Category Archives: ILA15

Thinking about ILA15-#sol15


Anne of Green Gables is one of my all-time favorite books.  I have re-read the books many times over the years and they hold a special place in my heart.  This week, as I reflected on my experiences at ILA in St. Louis, I was reminded of a chapter in Anne of Green Gables where Anne experiences what she calls “an epoch in my life” after a trip to Charlottetown and the Exhibition (Montgomery, Lucy Maud; Reads, Timeless (2013-11-27). Anne of Green Gables Stories: 12 Books, 142 Short Stories, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne’s House of Dreams, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside, Chronicles and More (Kindle Location 3149). Timeless Reads. Kindle Edition.).

I thought of Anne’s phrase when reflecting on all that I experienced during my time in St. Louis because attending ILA15 was my own personal “epoch.”  From the pre-conference research institute on Friday to my last session (a panel on Evidence-based best practices) on Monday afternoon, I was   in literacy heaven.  The atmosphere at ILA was incredible!  The sessions energized and enlightened me and provided ideas that will enrich the upcoming school year for my students.  I loved listening to researchers like P. David Pearson, Lesley Morrow, John Guthrie, and Nell Duke and appreciate their work to connect research and practice.  I appreciated how authors like Ruth Culham, Kate Messner, Lester Laminack, and Candace Fleming shared so much of their writing lives, too.  I’ve included a few pictures that I snapped during the conference.


P. David Pearson is presenting during the Monday afternoon panel on best practices.  I’ve been in awe of him for years and his work has been a staple of my graduate studies.


Kate Messner is reading from her wonderful book, How to Read a Story.  This is one of my favorite books! After this, I was able to get a signed copy of Ranger in Time!  She is one of the nicest authors you’ll ever meet!


Dan Santat shares how a librarian encouraged his art during the Scholastic Breakfast.  All of the authors who spoke during this breakfast were amazing (also includes Pam Munoz Ryan, Jewel Parker Rhodes, Mark Teague, and Brian Selznick)!


Kathleen Krull, Candace Fleming, and Karen Blumenthal share about writing nonfiction.  These ladies are amazing!


Ruth Culham, Kate Messner, and Lester Laminack share about the use of mentor texts.  They were so inspiring!

I also presented for the first time at ILA and loved connecting with other educators who are interested in using technology to support their literacy instruction and parent communication.  I appreciate the active engagement of the participants as well as the kind words shared with me after the session.  Presenting at ILA was incredible and I am so thankful for the opportunity!

Finally, I had the opportunity to connect with my VSRA colleagues at ILA.  It was wonderful to share this experience with Tiffany, Stephanie, and Kim.  These ladies enriched my conference experience so much!  We not only had a great time talking about literacy, we also had fun exploring St. Louis (that will have to be my next post!).

Thanks, Mom! #sol15


This week, I’ve been working on finalizing my presentation for ILA 2015.  This will be my first presentation at this conference and I’m very excited.  Attending an ILA conference has been a dream of mine for a long time and I’m thrilled finally to have this opportunity.

Over the course of the week, when I reviewed my PowerPoint slides and timed the presentation, I drafted my Mom as a “practice” audience.  I ran through the entire presentation and Mom practiced the interactive activities built into the session. She not only gave me constructive feedback, but she also provided valuable encouragement.

Over the years, Mom has always supported me in all of my endeavors.  She’s read papers, listened to other presentations, attended countless functions, and has been my biggest cheerleader.  She has always taken the time to support me and for that I am so thankful.  So, as I head to St. Louis to realize a dream, I know that my Mom has played a huge role in achieving this dream.  Thanks, Mom for everything that you do!