Illinois State Readers’ Choice Awards

Want to learn about the Readers’ Choice Awards for Illinois? Did you know that they exist for all ages from k-12th grade? Find out which program is for you and learn about strategies for using the lists in your classroom and a sampling of books from the lists.

Featured Author Session: Memoir Graphic Novel Workshop

Is your diary brimming with exciting stories? And do you love to read comics? Walter-Award-Honoree graphic novelist, Robin Ha will walk you through how you can transform your life into a graphic novel. You’ll learn a step-by-step process of selecting and refining your personal stories, planning out your graphic novel, and drawing the comic pages.

Fostering Resilience: utilizing differentiated strategies to support all students in cultivating a growth mindset and becoming metacognitive readers and writers

We need to be pioneers who embrace our resilient spirit. Participants will gain specific ideas to create warm, supportive, engaged, and hard-working classrooms where students feel a strong sense of belonging. These methods can easily be incorporated into any lesson and will strengthen the student-to-student bonds as well as the student-to-teacher relationship in order to help students reach optimum academic success.

How many ways can we come to know a text?

Session D1

This interactive, participatory session will engage attendees in working collaboratively through a short but complex text, engaging all the tools in our repertoire, including, but not limited to, close reading, linguistic analysis, arts-based inquiry, contemporary and historical critical theory, analogical thinking, and reader response. Our goal will be to examine, discuss, and develop classroom approaches that engage a wide swath of strategies, honoring all approaches and equipping ourselves with tools for differentiation.

Featured Speaker, Robin Ha

Robin, a life-long reader of comics, grew up in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the United States at age 14. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, she moved to New York City and worked in the fashion industry before diving into comics. She strives to make comics that are entertaining and also empower the readers to become more accepting of themselves and others. Robin is the author and illustrator of Almost American Girl, a 2020 Harvey Award nominee and 2021 Walter Award honoree memoir, and Cook Korean!: A Comic Book With Recipes, a New York Times bestselling cookbook graphic novel.


Book Signing with Robin Ha
Friday 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.    


What’s In Your Bag? Unpacking Implicit Bias

This is a workshop designed for educators at any stage of their career to examine the role of implicit bias, also known as unconscious bias, in both their personal and professional lives. In this workshop, participants will engage in a variety of activities to increase their awareness of implicit bias, and understand the impact of implicit bias on their teaching practice. Participants will learn to recognize how implicit bias shows up in the classroom.

Teacher 101

Do you find yourself run ragged by the demands placed on teachers in a post-Covid world? John Barrett has been teaching for nearly 3.5 decades and has some ideas to share about how to care for your inner teacher.