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Wait, what just happened?! (Launching a Conference)

As it turns out, putting on a conference is a whole lot like planning for a wedding. Months of preparation, sleepless nights, and dreams (nightmares?) that make you begin to believe that the world revolves around this one event. And then suddenly it is here, the big day. The culmination of all of the hard work. A strange peace comes over you when you wake the morning of the conference. You’ve done all that you can do. If it hasn’t already been planned for, it will just be what it is. Blink and it is over. Wait, what just happened?! You know it was an AMAZING two days and that the connections were incredible, but going back to sum it up in a few words…that is harder. The crisis of the imminent creeps in (oh yeah, I still have a school to run!) and before you know it a week has passed and you still haven’t put thoughts down on paper. I’ve struggled to neatly sum up the 5Sigma Conference. What I can say is, WOW. The 5Sigma Education Conference was one of the best professional experiences I’ve had. It feels a little arrogant to say since I’m the one who planned it, but really, what happened last weekend impacted me enormously. It wasn’t what I did. It was the connections with others who are innovative and amazing in their education space. It was the stories told, the laughter shared, it was the discovery that others are doing the hard thing in education and we share the same struggles and joys. In a way, the 5Sigma conference was like being in a foreign country and finding someone from your hometown. Only everyone at the conference was that person. Anastasis is a very different kind of school. Even the things we do that share common education language (inquiry), look very different here. It can feel a bit isolating, even surrounded by other educators, because we do things that others don’t. 5Sigma was a great reminder that we aren’t alone. That others know the struggles. They also know the deep joy, freedom, and excitement. It was incredible to be able to share that with so many! I’m still sorting out my thoughts…I suspect they will become several posts. In the mean time, I want to share some words from others who are more eloquent in their reflection of the weekend than I currently am. This gem is from @yourkidsteacher (who many of you supported through the 5Sigma Pay-it Forward program to get to Colorado for the conference): Edu Conferences, Woodstock & Physicists Check out this Storify of Tweets from the weekend to get a taste of the fabulous discussions that happened (Thanks to @rsvoigt for making that happen!): 5Sgima Edu Conference Storify To all who attended the first annual 5Sigma Education Conference: a sincere thank you! Your presence, support, and the conversation your brought was THE highlight. To our awesome presenters: You all are rock stars. I don’t say that lightly. You are incredible people doing important work every. single. day. Thank you for sharing that. To our sponsors: You made so much of what we did possible to do. Thank you for supporting us with swag, donated snacks that made us feel at home, and prizes that put some substantial smiles on faces! To Team Anastasis staff, students, and parents: You are hands down the BEST and my favorite!  

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Shelfari

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 20-05-2008

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What it is: Shelfari is a virtual bookshelf that you create to show off books that you have read and recommend. It is a Web 2.0 site that allows you to connect with students, other teachers, and parents around books. Shelfari is a great way to discover new titles, discuss books, start an online book club, and show others what you are reading. You can show off your Shelfari bookshelf on your blog, classroom website, or other social networking site of choice. Really cool!

How to integrate Shelfari into the classroom: As summer break approaches, we teachers start thinking about how far we have come during the school year with our students. We also dread that they will be on their own for the summer and may or may not be reading. Shelfari would be an excellent resource to create today and introduce your students and parents to before summer break. Build a bookshelf of age-appropriate reading for your students. Post the bookshelf on your classroom website and encourage students to continue reading with you over the summer. Because Shelfari allows for you to create online book clubs and discussions, students can keep their reading and comprehension skills in tip top shape with you! Shelfari is also an excellent resource for parents who may feel overwhelmed when they enter a library with their child. They often aren’t sure of their child’s reading level and age-appropriate books. With Shelfari, they can visit your shelf before the trip to the library for some great suggestions. Shelfari is also ideal throughout the school year as a place for you and your students to connect over reading…reading is so much more fun when you have someone to share and discuss what you are reading with! Students can create their own bookshelves to show off what they are reading. Teacher to teacher book clubs on Shelfari are also a lot of fun! Connect with other staff members over books that you are reading (they can be school related or not.) Maybe in place of the traditional book report, students start a discussion on Shelfari about their reading. Where have you been all my life Shelfari? 🙂

Tips: Use Shelfari in conjunction with Book Adventure for some real reading fun!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Shelfari in your classroom.

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