A Look Inside I.R.A. 2010 by Stephanie Gorecki
A Look Inside I.R.A. 2010
by Stephanie Gorecki,
Intermediate Product Development Manager for Really Good Stuff
From April 25th through the 28th, dedicated teachers filled the rooms and halls of Chicago’s McCormick Place for I.R.A.’s 55th Annual Convention: Reading in Many Languages. A rainy start gave way to a sunny and breezy week by the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan, which was enjoyed by attendees through the massive floor-to-ceiling lobby windows. The convention offered a little something for everyone.
Reading specialists, school administrators, professors, authors, classroom teachers, and more shared in conversations over current issues in literacy learning and instruction. Conference sessions offered a wide-variety of topics to choose from, notably this year: ELL needs, technology and reading, coaching and RTI, and non-fiction comprehension in the content areas.
The conference brought many authors and their readers together. Eager lines formed as teachers gathered for signings from their favorite authors of professional books and children’s books, and for the sessions offered by some of the authors. Some included Kevin Henkes, Regie Routman, Jane Yolen, T.A. Barron, Christine Boardman Moen, David Adler, Jon Scieszka, and Henry Winkler, among many great others.
Literacy Work Stations author, Debbie Diller, greeted fans at the Really Good Stuff booth. And it was nearly standing-room-only at the 4,249 seat Arie Crown Theater for a talk by former Vice President Al Gore who touched on the internet and its connections to new literacies. While rolling carts were no longer allowed in the exhibit hall this year, teachers still found ways to manage all of the valuable give-aways from the booths. With the I.R.A. Convention offering so much this year, it was impossible to leave McCormick place, without at least one new tool, strategy, or perspective that would impact one’s work with students in the field of literacy.
What conferences do you usually attend? Do you stick close to home and only travel to conferences in your state or within driving distance? Is there one conference that you just can’t miss every year? We’d love to hear what’s important to you when choosing whether or not to attend a conference. Please comment and share your thoughts with us!