Friday, August 14, 2015

Run, Don't Walk to the Next CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp

This week, I attended my first CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp at Crescent City, CA. This is the last teacher camp of the 2015 Summer season. What is Rock Star Camp for teachers? First, they are the brainchild of the creative Jon Corippo, Director of Academic Innovation at This movement has morphed from one or two a year for teachers, to 13 Teacher Camps this summer, Administrative Camps, and Camps for TOSAs. Check out the site for updates or follow the #cuerockstar Twitter hashtag for current happenings.

What happens in a CUE Rock Star Camp? First, the shreds start off the day: Each faculty member riffs for two minutes on his or her day's session: one slide only. Each faculty member leads two sessions per day which are repeated so if you miss something in the morning, you can join the afternoon. Sessions are two hours long. They are more about making and doing than sitting and getting. Questions, texting, collaboration, new ideas, new solutions, problems are all encouraged. The sessions are focused on meeting the needs of your students and your needs as a teacher, so you can support student learning.

Sunset over Crescent City Harbor with Pro HDR app and iPhone 5S 

Here are some examples of sessions on the schedule, just in Crescent City (link to the Schedule). In the Crescent City camp, Day 1 is on Google or Apple tools, Day 2 in on STEAM sessions, and Day 3 is on Innovative Pedagogies. Lunch is two hours to allow time to make connections and learn in an ad hoc way with participants and faculty. At lunch on Day 1, we learned how to use Twitter better and introduced the new Periscope app, owned by Twitter. On Day 2, we shared out Twitter handles and talked informally about solutions to challenges, one to one or a few.

What is the secret sauce of a Rock Star Camp? It is beyond the structure and open, supportive culture: it is the people who attend the camp. The Rock Stars aren't the faculty. The Rock Stars are the teachers who come to learn. Some of the Rock Star Faculty I've met this year are: Chris Scott, Art La Flamme, Rae Fearing, Rick Phelan, Tracey Campbell, Charlene Knowlton, and Colby Smart. We have been lucky to share, learn, and celebrate Crescent City together at our host site, the Del Norte High School. Thanks for being great hosts. Rock On, Crescent City!


  1. This sounds so exciting! I am really jealous you got to attend. I love that faculty are attending AND presenting. This has to help with engagement.

  2. Beautiful pic, I love crescent city! What a great way to spend the summer and it allows you to reflect on the year to come.

  3. I wanted to attended the RockStar in Tahoe, but I had my kids that weekend. Next year!!!! My district hosted a similar event that was AWESOME!! So inspiring to be a part of that kind of energy.

  4. I've heard tons about these, but haven't been able to attend yet. Thanks for sharing the details - hopefully I'll attend one soon!

  5. This wave is catching on... I haven't attended one yet, but Crescent City would have been great. I've been up that way a few times. I could definitely feel your excitement on your twitter feed. Great post!