A “snow day” on Wednesday that was mainly due to power outages allowed me to leave for the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield even earlier than I originally planned. After sharing a great Italian dinner with two friends and co-presenters, we stopped in briefly at the Old Capitol Building for the launch of Illinois Reads 2014 and then listened to Becky Anderson’s booktalks of adult books. Even though I read MG and YA almost exclusively, I got excited about the YA/Adult crossover books she shared and even about a few adult titles. I even got a few gift ideas 🙂
My sessions today were engaging, informative, and inspiring. One session focused on creating and maintaining a climate for student talk in the classroom, while another advocated for motivation as the sixth component of reading. A teacher from Champaign shared ideas for promoting literacy school-wide at the middle school level. She will host a school visit with Neal Shusterman in November, too, so I think I might email her to see if we could set up a Skype session with our students.
Two high school teachers from Marengo showed us how they use Google apps and other web resources to involve and challenge their students–and they succeed despite the WiFi challenges of the convention center. I am definitely going to try making images interactive with thinglink.com sometime soon. And finally, I introduced and provided tech support for Dick Allington, as he spoke about whether using higher reading materials would raise student achievement (spoiler: they won’t).
At the IRC Board meeting, there was very little business to discuss, but much to celebrate and many people to recognize for all the amazing conference experiences so far, and the ones that will come over the next two days as well.
So it was a long and busy but very rewarding day, and I am looking forward to presenting bright and early tomorrow. And then I’ll attend some more great sessions, too.