Illinois Reading Council Conference September 29-October 1-Peoria, IL

Thousands of literacy advocates, educators, and researchers will gather from September 29-October 1, 2016 for the 49th Annual IRC Conference, Reading:  Unlocking Opportunities, at the Peoria Civic Center and Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette Hotel in Peoria, Illinois.

View the Program:

Register by mail

Register online


12/7/2013 Participating in a Professional Community-Dominate Those Danielson Domains!

Come out and join us Saturday morning December 7!  We’ll have snacks, beverages, great speakers and BOOKS!

Register Here or below

Participating in a Professional Community

Saturday December 7, 2013    9 am – 2 pm  Prairie Trail School  13600 W. Wadsworth Rd., Wadsworth, IL

Administrators can attend this workshop at no cost when they bring teachers from their school or district.  To take advantage of this special offer register here.

Keynote Speaker:  Laura Beltchenko

Up “Close” and Personal, “Reading” between the Lines of the ELA CCSS Standards…A Magical Mystery Tour

As educators we are at the “knowing” path of the long and winding road of the ELA Common Core Standards. In this session we will explore and investigate the multiple meanings of “text” and clarify the myths and realities of text dependent questions. Our next leg of this winding road is:  how do we create these standards into a goal oriented, “procedural” and “automatic” levels in our classrooms?  Participants will take short tour into the Depth of Knowledge and then we will see how we can utilize, short text, the visual arts, video and even basal and guided reading materials to move our literacy lessons into standards aligned lessons that meet the shifts the standards require. Come along for magical mystery tour!!!

Bobbie Sejnost-CCSS and the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching

This presentation will outline the correlations and connections between the Common Core State Standards and the Danielson frameworks.


Debbie Gurvitz-Close Reading in the Primary Grades Leads to Collaborative Conversations, Higher Level Comprehension and Critical Thinking

In this presentation Debbie Gurvitz will present a Gradual Release of Responsibility instructional model to scaffold close reading from teacher led read-a-loud with complex text to student led independent/buddy reading with independent level text. Participants will view video excerpts that demonstrate primary students can do close reading!

DOMAINS 1 and 3

Tracy Tarasiuk-Deeper Learning Through Discussion for ALL Students in 3-12

The ELA CCSS require that students analyze and interpret texts.  The new teacher evaluation system asks that we encourage students to become more active in their own learning. Learn how to achieve both with class discussions.


Kimberly Rehling & Laurel Williams-So many choices! How do I choose?

Make informed choices to support the CCSS in Literacy, increase rigor, and align the incorporation of technology into daily lessons. This session will have a kindergarten focus that is adaptable for use in primary classrooms.

Domains 1d & 1e

Jen Lippert & Erin Mextaxas-What’s up Doc? Students Prescribing Solutions to Improve Reading

Through this collaborative approach to learning, students self-assess then diagnose their reading habits to become self-reflective readers. Participants will explore resources to help their students diagnose reading problems and prescribe strategies to improve comprehension.

Register Here

Illinois Reads!

Under the auspices of the Illinois Reading Council, ILLINOIS READS will be a yearly statewide project to promote reading for all Illinois citizens.  Beginning with read aloud books for babies, 6 books will be selected for each additional age band through adult readers.  A variety of topics and themes will be chosen for each age band.  The work of Illinois authors will be especially highlighted.  There will be a mix of hard covers and paperbacks, with several Spanish-language titles and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related books and the work of Illinois authors will be especially highlighted. 

Working with the Illinois State Library, State Librarian, Jesse White, is the Honorary Chair.   Lt. Governor Simon also introduced the project at its kick-off event at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois on March 13, 2013.  The Illinois Reads eight-month campaign will focus on reading at home and in the classroom when classes resume next fall.  Illinois Reads will also emphasize summer reading as a way to not only bring the family closer together but also to combat what is known as “summer learning loss” in children.  Residents from Rockford to Carbondale and from Quincy to Danville will be able to partake in Family Literacy Nights sponsored by their local IRC chapters.

As part of Illinois Reads, which will culminate in a statewide celebration of literacy during Secretary White’s Family Reading Night on November 21, classrooms, public and school libraries, community groups, and community bookstores throughout the state will feature the titles of 35 books in six separate age groupings.  Please watch the Illinois Reads website for more information to be posted or consider becoming an Illinois Reads Ambassador today!  

Birth to 4

148_LoriDegmanbook 172_nikolalisabook2 165_SherriDuskeyRinkerbook 169_nikolalisabook1 157_ScottGustafsonbook 175_EricRohmannbook 170_EstherHershenhornbook

Grades K-2

157_CherylBardoeBook 171_MatthewCordellbook 160_CarolynCrimibook 142_PatriciaMurphybook 154_MarleneBrillbook 154_AaronReynoldsbook

Grades 3-5

132_Andrea_Beaty_book 139_AndrewClementsbook1 134_Mike_Venezia_book 136_Candace_Fleming_book 132_Sally_Walker_book 150_Tom_Lichenheld_book

Grades 6-8

135_Blue_Balliett_Book 142_TMGoeglein_book 133_Joan_Bauer_Book 142_HarrietteGillemRobinetBook 140_KatFallsBook 136_Adam_Selzer_book

Grades 9-12

139_Simone_Elkeles_book 142_Veronica_Roth_book 143_John_Green_book 138_MawiAsgedombook 148_FernChapmanbook 141_Julie_Halpern_book


139_Luis_Urrea_Book 141_David_Finch_book 131_Gillian_Flynn_book 138_Emily_Giffin_book 132_Gary_Moore_Book

Extreme Reading in the Middle Grades

Below are the websites and handouts from my presentation Extreme Reading in the Middle Grades.  If you have any questions or would like to share ideas for teaching middle grade/junior high school readers you can leave me a comment here at the site, or find me on Facebook (the link is to the right on this page).  Thanks for coming to my presentation!


Extreme Reading


Educational Game Network


Little Brother

2.0 World Mosaic


Presentation Outline

Extreme Book Talk SCENE PLANNER

Extreme Book Talk RUBRIC