Where else would you see 100+ educators enthusiastically dancing to Pop See Ko, but at the inaugural CUE Rock Star Primary Edition? We just closed out an amazing two days of fun, learning and connecting wrapped around our littlest learners. As I reflect back over the last two days, my mind is blown! I witnessed new learning, new connections, many “aha” and “switch flip” moments. The beauty is, that these things were not only happening within the sessions but throughout the whole two days. There were hallway conversations, lunch and learn opportunities, whitespace, and after-hours gatherings. Through these experiences, a camaraderie was formed and relationships were built that will transcend beyond the two-day camp. To me, this is key! It is not only what happens during the camp, but what continues…forward.
The chatter throughout the whole camp was the appreciation of the participants and presenters. They were appreciative to finally have some great professional learning opportunities focused specifically on their students and needs in mind. They felt valued and understood. Words that I heard repeatedly were: inspired, hope, empowered, energized and excited.
The camp was lead by an amazing CUE Rock Star faculty who acted as “activators” within and beyond their sessions. The passion, enthusiasm, and professionalism were apparent in everything they did. They went above and beyond just presenting in their scheduled sessions. All took on extra “lunch and learn” sessions or were involved in collaborating and connecting during “unstructured time”.
Another wonderful thing about these two days was that the learning and growing went both ways. I think we would all agree with faculty:
It was great to be with like minded educators, and learn from them too! – Helen Kamali & Jackie Knudson
Beyond the faculty and the sessions, there were three lessons that we hoped our participants took away from the camp. One of the biggest pieces of the CUE Rock Star camps is the empowerment that the participants ARE the rock stars. This group owned it. Not only did we overhear amazing conversations, but we were able to see visible learning via Twitter.
On day two, we opened up the floor to those who wanted to share their learning or “aha moments”. This was one of the best parts, for me…it was amazing to witness. They shared about things that they planned on taking back to the classroom to implement the next day or how the ideas and people within the camp spoke to them.
The second CUE Rock Star Lesson was: All learning is play…even for teachers. I believe that all in attendance would agree that not only was there tremendous learning but an incredible amount of fun. The positivity and laughter was contagious.
We all witnessed that there is power in pulling educators together that work with like populations, who have common environments and needs. In these more intimate setting provided through CUE Rock Star Camps. the conversations flowed, the ideas sparked and the enthusiasm was contagious. There is power in sharing our stories and we witnessed that power over these last two days. And although it was a long weekend, filled with a lot of learning, people were enthusiastic and on fire to put their new knowledge to use, and that is powerful.
Lesson number three was to “Be like Kayden”. If you don’t know Kayden, just look at her picture above as she experiences rain for the first time. We wanted our participants to leave the camp filled with a renewed hope, enthusiasm and empowerment to bring back and share with their staff and students.
Our hope is that these goals were met during this camp and look forward to the continued connections and learning as we all move forward.
But, I believe to truly understand the power of this CUE Rock Star Primary Camp, it is best to let our participants speak for themselves: CUE Rock Star Primary Reflection. Enjoy and keep doing amazing things for kids!
Rock Star Primary Faculty
Katherine Goyette: “Seesaws And Slides: Writing Past The Playground” and “Level Up Your Literacy Centers”
Susan Stewart: “Where Are We Going Next? Little Citizens In A Great Big Digital World” and “Hyperdocs: Interactive Lessons For Little Learners”
Cori Orlando: “Primary Math Served Two Ways” and “What Are You Thinking? Show Me.”
Sissie Lola: Social Media Director
Cate Tolnai: Director of Member Engagement, CUE
Cori is a mother of two amazing children and currently works as a TOSA in Simi Valley Unified School District. She is a co-moderator for both #SVTChat and #VCHSchat. Cori has presented various sessions for CUE Rock Star, CUE BOLD as well as within and outside of her district and county. She is also a frequent blogger on her site: http://leadinginlimbo.weebly.com/