#IRA2013 and not-horrible Close Reading

I’m looking forward to attending the International Reading Association Annual Convention this weekend in San Antonio!  Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or blue about the pressures bearing down on our great profession, I find gatherings like these to be uplifting, energizing, and empowering.  It is always a gift to be amongst thoughtful and engaged minds pouring their time and hearts into making the world better for our students.

I plan to tweet my heart out and look forward to following the action of the convention using #ira2013.

Planning and Cloning

I always go into these things with big plans and an overbooked schedule.  Here are a few sessions I want to attend (and full well know most of these all take place at the same time (if anyone has a cloning device please send ASAP):

I miss amazing pre-institutes on Friday (no direct flight #boo! Chicago airport, we will be seeing a lot of each other.)

Saturday (an incomplete list that is nevertheless impossible to get to and yet I will continue to pretend I can get to all of them and more)

  • 10:30AM The IRA Literacy Research Panel: Big Ideas, Literacy Needs, and National Priorities – Chaired by P. David Person
  • 11AM Scaffolding Students’ Independence and Teachers’ Professional Development through Authentic Reading Communities – Teri Lesesne, Donalyn Miller, Terry Thompson
  • 1PM Reading and Writing WORDshop: Academic Vocabulary and Word Choice – Jeff Anderson and Charles Fuhken
  • 2:30 RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE: Meeting the Challenges of the Changing Demographics: Assessment and Instruction That Makes a Positive Difference in ELs’ Success
  • 2:30 – Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas!  As live really real people talking to me… well and everyone else packed into the room!

(3 PM. Ugh. Too much to see!)

  • 3PM Donald Graves and the Revolution in Children’s Writing–Recovered Archival Footage of a Turning Point in Literacy Education – Penny Kittle and Thomas Newkirk
  • 3PM Comprehension at the Core: Enhancing Elementary Literacy Instruction with Technology – Stephanie Harvey, Anne Goudvis, Kati Muhtaris, Kristin Ziemke
  • 3PM Secondary Reading: Teaching the Reading and Composing of Texts to Meet and Exceed the CCSS – Kelly Gallagher, Julie Meltzer, Jeffrey Wilhelm
  • 4:45 – How Do I Fit It All In? The Common Core and Your Literacy Block: Learn a Practical Strategy for Considering the “Big Picture” of Instruction, Considering Balance and the C0mmon Core State Standards – Jan Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris
  • 4:45 – Pages, Pixels, and Promise: Teaching Real Readers With Digital Tools – Sara Kajder

Presenting on Sunday – Close Reading

Sunday at 11AM Kate Roberts (@teachkate) and I will be talking Close Reading (not in the horrible sense, but in the engaging, life affirming, Justin Biebering, teaching towards independence sense) in Lone Star Ballroom A.  Our session “Not Just the Books They Read, But Lives They Lead: Rethink Close Reading as More Than Just Analyzing Words and See it as a Student’s Tool For Leading a More Engaged Life” stems from the research and classroom practice we have been doing while writing our forthcoming Heinemann publication on this topic.

Instead of seeing close reading as a long list of text-dependent, teacher-dependent questions, we find that if you plan with students at the center of your instruction they can take on these challenging skills with power.

Here’s to a great weekend of learning and connecting!