On Saturday morning, I attended George Pilling's wonderful session on "Storytelling to Meet the Standards." What a great storyteller he is! I do booktalks at my library, but I have always felt too inhibited to be a storyteller. I really went to the session just to treat myself to hearing some good storytelling. Well, I came away convinced that I am just going to have to overcome my inhibitions and build stories into my lessons, since they truly are the best way of getting my students involved and paying attention. Wish me luck! I also got lucky --- I won George's generous "door prize" of one of his storytelling CDs. And, I was the winner bidder for his other CD at the Silent Auction! And, on the subject of storytelling, I also treated myself to a couple of Joe McHugh's books. I have the Thanksgiving week off, and plan to enjoy a lot of storytelling :)
I also attended the session on "Online Reference Books" and got some good ideas on how to better promote my ebooks. At Vicki Plefka and Joanne Ligamari's "Picture Books, Novels, and Google Tools" session, I learned how to do "lit. trips" projects using Google Maps and Google Earth. I'm definitely going to work on convincing a few teachers to let me help them incorporate these exciting mapping tools into class projects.
For the last concurrent session of the day I had the great treat of facilitating Tammie Celi's "Just Dewey It!" presentation. She not only gave us all tips on how to teach students about the Dewey Decimal System, she also staged an incredibly entertaining and funny performance of "Dewey Dewey." How lucky her students are to have her as their TL. Mark Bobrosky was also great as Melvil himself. :) Here's a slideshow:
Sunday morning I attended the Curriculum Committee meeting. This committee can play such an important role in helping us show the world the value of what we contribute to the curriculum. The committee is open to new members. Do consider applying to participate. After the committee meeting, I split my time between two of the several sessions I really wanted to attend: "Good Slick Stuff to Do with Photoshop Elements or iPhoto" and "M-Learning: Learning on the Go." That's the one frustrating thing about CSLA Conferences --- too many choices! I did get a lot of good ideas from both the sessions I attended, despite the frustration of not being able to be two, three, or four places at once.
The finale of the conference was the authors and illustrators brunch with a moving presentation by Rosemary Wells, and a great finale it was! She moved us all with her messages about how incredibly important it is to read to children, her reading of her Yoko book with its anti-bullying and tolerance messages, her account of her forthcoming book about Lincoln's sons, and her overview of Red Moon at Sharpsburg with its portrayal of the true devastation of war. I have been meaning to read Red Moon at Sharpsburg, and am now placing it at the very top of my "must read" list.
I can't give enough thanks to the conference committee, ARC staff, and everyone involved in putting on the conference this year. You all did a fantastic job. I am so glad I have this week off and can take some time to absorb all the wonderful ideas while they are fresh and make action plans.