I did!  It's laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly poignant.

When I finally arrived at Holiday Inn Battle Creek, I started to get really excited, and to be honest, a little nervous since I didn't really know anyone in person!

Well, I needn't have worried.  As soon as I got to Dark Horse Brewery in Marshall, a mere 15 minutes or so from the hotel, I was greeted warmly and enthusiastically by a table full of Nerdies!

The energy there was palpable.  I instantly felt comfortable and welcome!  I left a little earlier than everyone because I was EXHAUSTED, but found I couldn't sleep at all.  I tweeted that out Thursday morning, and Sherry Gick accurately tweeted:

Regardless of the lack of sleep,  I headed to Lakeview High School!

I giddily picked out my swag bag (the contents of which are revealed below):

Then I found a table of new friends!! 

nErDcamp began with Colby Sharp explaining the process we were going to use for learning that day, modeled after Edcamp, which in its words is "an organic, participant-driven professional development for K-12 educators worldwide."  I had never been to one before, so I wasn't sure how it would go.  Colby put up a screen of empty sessions and started the process.  We started talking at our tables, brainstorming things we'd like to share, discuss, and/or learn.  When someone came up with an idea, he/she wrote the title (Donalyn Miller helped Tenille from Texas come up with a catchy title and subtitle) on a card, announced it in the microphone, and Alaina Sharp typed it into the Google Doc.  Magically, the sessions started filling up! 

In the morning, I attended two sessions - one on Evernote, led by Cathy Mere, Karen Terlecky, andAlaina Sharp and one on Motivating Reading and Writing Through Technology, led by Susanne Gibbs and Donalyn Miller.  I learned a TON at both of those sessions.  Look at this powerhouse trio!  I admire these ladies so much!  Donalyn Miller, Katherine Sokolowski, and Franki Sibberson:

Apparently, the Nerdy Book Club founders have never had a picture together!  What pioneers they are (I loved hearing about how Nerdy Book Club was "born" from Donalyn at the brewery Wed. night) - Colby Sharp, Donalyn Miller, and Cindy Minnich:

In the afternoon, I got a little braver and came up with an idea to lead my own session on book clubs.  First, I went to a session on Sister Classrooms, led by Brain Wyzlic and Jillian Heise.  I loved their idea and texted my friend and collaborator, Megan Ginther (who would have loved to have attended, but was taking Ohio Writing Project) that we needed to be sister classrooms in the fall!  Then I led my own session at the end of the day on book clubs.  I shared my experiences with leading Mock Newbery and Caldecott clubs and parent/student book clubs, and the attenders shared their ideas.  Colby's students were there, and I loved talking with them about books!  They were so full of enthusiasm for reading!  You could tell who their 4th grade teacher was. ;-)  I shared with them that I was reading The Water Castle because they were convinced that one of the session rooms was haunted! 

After the last session, we looked forward to the giveaway.  Look at all those books!  Unfortunately, I didn't win any. :-(

That evening, some of us headed over to Clara's on the Lake, and I had one last PD - Alaina and Colby taught me how to use the Vine video app! 

Alaina and Louise Borden:

I fell into bed that night and had NO trouble sleeping.  But it wasn't over yet!  I tweeted Colby to ask if there were any independent bookstores I should hit before heading home, and he suggestedBookbug in Kalamazoo.  Louise Borden, Janet Frost, and I made plans to meet for breakfast at the hotel and shop at the bookstore.  What fun we had!!

I think my favorite thing about the Edcamp model is that everyone is equal.  As much as I love going to other conferences, usually I am the learner and I am going to see gurus teach me things.  At this conference, we were all learning and teaching beside each other.  I loved that.  If you would to see all the notes taken at each session, you can find them here:

I'm already looking forward to next year!.  Thank you SO much to all the planners of Nerdcamp.  I know it was hard work, but we appreciate it so much!

Until next year...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

One Week To Go!

One week from today 200 professionals from around New England will be getting together to discuss our favorite things: books, literacy and KIDS! 

Here are a few things to help you plan for next weekend. 

  • Make sure you bring your favorite electronic devices all charged and ready to go. 
  • Bring $5 for lunch or your own lunch. 
  • Registration starts at 8:00.
  • Complimentary coffee and pastries will be provided. 
  • There is plenty of free parking across the street from the high school. 
  • Visit our idea board to share an idea. 
Are you going to the Nerdy Evening with Authors on Friday night? 

The Nerdiness continues at the after party

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Continue the Nerdy Conversations After nErDcampNNE

nErDcampNNE participants are sure to have a great time sharing, learning and connecting with others. Just in case you are not ready to stop the conversations after nErDcampNNE, please join in the nerdy festivities after the camp at local eatery, The Run of the Mill restaurant (100 Main St., Saco).

To get directions or learn more about The Run of the Mill, visit the restaurant website from the above link. 

We hope to see you all there!