As I mentioned in a previous post, NCTE's Annual Convention marks the end of fall for me. I love the start of a new school year--August, September, October. I love getting to know new students and families. I love the weather (not too hot, not too cold), and I am usually fairly organized after summer vacation. Then when it's time for NCTE's annual convention, I am ready for new learning. I am ready to think hard about instruction with this particular group of children in mind. I am excited to pick up new books that this group of students will love. I am ready to reenergize and focus for the remainder of the school year. Absolute perfect timing for me.
So, I tend to get excited about the convention a little earlier than most. I spent some time this weekend really looking at the newest Council Chronicle with the Annual Convention Preview. I also spent a little bit of time online looking at the searchable program. Here are some things I am excited about already:
*There will be an App for the convention program this year. How convenient! A good reason to purchase the iPad mini or the iPhone5 if they becomes reality before convention, don't you think?
*So many of my newest heroes will be there. I am excited about all of the experts around 21st Century Learning such as Sir Ken Robinson (Friday morning General Session) and Will Richardson. I was able to hear Will Richardson for the first time this summer and learned so much. And I've never had the opportunity to hear Sir Ken Robinson speak in person.
*Presenting with Sara Kajder, Teri Lesesne and Donalyn Miller will definitely be a highlight. These girls are brilliant and I always learn so much from them. And they are fun. What better combination is there?
*I will be doing one IGNITE presentation as part of a panel. I am excited about the challenge it will be to create my first real IGNITE presentation for an audience. Harder than it looks, I imagine! And I love the IGNITE sessions. I am especially excited to attend the one on
BUILDING PROFESSIONAL LEARNING NETWORKS--to hear so many smart people in one session sounds too good to be true!
*There are so many great authors at convention this year. A few that I am especially excited about are
Jon Szieszka, Lemony Snicket, David Shannon, and Sherman Alexie!
*The exhibit hall is always great fun. There are lots of great new professional books out around convention time. Kylene Beers' and Bob Probst's new Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading is one I can't WAIT to read. These two are brilliant! And I've heard Penny Kittle share a bit about her upcoming book, Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers, and can't wait to read it!
*I loved Ralph Fletcher's Guy-Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know and a looking forward to his session (with Chris Crutcher) on the topic.
*The Day on Early Childhood is always a great day for elementary teachers. I was thrilled to see Vivian Vasquez as the Closing Keynote for that day--LITERACY PRACTICES IN VIRTUAL WORLDS. I purchased her book, Technology and Critical Literacy in Early Childhood, the day it came out but haven't had time to dig in yet. Such an important topic!
*There is a session on THE NERDY BOOK CLUB and a few on NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOKS. COMMON CORE and MATH LITERACY are other topics I saw when flipping through the preview.
*Katherine and I plan to run on the strip in Vegas. A little healthy exercise before the day begins. Maybe we'll all wear our Nerdy Book Club running attire?
*The exhibits already look like such fun. I am thinking that I should definitely have an empty suitcase for new books for the classroom this year!
*And of course, my favorite part of convention, is always learning informally with others attending the conference. Seeing old friends and meeting new ones--around the topic of literacy education--is always so energizing.
I am sure I won't get to see everything I've listed here and I am certain that I missed lots on my first look through the program. It is never easy to fit in every great learning opportunity at convention. But the possibilities are endless. And this year's conference looks amazing!
By the way, the official hashtag for the NCTE Annual Convention this year is #NCTE12
Let the Tweets begin!