We are the ones we have been waiting for. (Dr. Tracy Weeden)

This past weekend, I got the opportunity to attend the PBS NC's Impact Early Education Summit in Charlotte, NC. This free, one day conference was truly amazing and the energy of all of the early 'childhood educators was truly contagious. How often do educators get opportunities to learn together at a free conference? I really appreciated PBS sponsoring this event. Not only did I get to present two sessions at this event, but I learned so much from the activities planned for the day.

We need to return to impactful.

The day started with the always energetic Mallory Mbalia getting us pumped up for an amazing day of learning. North Carolinians definitely know how to get a conference started right and the energy was off the hook. The first hour was filled with inspirational speakers who emphasized the importance of literacy and how he collective efforts of PBS, North Carolina's Department of Public Instruction and more were working to promote literacy. Twoof my favorite quotes of the morning came from Dr. Kristi Snuggs of the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education. " We need not return to normal- we need to return to IMPACTFUL.. She continued, " "Learn from each other, have fun, and let's continue to impact others! None of us alone have the answers, but if we work together, we can change early education.""

What Does It Take to Build a Dream?

The morning continued with Kelly Starling Lyons' keynote. Toni Morrison said, "If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it." I loved as she shared how this quote was part of her story of how she wanted to make sure that all students had books that they could identify with. But Kelly doesn't just write books, she also founded the Brown Bookshelf to advocate awareness of other Black voices for young readers. We need to make sure ALL of our students see themselves in the books we read with and to them.. By doing so, we not only connect better with students, but affirm their identities and that they matter.

Embracing New Uses for Old Tools

After lunch, I attended Lauren Boucher's sessiion on Ditch The Textbook and Embrace The Tech. During this session, I was delighted to discover so many new uses for tools that were already in my toolbox. For example, she began by sharing ways that she uses Google MyMaps with students. Although I had used this tool before, I had no idea how versatile it could truly be and the ways that students could collaborate using this online tool. She continued by sharing innovative ways to use Google Drawings such as a green screen using remove.bg. But I especially loved her use of Google Forms. I loved how she used them for choice boards and hyperdocs. I had never thpught of using them in that way. I can't wait to try them out this fall!

Thank You to Those Who Attended my Sessions

I got the opportunity to present two sessions, Creating with Littles and Tech Up The Math, after that. Thank you to those of you who attended one of my sessions. I really appreciated it. I loved your questions and the discussions we had.. If you missed my live sessions, I also recorded both of my sessions for the virtual PBS NC Impact Early Childhood Education Summit. Definitely check them out and let me know if you have any questions. If you still want to register for the virtual day next Saturday, click here.