Workshops and Conference Presentations

Workshops (3 or 6 hours)

All sessions can be modified for time constraints, participants’ needs and interests, and learning platforms.

Book Access for All (New for Spring 2020)

Best suited for : K-12 educators, librarians, administrators, community and parent organizations, pre-service educators

Children with access to books achieve at higher levels and experience greater engagement with reading. Unfortunately, too many children live in “book deserts” without meaningful, consistent access to books at school and home.

In this workshop, examine the current research on book access in schools, libraries, and homes; discuss intellectual, social & emotional, and cultural access concerns; and explore resources and strategies for developing and sustaining high-quality, engaging library collections that support students’ reading lives. Session included book talks of at least 40 new K-12 books of high interest to both students and educators.

Making a Case for Reading Joy (New for Spring 2020)

Best suited for: K-12 educators, librarians, administrators, community and parent organizations, pre-service educators

Adults who continue to read long after formal schooling ends read because they find some intellectual or personal enjoyment. Unfortunately, too many young readers endure reading experiences at school that disconnect them from reading enjoyment or actively discourage it.

In this workshop, participants will explore and discuss the conditions, rituals, and instructional opportunities that engage young people with reading and help set them on the path of reading joy for a lifetime.

Books for a Better World (New for Spring 2020)

Best suited for: K-12 educators, librarians, student groups, pre-service educators

Reading offers validation for our experiences and fosters empathy and awareness of others who have different experiences that ours. In this session, participants will learn about new(ish) children’s and young adult books that offer a wide variety of perspectives, voices, formats. Session includes resources and suggestions for sharing books with young readers.

The Book Whisperer: Creating a Classroom Where Readers Flourish

Imagine a classroom where students read 40 books a year, improve their reading ability, and develop a love for books and reading that lasts long after the school year ends. Donalyn Miller shares the classroom conditions and instructional practices that inspire and motivate her middle school students to read and the traditional practices that may inhibit students’ reading.

Reading in the Wild: Learning from Lifelong Readers  

Based on survey data from 900 adult readers and assessments from her middle school students, Donalyn Miller identifies the characteristics of wild readers and shares methods that support students’ development into lifelong readers. During this workshop, attendees will reflect on their reading lives, discuss the classroom, library, and home conditions that foster wild reading, and examine texts and  tools that engage young readers and move them toward independent reading lives.

Dead Presidents and Whales: Engaging Students with Nonfiction Text

With renewed emphasis on reading nonfiction texts, teachers face a challenge. While many students enjoy (or prefer) nonfiction texts, some express disinterest or avoidance. How can we engage students with nonfiction when students’ past reading experiences may be limited to dry textbook reading and research report assignments? In this session, Donalyn Miller shares instructional moves and conferring tips for engaging students with nonfiction (or any genre they avoid). Session includes a look at newer nonfiction titles, authors, and formats, as well as online resources.

Revving Up Read Alouds

Reading aloud improves students’ reading comprehension and vocabulary, builds background knowledge, and increases students’ reading interest and motivation. In this workshop, attendees will investigate the value and implementation of read alouds across the school day, and participate in several model lessons and activities that you can implement with your students. Includes resources and book recommendations for students from kindergarten through high school.

Conference Presentations (60-90 minutes)

Bring on the Books!

Explore new titles that upper elementary and middle school students love to read, as well as instructional strategies and resources for using these books in the classroom. Featured books include new and overlooked titles.

Conferring with Readers: Finding Focus

While many teachers value reading conferences because they hold students accountable for reading and provide individualized support and goal-setting, it is challenging to manage conferences with limited class time, large class size, and increased curricular demands. In this session, Donalyn Miller will offer practical managements tips and classroom examples that will help attendees focus their reading conferences and maintain momentum for conferring all year.

Rethinking the Whole Class Novel

The traditional practice of teaching one book to an entire class at once poses problems for teachers. It is difficult to differentiate for all of the readers in the room and offer material that engages all learners with one book. Examine alternatives to teaching whole class books, while still meeting instructional goals, as well as ideas for increasing students’ reading motivation.

Creating Strong Reading Communities

The only thing readers like almost as much as reading is talking about books with other readers. Reading communities support young readers by fostering a sense of belonging and challenging readers to stretch themselves. Donalyn Miller shares the benefits of reading communities for both students and adults and provides resources for building strong reading communities in your classrooms.