Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Nerdcamp 2019!

nerdcamp, books, nerdy book club, nerds, nerdy
Last week I was at Nerdcamp Michigan for the seventh year in a row! I can't believe how much it has grown. It's always amazing to be surrounded by so many nerds. It fills me up and definitely gives me fuel to keep moving forward. I'm so glad to have it in my life. 

This year, my older son went with me again. He even came up with a Nerdcamp handshake! (Check it out at the end of this post!) It was fun to have him there with me again. Colby, Alaina, Suzanne and the rest of the Nerdcamp team did an absolutely amazing job yet again. Being so far away, I don't get to help much or see all that they put into making sure camp runs smoothly for everyone but I know they spend a lot of time to make Nerdcamp as successful as it has been year after year. I barely took any pictures but I did manage to take a selfie with Colby. I'm proud to call such an amazing, kidlit advocate my friend. 
nerdcamp, nerdy book club, jen vincent, colby sharp

Colby invited me to moderate the opening panel this year with a focus on feminism. It was a huge honor to take the stage with these amazing women: Patricia Valdez, Laura Shovan, Supriya, Kelkar, Alicia D. Williams, and Pernille Ripp.

nerdcamp, nerdy book club, jen vincent, feminism, feminism for all, panel

nerdcamp, nerdy book club, jen vincent, feminism, feminism for all, panel, pernille ripp

They had amazing ideas to share and I found myself taking notes as they talked and wanted to share them here!

I started us off with some words from Roxane Gay. In her article Why I Am A Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay said, “It was easy to embrace feminism when I realized it was advocating for gender equality in all realms, while also making the effort to be intersectional, to consider all the other factors that influence who we are and how we move through the world.”

Later, I shared the definition of "intersectionality" from critical race and gender studies professor KimberlĂ© Crenshaw. In an interview, she explained, "Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things." I believe feminism is simple...but also very complex and wanted to try and discuss this in the short time that we had. 

To start, the panelists had a few books to share: 

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir 
by Nikki Grimes
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Other Words For Home 
by Jasmine Warga
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Queer Heroes: Meet 52 LGBTQ Heroes From Past and Present! 
by Arabelle Sicardi, illustrations by Sarah Tanat-Jones
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Laura Shovan reminded us that, "Feminism is all about choice." This resonated with me because all too often women aren't given a choice or laws take away our choices. 

Pernille Ripp said, "We should embrace anger as a tool." Too often women and girls are asked to be kind and sweet and expected to be happy all the time so I agree with Pernille. If we're raising and/or teaching brave women, we all have to embrace when passion might look like anger. Because anger can lead to action. And don't we want students to stand up for what they believe in? 

nerdcamp, nerdy book club, jen vincent, feminism, feminism for all, panel
Artist Gareth Hinds drew us during the panel!

At the end, I asked the panelists to share what they were sick and tired of when it comes to feminism in kidlit. Here's their list!

We're sick and tired of...
  • boy books versus girl books
  • boys don't read books with girls on the cover
  • boys versus girls
  • girls being objectified
  • microaggressions
  • books where the girl needs a boy to tell her she is beautiful
  • gender norms - coded words
  • being a feminist means being angry 
It was such an amazing panel!

nerdcamp, nerdy book club, jen vincent, feminism, feminism for all, panel, pernille ripp
The rest of Nerdcamp was also awesome as well and here's my son and Alaina sharing the Nerdcamp handshake. It's been so cool to see him come to camp and embrace his nerdy-ness!

Last but definitely not least, Nerdcamp Junior was fantastic. I was a group volunteer again and got to hear Kathi Appelt, Jonathan Auxier, and Kristin O'Donnell Tubb talk about their books. The kids had a great time!

Hooray for another great Nerdcamp Michigan!

Monday, July 15, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 07/15/2019

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 


Last Week's Book Adventures:
This week I read Ally Carter's Dear Ally: How Do You Write a Book? and I also read Be The Change by Sara Ahmed. I thought I had read Be The Change but I think I bought it when I bought Upstanders and then never read it all. It was super helpful as I started to make plans for the school year! I'll be blogging about my beginning-of-the-year plans soon!

I also read Tiger Vs. Nightmare and Peter and Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths which are both early reader-ish graphic novels. They were cute!

Last Week's Posts:
(Click on the image to visit the post.)

Upcoming Book Adventures: 

This week I'll be rereading Upstanders and reading Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Kahn and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini and Cheerful Chick by Martha Brockenbrough and illustrated by Brian Won. Kate Messner is featuring these two picture books for Teachers Write this week as mentor texts and I'm excited to follow along. Be sure to follow along with Kate's blog!
So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Teachers Write Weekly Check In 07/14/2019

teachers, writing, teachers write

Hello writer friends! I hope you had a great first week of Teachers Write! I realized that I never shared my writing plans for the week...so I need to start there. This summer has been amazing but it's been full of lots of little trips which have made it hard to get into a routine. My older son and I were at Nerdcamp last week and then I went in to do some planning with my 8th grade teammates so that took my attention. I also did some Story Exploratory planning which took time as well. My goal for the week was to get back to blogging and I'm happy to say that I did brainstorm some blog posts and I even wrote one that I have scheduled for next week. 

This week I'd like to write a few more blog posts but also get to a novel I've been thinking about for a while now. I've done a lot of character work and I've worked on a broad outline so it's time to write...so I just have to do it! BIC - butt in chair, right?

The blog posts I outlined have to do with going back to teaching and Story Exploratory and I'm feel rejuvenated when it comes to blogging. When it comes to my novel writing, I picked up a writing book at the library that I read this week, Dear Ally: How Do You Write a Book by Ally Carter.

writing, book, picture of how do you write a book by ally carter

I like how this is written for a YA audience and can definitely see recommending it to a teen who loves to write. I can also see sharing parts with my students. She shares some advice from other authors and ideas for different parts of the writing process which I really liked.

Speaking of advice for writing, I'd love to hear what you thought of this week's mentor texts! I had the pleasure of meeting Patricia Valdez at Nerdcamp. She was on the Feminism for All Panel that I led. I've used Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor as a mentor text for one of my non-fiction picture books but I liked how Kate talked about both of the books and gave ideas for brainstorming and/or revising. Feel free to share in the comments or join me in the Zoom chat to share in person! (More info below!)


A reminder of my rules for Teachers Write Sunday Check-Ins:

1. We respect each other and the type of writing we do.
2. We are positive and encourage each other at all times.
3. We recognize and maintain this as a safe, inclusive environment for all.
**I reserve every right to put the smackdown
on anyone who messes with our positive energy.**

Ideas for today in the comments section:
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the non-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-fun part?)
What are you looking forward to and planning for the week ahead?

And don't forget to join us for a virtual check in!

Sunday, July 14th
5:00 pm PST / 6:00 pm MST / 7:00 pm CST / 8:00 pm EST

Join Zoom Meeting

You'll need the link above to join the meeting. Please know that you'll have to download the Zoom app on your phone or computer and then click on the link and it should take you right into the meeting. You don't have to sign up or sign in but it will ask for your name. My advice is to sign in about 10 minutes ahead of time so you can troubleshoot. Let me know if you have any questions, my email is jen (at) teachmentortexts (dot) com.

Here are the dates and times for future Mentor Text Meet Ups: 

Sunday, July 21st
Sunday, July 28th

5:00 pm PST / 6:00 pm MST / 7:00 pm CST / 8:00 pm EST

Happy writing!

Monday, July 8, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 07/08/2019

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 


Last Week's Book Adventures:
This week I finished up reading Ahimsa which I loved and I can't wait to talk to Supriya about it at Nerdcamp this week. I also finished listening to What If It's Us on the roadtrip. I loved it too! Solid book choices this week.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I downloaded Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener on audio book to listen to on the way home from Nerdcamp so we'll be listening to that and then I'm not 100% sure about my regular book reading this week but I'll be going into school later this week to do some planning so it might be the Lucy Calkins' Units of Study books! Stay tuned!

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Happy Teachers Write 2019!


Happy Teachers Write 2019!

Things are looking a bit different this year but I'm excited to be a teacher who writes and to connect with other teachers who write. 

Here's a bit about me:

I'm a writer, blogger, and educator. I taught for ten years and then have spent the last seven years working as a teacher leader, curriculum coordinator, tech integration specialist, and most recently an instruction coach. This year I'll be teaching a section of monolingual 8th grade ELA/SS and a section of transitional bilingual 7th grade ELA/SS. It was my choice to go back to teaching because I truly miss reading and writing with kids all day. 

I'll be teaching in the middle school where my oldest son goes to school. It's about half a mile from our house so I'm totally looking forward to walking to school everyday. We live in a northern suburb of Chicago. 

I started writing with a thought in my brain that I'd like to be published someday in 2011 and I've been writing with teachers write since started in 2012. Today I blog (although not as consistently as I'd like) and write picture books and novels and lots of other things. 

If you're here, I hope you're writing with us this year! And I'd love to hear about you!

A reminder of my rules for Teachers Write Sunday Check-Ins:

1. We respect each other and the type of writing we do.
2. We only offer constructive criticism.
3. We are positive and encourage each other at all times.
4. We recognize and maintain this as a safe environment.
**I reserve every right to put the smackdown
on anyone who messes with our positive energy.**

Ideas for today, in the comments section:
Introduce yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
What kind of writing are you working on? Fiction or non-fiction?
A picture book, chapter book, novel, poetry?
What are you looking forward to and planning for Teachers Write?

If you'd like to join me for our Zoom chat next week, I'll post the link in my blog post here next Sunday morning. 

Here are the dates and times for our Mentor Text Meet Ups: 

Sunday, July 14th
Sunday, July 21st
Sunday, July 28th

5:00 pm PST / 6:00 pm MST / 7:00 pm CST / 8:00 pm EST

Until then, shine on!


Monday, July 1, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 07/01/2019

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 


Last Week's Book Adventures:
I'm so late posting this! Better late than never! I finished reading The Marrow Thieves last week and listened to more of What If It's Us? I also started Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar. 

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'll be listening to What If It's Us? and finishing up Ahimsa this week!

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Nerdcamp 2019!

Last week I was at Nerdcamp Michigan for the seventh year in a row! I can't believe how much it has grown. It's always amazing to...