Reading Today asked International Reading Association members which sessions they were planning to attend at the IRA 58th Annual Convention in San Antonio from April 19-22, 2013. Alexandra Panos, Chicago middle grades language arts teacher and Reading Today Online TILE-SIG contributor, says she's looking forward to these professional development opportunities:
Infusing Close Reading into Small Group Instruction: Helping Students to Think Critically
"I am looking forward to this workshop on close readings of texts. Although I’ve been through my fair share of Common Core PD, I have found that close reading is one of the biggest changes for most of the teachers at my school. I believe that the differences between close reading and guided reading require careful consideration as we move forward. I look forward to sharing what I learn with my colleagues back home."
Examining the Middle Grades Canon
"As an ardent enthusiast for middle grades literature, those elusive texts that hover between upper elementary and YA lit, I look forward to finding out what the presenters have to say about what the current 'canon' has to offer. I’m hoping to see lots of diverse perspectives, complex plots and high interest topics!"
Becoming a Teacher Researcher: Exploring IRA's Teacher as Researcher Grant
"It is my firm belief that teacher researchers do the most good for their students. The approach we take in design, reflection and response is integral to powerful teaching outcomes. I did not know there was a grant! I look forward to learning more about the types of action research previously conducted and how the IRA supports teacher researchers."
Digital Literacy and Technology Lessons and Projects that Make a Difference: Improving Teaching and Learning
"My students, co-workers and I are extraordinarily fortunate in our ease of access to digital technologies. I love learning more ways to employ quality projects and lessons into our integrated language arts and technology classroom. The fact that the presenters are also taking the time to explore differentiation in these contexts truly excites my interest."
Encountering International Literature: "Reading the World" to Move Toward Critical Literacy
"In my classroom, I employ critical literacy frameworks on a daily basis and have great admiration for the role diverse literature plays in the complex work my students conduct as part of their studies. I sincerely cannot wait to learn more about the international literature reviewed and the exciting discussion of student generated questioning of these exciting texts."
Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms: Academic Success with Intention!
"Empowering students takes so many forms, but I believe intentionality in all areas of teaching is the key to success. The presenters’ focus on the idea of intentionally designing and empowering teachers to create culturally responsive classrooms has caught my attention. Our classrooms should respond to their changing dynamics and makeups. I can’t wait to attend."
The IRA 58th Annual Convention runs from April 19 to 22, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas. Visit www.iraconvention.org and the iPlanner Program Grid and Event Search for details.