#nErDcampMI 2016


#nErDcampMI 2016–what a tremendous experience again!

My biggest gift at #nErDcampMI this year was the focus on diverse literature for children and young adults!!! So many presenters talked about the need to “flood” classrooms with books that our students can relate to. After all, what is the point in having books if none of them relate to the students that walk into our classrooms.

Thank you @ProfessorNana and @donalynbooks for many wonderful recommendations!

I teach English Learners who do not speak Spanish (except one). Most of my students speak Arabic, Kurdish, Somali, and Urdu. A few also speak Mandingo and French. Finding books for my secondary students, that would be at my students’ reading level AND would interest them, are hard to find. But, this is a MUST!!! The above picture shows a few of my new books that arrived this week. I am eager to read them and get my students  books shopping with new books at the beginning of September!

Do you know books with Somali or Arabic main characters? What about Kurdish or Urdu characters? Please let me know!



Retro #nErDcampMI from 2014


It all started the summer of 2013. I kept reading about this event called . I had no idea what it was. Perhaps a technology camp. I had no smartphone or iPad; I did not believe that it was for me. Then came the reviews, blog posts, and all the other wonderful things after last summer’s camp. It was for me! I could have gone. It was then and there that I decided to go in the summer of 2014!

There was so much buzz about the #nErDcampMI! I was getting a little nervous. After all, I teach English as a Second Language; I do not have a regular classroom. Still, I was determined to go. At the last minute (well, maybe the last day or three), my coworker said she could go on Monday.

My first session had to do with high school English–argumentative writing particularly. Erica Beaton (@B10LovesBooks) was awesome! I learned so much from her. My mind was trying to process all the different ideas that I could use for my Sheltered English class this coming fall. Erica, you were my introduction to #nErDcampMI! It could not have been any better!

Couple of the other sessions that I attended, were also geared towards secondary. I loved listening to collaborative education happening in every session. Everyone was an avid listener, contributor, and learner. When I would mention something about teaching ELLs, others talked about ELLs in their classrooms or how they are working with other at-risk students. I felt valued in every session.

Then there was the impromptu Evernote session. Perfect timing! I have already shared the information and power points slides with many other teachers. Plans have already been made how I can increase communication with other teachers using Evernote. Thank you @katsok!

After listening to Donalyn’s keynote on Monday, our drive home (yes, I live close enough to commute), felt almost too short as we had so much to talk about. We now have ideas, ideas that we want to share with the rest of  the teachers. I have tons of books in my classroom, but I want to be more intentional on how I talk about them with my students. I want to organize my classroom to be more students friendly (gladly my DIY niece has promised to come and help).

Passion for books, passion for relationship building, and passion for sharing are my special gifts that I take home from #nErDcampMI. Coming home with a bagful of books was the icing on the top!