As I sat in the Atlanta, GA airport last night I looked around at the nine of us visiting with each other and thought I leave with a full heart. My heart is full because I felt encouragement, hope, and warmth while I attended NCTE. Yes, the temperature was warm when we landed in Atlanta and enjoyed our lunch outside but the warmth in my heart is from spending time with friends.
Friends is defined at dictionary.com as;
These definitions help me make sense of why my heart is full. I spent time with old, new, and wanna be friends. I passed lots of strangers but I never felt uncomfortable. I felt this year especially, the NCTE planning committee, volunteers, and attendees all came to give each other a lift because we do have common feelings about the work we do and live within our classrooms and out of our classrooms.
This list of Top Ten Things I Heard that Filled My Heart at #NCTE16 will just touch the surface from my two days, if you would like to know more about something let me know.
10. "Words alone can make a story hard to figure out but illustrations help pull the story through." - Erin Stead. She gave an example of just the words for a picture book without the illustrations; typed on one page and then we read the words with the illustrations spread across pages. The meaning was truly stretched and strengthened.
9. "It's not about a level, it's about a process. We want the same effort for print and meaning strategies. They often become unbalanced." - Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins
8. Author, Kate Kine hated hyphenated words as a young reader and now she makes sure they don't show up in the books she's writing.
7. Matt Glover encouraged teachers to give students choice for the type of genre they want to write and not just topic choice within a school year, and shared several examples of just how powerful this is.
6. "Conferencing gets to the heart of lifelong reading." - Karen Biggs Tucker
5. "Trust your wisdom and connect it to observation and data ." - Terry Thompson
4. "Our job is to watch, to notice and listen so closely, so we can connect those dots." - Tammy Mulligan and Claire Landrigan
3. We often feed into their weaknesses, why not feed into their strengths. We saw an example where painting led to powerful writing. "I chose orange it makes me think of disappointment." Cheryl Tyler
2. "Creating is not magic, creating is for everyone." - Bill Bass
1. "Students need to read powerful stories of the human condition. Courage is not something you say but something you manifest." - Ernest Morrill