Hello, NDRA members! I had the pleasure of attending the ILA conference this summer in St. Louis! It was a fabulous conference and I wish every literacy educator could get the opportunity to go at least once in their career! It kicked off with speakers Shiza Shahid and Shaq!!! I was so excited to just see Shaq for his size but little did I know the impact Shiza would have! She is from Pakistan and is involved with the Malala Foundation that promotes education for girls. It made me realize how fortunate we are in the United States and I have taken my education for granted! I'm currently reading "I Am Malala" for pleasure and am astonished as to what other girls have to go through just to get a proper education! Both Shahid and Shaq spoke about the impact their own teachers and parents had to get them where they are today!
The rest of the conference was packed with ideas for incorporating close reads, writing, and learning about new up and coming books from the different vendors! The speakers I had the pleasure of listening to were Ruth Culham, Lori Oczkus, Timothy Rasinski, and Kate Messner just to name a few! One idea I took away was using a fiction and nonfiction text on the same topic to do a close read! I also enjoyed hearing how Ruth Cullam is "The Writing Theif" and uses mentor text to enhance her writing instruction! A prereading strategy is to put on a witches finger and scroll it down the middle of the page. Then talk to a partner about any words you see! We tried it and it really did get some good discussion about what the passage would be about!
It is a wonderful conference and next year it's in Boston! I encourage anyone to try to find the funds to go!!!