10ish Things I Learned Over the Weekend

20180915_085949.jpgI was honored to be able to attend the Indiana State Literacy Association (ISRA) Fall conference. I used to be heavily involved with this organization when it was still called ISRA (Indiana State Reading Association).

The main reason I wanted to attend was because Pernille Ripp was the keynote speaker. I was not disappointed in either her keynote or her breakout session. She is a unique educator and reading warrior and a seventh grade English teacher.

Here are some highlights!

Her keynote was full of great educational wisdom and in the fashion of a true writer, she used her unique voice and uttered several funny statements.

  • Pernille was able to live in the United States with her mother on 3 occasions in her childhood. When she was 18 she moved to Wisconsin where she said,

I met a boy.

That boy introduced me to a much better boy.

Thank God!”


  • She started teaching in 4th grade (Like me!) and she said, “I graduated college with my fictitious lesson plans.” This made me laugh because it is true! I know in college we learn the whole process but my lesson plans never look like the ones from college in the “real teaching world”
  • “I know the student through the stories that we share.”
  • “If I know the books you like I know you more deeply as a person.”
  • Reading needs to be fun.

We cannot say that reading is the most important and then not give them time to read!


To Create Readers We Need:

  • Inclusive libraries – kids read more when they are surrounded by books. Even if the school library is right outside your door, that sometimes is too far. You need books in your room.
  • Sacred time to read
  • Exploration of self and reading identity
  • Choice to discover what they like or dislike
  • Relevant and meaningful work
  • Building a community of readers


The question that stayed with me:

How do we protect the hope of readers?


Her breakout session was about picture books and how to use them in the classroom. She reads a picture book to her 7th graders on the first day of school to kick the year off correctly.



My Amazon cart and library holds are going to be busy bees!!

If you have the chance to hear her speak, do it! She is inspiring and heartwarming.


Who is a professional you would love to hear speak?


6 thoughts on “10ish Things I Learned Over the Weekend

  1. How inspiring! We are a lab class for implementing reader’s and writer’s workshops in our district. There are a lot of routines at the start of the year that need to be in place before the workshop models can be effective. #classroombookaday has really helped to build community and reach a wider range of Ss, while encouraging them to experiment with theme in a non-threatening way. Definitely jealous of your experience and thanks for sharing your nuggets!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your takeaways. “How do we protect the hope of readers?” is certainly a question worth pondering. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to attend a session of hers at ILA in Boston. She’s a dynamic speaker and her blog is an incredibly rich resource.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had the opportunity to hear Pernille speak at ILA during a lunch event and she was absolutely amazing! I’m excited that she’ll be a featured speaker at the Virginia State Reading Association conference in March. She is such an incredible educator!


  4. Mmm… that sounds amazing. I would love to hear Pernille Ripp & am grateful that you shared what you learned. I’d also love to hear from Kelly Gallagher or Penny Kittle – and so many others. Ooh, now I’m dreaming of the talks I could attend…


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