Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reading Is Magical! Especially with VSRA

Virginia State Reading Association is a professional organization that promotes the love of literacy in the state and beyond. Their reading conference is not comparable. The prefect professional development weekend.

This past weekend was the 48th Annual VSRA Reading Conference in Richmond, Virginia.  It was such a fantastic event.  Tiffany Brocious was the 2015 Conference Chair and she did a terrific job.  It is such a big job, but it went off without a hitch.  I attended so many great sessions and talked to so many wonderful professionals, I know I'm going to offend someone when I forget to post something.

General Sessions

VSRA offers 3 General Sessions.  These sessions offer top-of-the-line speakers who are known in the literacy community.  They were real, inspiring, and entertaining.  They provided good information about literacy in presentations that made us laugh and think, all at the same time.  Dick Allington had been a speaker at VSRA previously, but spoke this time about the Summer Slide.  Every teacher knows it and every teacher fears it.  His research clearly connects the number of books available to students and the degree of Summer Slide.  Mary Howard was wonderful about inspiring teachers to be GREAT by reading, reading, and more reading.  She also shared that "when we integrate reading and writing we multiply outcome!  Here's another good one..."A teacher on her feet is worth a million in their seat."  Get up and get involved with the student learning.  Finally, we were about to hear the inspirational words of Valerie Ellery.  This is the best quote of the day:

"It's not how smart you are, but how you are smart."

Virginia State Reading Association is a professional organization that promotes the love of literacy in the state and beyond. Their reading conference is not comparable. The prefect professional development weekend.

Featured Speaker

I was very happy to present for VSRA.  This year I had the pleasure of meeting so many teachers who were excited about teaching and learning and doing the BEST they can.  It is why I LOVE teacher training.  I hope they were able to take at least one thing back to their classrooms this week.
Virginia State Reading Association is a professional organization that promotes the love of literacy in the state and beyond. Their reading conference is not comparable. The prefect professional development weekend.

My first session was a writing session.  If you know me at all, you know this is my favorite thing.  I could talk writing all day...but I only had 2 hours.  I'm pretty sure I fit 3 hours of information in that 2 hours.
Virginia State Reading Association is a professional organization that promotes the love of literacy in the state and beyond. Their reading conference is not comparable. The prefect professional development weekend.
My second session was Using Jan Richardson's Pre-A Guided Reading methods to give our most struggling readers to best advantage.  This Pre-A level is proven to be the difference between early success and complete struggling.
Virginia State Reading Association is a professional organization that promotes the love of literacy in the state and beyond. Their reading conference is not comparable. The prefect professional development weekend.
My final session was Saturday morning.  I was so scared no one would come.  It had been such a fun and busy conference, it would have been very easy to stay in bed.  BUT they showed up. Probably 75 people showed up on a Saturday morning to talk about Vocabulary.  Vocabulary is one of the KEY contributions to early success.
Virginia State Reading Association is a professional organization that promotes the love of literacy in the state and beyond. Their reading conference is not comparable. The prefect professional development weekend.
Finally, there were so many great sessions.  I attended sessions by old friends and new friends.  I was able to preside over my friend and co-author, Beth Estill to hear her talk about writing.  (Have I told you it's my favorite thing?)  I got to be in 2 sessions with good friends who were presenting their very first conference session.  I'm sure they have the presenting bug now.  Such great sessions to strengthen my teaching and my coaching.
Virginia State Reading Association is a professional organization that promotes the love of literacy in the state and beyond. Their reading conference is not comparable. The prefect professional development weekend.
I cannot stress enough the value of going to conferences.  Just being with other teachers who are eager to learn and grow is inspiring!  AND so much more.

Make plans now for Norfolk.  I'll see you there.
Virginia State Reading Association is a professional organization that promotes the love of literacy in the state and beyond. Their reading conference is not comparable. The prefect professional development weekend.
Click the link if you'd like some FREEBIE from my session.

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