The 2014-2015 school year was the educational equivalent of my morning cappuccino, a concoction causing me to gulp down the year in a fiendish, caffeinated frenzy. And it all started with CUE. Finding CUE was the answer to many years of hitting my head against the walls of outdated pedagogy.

For those of you that live in northern California, you know full well how difficult it can be to find quality professional development. We’re “in the middle of nowhere” [ed note- I went to college near there, you’ve got cows] and get the short end of the stick when it comes to conference variety and choice. I can’t tell you how many times walked away from professional developments feeling uninspired, drained, and often, with an empty wallet.

CUE’s Rock Star camps were the perfect answer for my colleagues and I. We were those who wished to engage in meaningful edu-conversations, out-of-the-box ideas, and who wanted a support system beyond our district walls. CUE delivered. Ten-fold. They not only provided us with engaging, hands-on activities and ideas to benefit our students, we also gained something even more precious: the beginnings of a state-wide network of amazing educators!

Being able to attend one conference and come away with so much was a breath of fresh air! In a matter of three days, I dove into the value of social media in education, online tools for effective student feedback, elementary STEAM activities, and project-based learning. My classroom vitality was renewed!

In just a few short weeks, I will attend my third CUE Rock Star Chico camp. I’m especially excited for this year, as the new “Hero’s Journey” format will help provide an alternative path for future lesson planning! Each “episode” (session) will be aligned to this journey and will reflect one or more of the following elements: engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate.

Some of this year’s episodes include screencasting, infographics, public speaking, maker clubs, engaging assessments, QR codes, Seesaw digital portfolios, iPads in primary grades, and many topics surrounding the use of Google Suite features. I have no doubt that it will continue to be a pinnacle of awesomeness in northern California, especially with the amazing presenters in this year’s line-up! I never leave a Corey Coble session without a new device to try (I imagine a 3D pen or some type of circuitry will be on my shopping list this year). And with Ryan Archer sharing his knowledge of virtual reality, I will finally understand how to use and integrate Google Cardboard! I can’t wait!

You can register for any Rock Star Camp at and Chico specifically can be found here: This year’s two-day camp, happening June 14-15 at Chico Country Day School, is a mere $199 (which now includes a year’s CUE membership)! There are three 90-minute episodes each day, and lunch is provided. As always, it will be a hands-on learning experience with plenty of collaborative conversations! It is an incomparable value, and an experience you will not regret!

Hope to see you in Chico!

Laurie York has been a classroom teacher for twelve years and currently teaches fourth grade in Gridley, CA. She is also President of North State CUE, a #CAEdChat Moderator, a Seesaw Ambassador, CUE Rock Star Faculty, and Level 2 Google Educator. You can connect with Laurie on Twitter, Snapchat, and Insta @MsYorksClass.

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