|Our group chatting over lunch at Applebee's on Monday of All Write.|
The thing I love most about my professional development lately is the fact that I can follow-up in so many ways. For years, I went to NCTE as my annual professional development. I knew that it was there that I could hear many of my favorite literacy thinkers and I could (in one weekend) get insights into their newest learning. I'd come home, read their books and wait until I had the chance to hear them again.
Now, with the Internet, I can continue to learn from experts across the world and follow-up on the thinking of speakers I hear in so many ways. Professional authors host webpages, blogs, webinars and more. Many are also on Twitter --so I often come home from a conference with a new group of people to follow. Now, when I attend an amazing institute like All Write!!!, it is often just the beginning of my learning--I know I will be able to revisit the thinking of the speakers I hear and revisit their newest learning.
Highlights from Monday at All Write:
Jeff Anderson, author of MECHANICALLY INCLINED kicked of the All Write conference with the opening keynote. Jeff has an upcoming book called 10 THINGS EVERY WRITER NEEDS TO KNOW (Stenhouse). In his keynote, Jeff talked a bit about the new book and made some points that I have been thinking about. One point he made early on about the title of the new book was to point out that the book was not called "THE" 10 THINGS A WRITER NEEDS TO KNOW. But these are 10 things that stay true. At the beginning of Jeff's talk, he mentioned all of the ways technology are expanding our opportunities to write. But, he asked, "What are the things about writing that stay true no matter what?" He continued to push us to think about ways we supported writing in our classrooms.
To keep up with Jeff's thinking, you can follow him on Twitter (@writeguyjeff). He also has a website/blog. Another great resource for Jeff is Stenhouse--I particularly enjoyed this webcast with Jeff.
On Monday, I also heard Katie Wood Ray. Her books have been an anchor for me and I realized listening to her this week, that Katie has been instrumental in helping me look closely at opportunities in books. Katie talked about detail in writing and the quote that sticks with me is this one, "Detail is about selecting the ones that capture the essence, not every single thing." She asked us to think about someone we knew well and to think about a detail about that person that captures the essence of him/her. What an important message for writers--capturing the essence. She shared some pieces in text (both children and adult work) that helped us see the power of this type of detail. I will be thinking hard about that over the next few weeks--details that capture the essence of something.
I will be revisiting many of Katie's books. I tend to go back to STUDY DRIVEN and IN PICTURES AND IN WORDS most often but I think I will revisit WONDROUS WORDS after hearing this talk.
A great first day at All Write!