Friday, October 7, 2016

Williamsburg Area Reading Council's Fall 2016 Mini-Conference

      This year's Fall Mini-Conference was a fantastic event! The members of the Williamsburg Area Reading Council were treated to wonderful presentations from WARC members Susan Alis and Savannah Weaver on writing instruction.

Dr. Lisa Eickholdt presenting ideas from her text Learning From Classmates (Heinemann, 2015).

      Susan Alis, who was WARC 2015's Reading Teacher of the Year, presented, "Revisiting Your Writing Block: Seamlessly Meshing Writers' Workshop, The Daily 5, and 6 + 1 Traits for Impactful Instruction" for primary grade levels. Savannah Weaver, who is the 2016 WARC Reading Teacher of Year, presented "Living Writerly Lives in the Writer's Notebook" for upper elementary grades.  

    The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Lisa Eickholdt, author of the professional text, Learning from Classmates: Using Students' Writing as Mentor Texts (Heinemann, 2015). Dr. Eickholdt shared fabulous examples of mentor texts for writing created by elementary student authors.

Dr. Lisa Eickholdt answers a question from WARC member Savannah Weaver.
Savannah Weaver is an elementary school teacher in the Gloucester County Public School System and 2016 WARC Reading Teacher of the Year. She presented on writer's notebooks and "writerly lives" for students in the upper elementary grade levels.  
Savannah Weaver being introduced by WARC Board Member, Laura Burton.
WARC member Susan Alis presenting on best practice in a primary Writing Workshop.
WARC members discussing ideas before the keynote from Dr. Eickholdt.
WARC member Savannah Weaver presenting to upper elementary teachers.
WARC member and presenter Susan Alis answering a question from a WARC member after her presentation.
WARC members enjoying Savannah Weaver's student work samples.
Dr. Lisa Eickholdt and WARC member Susan Alis follow up the next day at the Joy of Children's Literacy and Literature conference at the College of William and Mary's School of Education.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Teachers as Readers - Summer 2016!

     Current WARC members: If you are interested in signing up for the Summer 2016 Teachers as Readers group, please email the Williamsburg Area Reading Council to sign up at

     The group will meet three times this summer:
  • Tuesday, June 21st 
  • Wednesday, July 20th 
  • Monday, August 22nd 
    The meeting time will be 7 pm for each in-person gathering. Information on the specific locations will be forthcoming.
    The featured text for this summer will be Learning from Classmates: Using Students' Writing as Mentor Texts by Lisa Eickholdt (Heinemann, 2015). Current members of WARC who sign-up before the group is full will receive a copy of the text to keep. You will also be eligible to earn up to 15 recertification points for your participation and attendance at the meetings. For people who are interested in taking part in TAR, but are not WARC members for the 2015-16 school year, there will be a $25 fee to participate and to receive a copy of the book.

   This summer, we have added a special feature. National literacy consultant, Meredith Alvaro, will be presenting to the TAR group on the evening of July 20th! Here is some information on Meredith from her website:

"Meredith Alvaro is currently a full time National Literacy Consultant and Professional Staff Developer located in the NY/NJ metro area. Meredith previously served as the Director of Student Teaching in the Elementary Inclusive Preservice Program at Teachers College Columbia University as well as held a tenured NYC public school teacher position in Manhattan’s former District 2. Meredith conferred her Masters Degree at Teachers College, where she studied literacy directly with Lucy Calkins, and is pursuing her EdD at Teachers College. She is dually certified in Special Education as well as General Education and has worked extensively with English Language Learners and students with a range of significant disabilities. Meredith is a licensed Administrator and Superintendent in the State of New Jersey."

    "For the past 15 years, Meredith has supported schools across the United States with In-Classroom Coaching and practical workshops that have focused on developing effective user friendly strategies alongside teachers. Meredith’s highly sought after Professional Development services are always grounded in practicality. Meredith's presentation style is incredibly engaging as she literally builds presentations in front of teachers with just a simple pad of chart paper and some markers. This step-by-step methodology ensures that her participants are part of understanding each and every strategy from the ground up. Teachers absolutely rave about this interactive, classroom-friendly approach! Using this method also allows Meredith to easily adapt and adjust every workshop to the needs of each group through by being free from "canned presentations" she cannot deter from. The result: Teachers can easily turn-key their new arsenal of tools immediately back to the classroom because they were part of creating everything."

  If you are interested, please be sure to email WARC soon!  It's going to be a great summer!