How teachers spend their summers is as diverse as the children they teach in their classrooms during the school year. The International Literacy Association drew four Trinity teachers together this summer for a world-wide professional conference at the Orange County Convention Center. Colby Howard, Peg Green, Kathleeen Tesch, and Kevin Brockberg attended twenty sessions aimed at strengthening the Reading and Writing Curriculum at Trinity.
“Come August, everyone at Trinity will be putting books to work!”
“Professional” was indeed an apt description of the four-day event. Authors, professors, researchers, teachers, and administrators – over 3,000 in all – presented, projected, debated, discussed, and shared best practices in literacy instruction. “Inspiring,” ”deep,” “informative,” “free books!” and “hands-on practical” are a few of the reflections the teachers shared about their weekend experience at ILA 2017.
“Of particular interest to me,” noted Kevin Brockberg, “was the two-dimensional affect on the four of us. Yes, there was a literacy component to what we experienced, yet underlying all of this was the encouragement we felt as teachers: to continue to affirm children, to instill the joy in our teaching, and to employ the power of stories to draw children to learn together. In a word, the conference was… magical!”
Insights and take-away’s for classrooms this year span:
• Integrating the arts into literacy instruction
• Engaging technology to push. Student writing beyond paper and pencil
• The critical nature of discussion in literature studies
• Phonics as a bedrock element in K-2 reading instruction
• Interactive read-aloud novels and storybooks
• The enchantment of poetry
CDC Education Director, Colby Howard concluded, “Come August, everyone at Trinity will be putting books to work!” Indeed, and right alongside the hard work of our literate teachers and students!