Meeting Literacy Heroes

My partner in crime and I were chosen to present at this year's Alabama Reading Association Conference. We were thrilled! We were nervous too and those nerves were not put to rest when we discovered that headlining the event would be Donalyn Miller, Stephanie Harvey, and Debbie Miller. Swoon. 

We only attended one day of the two day conference, but we were impressed! The morning started with Stephanie Harvey. I read her book, Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles In Action over the summer and fell in love with it. Hearing her in person though, seeing her passion for reading and helping children "get it" was just amazing! Amy and I LOVED her and hope to have her as a speaker at our school one day! 
Check out her website to find free resources. She said her slides and other info from the conference would be up soon! I AM OBSESSED with her thoughts on close reading. OBSESSED I tell you!
I was just stepping off clouds when the next session began....Debbie Miller. I've been a fan for some time and believe Reading with Meaning should be a mandatory read for all elementary teachers. Our copies are bruised and battered and many lessons we have created originated with her ideas. This is not the first time I've heard Debbie Miller and I hope it won't be the last. I learn something new each time and step away feeling like "yes, I will get through to that reader." 
I'll be posting soon about my plan for the lessons Debbie shared. I have BIG plans my friends, BIG plans!!

Amy and I presented next and it was fun! We had some awesome teachers in the group and we love that! I've been in touch with a few since the conference and am reminded that connecting with teachers makes us all a little better.

Wrapping up the conference was Donalyn Miller. We are Twitter peeps, and I LOVE her first book, Book Whisperer. I had plans to meet her at IRA in New Orleans, but the weather ruined my plans! Needless to say, I was thrilled to meet this literacy hero! 
To say she is an inspiration is an understatement! She is a real teacher and she shares her celebrations, struggles and growth over time an educator. Listening to her speak is like listening to a teacher buddy. She's on a journey to discover what makes lifelong readers, lifelong readers. How did they get hooked? I've just started Reading in the Wild and hope to unlock some of that goodness in my classroom for years to come! 

There will be more ARA love coming soon, but these were by far, the highlights. Our experience was totally worth the drive to Birmingham, totally worth the sub plans, and totally worth putting together packets for our attendees. In fact, the day was amazing and that's the kind of PD teachers need! 


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