Sunday, February 26, 2012

Awesome Literacy Conference!

On Saturday, I attended the Dublin Literacy Conference (#dublit12 on Twitter if you want to read the feeds).  It was AMAZING!  I went once, five years ago, when I was a first year teacher.  I didn't really know what it was all about and I have to say I was not impressed then.  I had heard all these great things about it, but nothing really stuck with me that year.  Maybe it was just an off-year.  When I heard that Donalyn Miller (for those teachers in a hole-I'm talking about The Book Whisperer here!) was the keynote speaker this year, I knew I HAD to go.  I got my registration in early and made sure to sign up for the last session of the day that she was holding called Bring on the Books.  I was super excited!  And it was everything-I mean EVERYTHING it was cracked up to be!  Check out my GoodReads shelf for suggestions I got from Donalyn herself.  When I got home Friday night, I realized I had left my copy of The Book Whisperer at school, so I dragged my behind back in there at 8 pm just so I could have it autographed!  One of the first thing Donalyn said in her keynote was regarding her students reading without the use of AR.  I loved this, and made sure to tell her that I was thrilled my school got rid of AR this year and my students are still reading-actually moreso than they have in the past.  She signed my book:  "Celebrate Reading Freedom!"  How awesome is that?!  

The afternoon keynote was Sharon Draper.  She was just as amazing!  Sorry, I just don't have any other words!  I was not really familiar with Sharon Draper.  I knew she wrote a lot of books with multi-cultural protagonists.  I also knew she wrote a lot for high school kids.  She was actually a very funny and interesting speaker.  She is also a former teacher.  She wrote her first trilogy while she was still teaching!

The morning opened with a reading and song from Eric Litwin and James Dean, the author and creator of Pete the Cat.  Since I don't teach primary, I was not familiar with them either, but they are two groovy dudes!  I heard their breakout sessions were fantastic.  I bought my son Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes and we've probably read it and sang the song at least 20 times since yesterday afternoon.  In November, they are releasing a Pete the Cat Christmas book.  I already know one item on my son's list!  

If you live in Ohio, you definitely need to add the Dublin Literacy Conference to your to-do list for next year!


  1. I might just have to come and join you for the conference next year. I have family right around the Dublin area. I had the opportunity to hear Donalyn Miller 2 years ago before I had my own classroom and want to hear her again soon now that I do have my own. I am so grateful that we do not do AR either on my campus because I so agree that it motivates readers for the wrong reason.

    So jealous!

    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

  2. Sounds like a great conference! I kind of wish our school would do away with AR too. On my campus kids are only wanting to read AR books and our librarian (pressured by upper grade teachers) relabeled our library according to AR levels and she talks about it every time we go. I like her, but I keep telling her my kids don't have AR levels yet. Our library also got rid of most or all the books that aren't AR. Some teachers also use that like it's their reading program.
     Chrissy

    First Grade Found Me

  3. I have also seen Sharon Draper, and yes, she's awesome! I have some of her "Sassy" and "Ziggy" series books in my classroom library.

  4. Sounds awesome the Michigan Literacy conference is coming up next week and I'm going, I had a similar experience as a first year teacher so I hope I'm as impressed now as you have been! I can't wait for a new Pete the Cat book! I'm a new follower so glad I found your blog!