Sunday, November 25, 2012


Before I even left NCTE this year, there were blog posts up reflecting on all of the learning and thinking that was part of the week. I was amazed that people could get their thoughts together so quickly. I am not there yet. I am still catching up on laundry, trying to transition back to school, enjoying the holiday weekend, etc. I have not had time to reflect on the amazing experience that #ncte was. But I knew that there were blog posts  going up faster than I could read them. Each was something I'd want to revisit once I caught my breath and could think again.  So I offered this roundup on Twitter. If I missed your post and you'd like it added, just let me know!

NCTE's annual convention is always a great energizer for me.  It seems to come at the perfect time in the school year and I always come back reenergized and I am always rethinking something.  But it is always tricky when someone asks me what I learned...because it isn't so much what I learned but what I came away thinking about.  Years ago, I'd go to NCTE's annual convention (I think I've been going for about 20+ years now, skipping only one--the year we adopted Ana :-) and I'd try to get caught up on everyone's thinking.  It was really my only chance to hear what my heroes like Ralph Fletcher, Lucy Calkins, Georgia Heard, Stephanie Harvey, Shelley Harwayne, Sharon Taberski, etc. had been thinking about all year.  But now, with social networking, I no longer have to wait until NCTE's Annual Convention to catch up on everyone's thinking. I have Twitter and blogs and Facebook and more to help me connect to people all year long. So, I realized that the NCTE experience has changed a bit for me. Instead of "learning something new," it has become more than that.  NCTE's annual convention is the time that we connect in person with all those people we learn with throughout the year. We continue conversations we've been having over Twitter and we start new ones.  We meet old friends for the first time and we make new friends who we immediately follow on Twitter. It is a time to connect and reconnect, a time to refocus our conversations.

I love love love when my friends meet my other friends. I love when all of my friends become friends.  I am always amazed that my friends don't know each other and I am always confident that they will love each other when they do meet. How could they not? I have great friends.  And NCTE networks all of our friends with each other and we get to meet our friends' friends.  What could be better? And what could energize conversations for the year to come any more than that?

Kudos to Sandy Hayes,  NCTE President and NCTE12 Convention Chair.  She did an amazing job putting this year's convention together. We learned and we laughed.  So, whether you attended NCTE12 or not, there is a lot of thinking being shared on blogs about new learning and thinking (and fun)! Below are some of the blog posts about the convention. Learn from them. Follow the bloggers on Twitter. Subscribe to their blogs.  Connect in some way so that you can continue to learn with them until NCTE13 and beyond :-)

Katherine Sokolowski has 2 reflections about the convention--NCTE 2012 and Lessons from NCTE 2012. I am always amazed at how quickly and thoughtfully Katherine can reflect on her learning. She may win the prize for first one to blog after the convention!

And if you missed the amazing Nerdy Book Club party in Vegas, you can read about it on the Nerdy Book Club Blog! Definitely a fun time!

Tony Ramono reflected in his post Vegas, NCTE12, and Sir Ken Robinson. I didn't get out of the hotel/conference center much at all so I was laughing at his section on what you might see in Vegas.

Kate and Maggie share some thinking on notetaking from an amazing session I was able to attend on Sunday. Smart thinking--lots to reflect on--In Which Our Hero Uses Colored Pencils to Save the World (of Note-Taking).  

Katie at Catching Readers Before They Fall shared her thinking in a post called Be the Change--Reflections on #NCTE12. (Just so you know, Katie ran 9 miles every morning before starting her NCTE days...impressive, very impressive).

And Pat at Catching Readers Before They Fall reflected on a session she presented (one that I couldn't get to so am so happy to be able to learn from her here!) Her post Storytelling Part 1-includes her own storytelling!  And Storytelling Part 2 shares another! Thanks, Pat!

And if you missed it, Monday night's #engchat was focused on reflections from #ncte12.  You can find the archives here. It was an amazing conversation and lucky for me, I participated from the airplane--thanks to Southwest for offering $5 Wifi!

Troy Hicks reflected on NWP and NCTE in his post Mentoring Matters.  I so love the key theme that Troy pulled from the weekend.

And Rose focused on the Important Things about #NCTE12 in her post at Mentor Texts with Lynne and Rose.

And Joanne Levy from The Class of 2K12 reflected --again another powerful theme of Books and Community in her post.

And at THEDIRIGIBLEPLUM, the NCTE12 reflections are in the form of 17 Word Reviews. Such fun and so much power in so few words!

Karen at Literate Lives shared her NCTE12 learning complete with How to Make a Braided Scarf!  Great pictures show the energy of the convention.

Mr. Wyzlic shares his whirlwind days at NCTE12 and ALAN.  Brian gives us fun and thoughtful read complete with photos!

Kellee shares her experience at Teach Mentor Texts--Kellee's exclamation points and smiles make it clear how much she enjoyed NCTE12 and ALAN!

Jen (also at Teach Mentor Texts) has included 2 videos in her NCTE12 Recap post. I would highly suggest you follow everyone featured in her first video and make sure to take time to watch her ending video (#notmyhat).
And at Always a First year Teacher, the post How The NCTE Conference Helped Me Get Past My Manufactured Fears, is both reflective and empowering.

At YA Love, Sarah shared her learning as well as a link to her presentation.

Kristin at Children's Literature Crossroads reflected at NCTE 2012: Friends, Books, Networking and Nerdybooklovers --she had a ball and learned lots.

Sherry at Library Fanatic shared her first experience at NCTE/ALAN! I'm guessing by all she shared she will definitely be at NCTE and ALAN every year!

Mrs. Heise at Heise Reads and Recommends shares her highlights (and she has lots of them!) of NCTE and ALAN.  Another post that captures the pace and fun of this year's convention!

Sarah at The Reading Zone reflected on her trip, complete with Tweets from some sessions she attended!

Kristin (@FirstGradeThinks) shared slides from her session, Integrating Technology with Thoughtful Comprehension Instruction in the Elementary and Middle Grade Classroom.

Leslie at Healigan's Second Home shares her experience in two posts, Teacher Finds Home at NCTE 2012 and Teaching is art, learning is personal.  One powerful line in Leslie's post said exactly what I've been thinking about this year's convention: "I will trust my instincts with more confidence than I have allowed myself before."

Tony at atychiphobia shares the awesomeness that was NCTE12 for him in his post NCTE12 > Vegas.

Gail at Blogwalker posted her reflections at Back from NCTE 2012 Convention. She summarizes great learning from several sessions.

Gary at What's Not Wrong posted his reflection in a post called "Glimpsing the Future". He says, "It's an exciting time to be in this profession!"

Noel at Passion Tea Lemonade starts off her recap in a nonlinear way in her post A Series of Fortunate Events (ncte2012). She has a few good conference tips along the way!

Cathy at Reflect and Refine writes English Teachers in Vegas? She reflects on connections as well as powerful things she is thinking about after convention.

Chris at Thinking about Learning and Teaching shares Part 1 of her NCTE/ALAN reflection here. Lots of great learning and big ideas to ponder!

Cynthia at Teaching in Cute Shoes shares in NCTE: My (Incomplete) Recap. This post is complete with key leanings from great people as well as (of course) cute shoes!

Beth at A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust posts Bookish Teachers Invaded Las Vega for NCTE--filled with photos and fun!

Mrs. Bennett at Used Books in Class posted You shall know us by our shoes and Meeting Jon Scieszka, Rock Star. Both are fun reads packed with NCTE learning!

Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning posts NCTE 2012--Post, Ignite Style--great title and packed with top 20 things about her NCTE experience!

Ann Marie at AM Literacy Learning Log not only shares her NCTE learning but we also get to watch while she cashes in her big winnings!

Cindy at Charting by the Stars posts My Big Vegas Winnings shares her highlights:-)

Mary Lee here at A Year of Reading tells about NCTE the way she explained it to her students. Her November Mosaic of photos is comprised entirely of pictures from NCTE and Las Vegas.


  1. Alas you missed my two postings:
    Meeting Jon Szieska-
    and a shout-out to our comfortable shoes:
    Thanks for letting me post here...
    Colette M Bennett

  2. Franki,
    Thank you! I tried to write my post on the way home from Las Vegas, but I just couldn't get my head around all I had heard. I couldn't find the common threads in the multitude of conversations. When I returned to school Monday morning friends asked, "What did you learn?" I felt terrible as I couldn't articulate it. I could talk about the energy. I could talk about the books. But I couldn't talk about the thinking. It just hadn't settled in yet. As I moved quickly from session to session, read tweets of other sessions, and chatted with friends between sessions I was honestly overwhelmed by all there was to think about.

    When I saw you were going to have a round-up it gave me the gift of time with the necessity of a deadline. Thanks! Even after writing the post I wasn't sure I had captured all the weekend had meant. When I read your post and you said, "But it is always tricky when someone asks me what I learned...because it isn't so much what I learned but what I came away thinking about," I thought "That's it exactly!"

    Thanks, Franki. for giving me more to think about. I'm looking forward to working my way through the round-up.


  3. Thank you so much for doing this Franki!

  4. What a wonderful roundup! I'm bookmarking so I can make sure I get to all of these - thank you!

  5. Thank you for the roundup! I hope by next year I'll be able to contribute. I just started a blog after being inspired at NCTE.


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