Thoughts on ILA

My brain simmered with new learning. My body exhausted from the pace of the previous four days. I needed down time, therefore, no slice last week. Now that time as passed, I’ve gathered some thoughts to share a few experiences from the ILA conference.

The pre-conference I attended was all about vocabulary. A day spent thinking about words and how do we get students to acquire these words. Should students look words up in a dictionary, write a definition, and a sentence? A resounding NO! from all speakers. Context is key to developing an understanding of new words.

Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger shared a format for writing a vocabulary word poem. I have attempted to define the ILA experience using their format. See if you can determine the structure.

An ILA conference gives you the opportunity to expand your learning.

The pace of your day will not be relaxed.

You get up close and personal with authors you adore.

Meals during the day are nonexistent. Pack a snack!

As your brain grows stronger, your muscles do too. Totes become loaded with books, strong shoulders and arm required. Miles are walked between sessions and throughout the exhibit area.

Book budgets explode. The plethora of books at your fingertips make it difficult to resist.

Should you ever have the opportunity to attend, grab it. You won’t regret it. 

Did you discover that the lines alternated from what it is to what it is not, with a concluding line? When students are able to give an example of what it is not, they process the word at a deeper level.

Here’s a glimpse of the books that came home with me. Some are signed by the author 🙂 and many will find their way into classroom libraries this year.

Nonfiction titles

Nonfiction titles

Chapter books, many are ARCs

Chapter books, many are ARCs

Fiction titles I was not sure where to put President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath. It may have happened, but the events are pretty far fetched, so I placed it in my fiction stack.

Fiction titles
I was not sure where to put President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath. It may have happened, but the events are pretty far fetched, so I placed it in my fiction stack.

Sigh, what can I say? I love books!

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18 thoughts on “Thoughts on ILA

  1. I am not sure your book shelves can hold all the new additions… but it is such a lovely problem to have! I did not know there was such a thing as a book budget! 😉 I could feel your excitement and I am learning from you, as always! You so generously share and encourage!

  2. Michelle @litlearningzone says:

    Oh, Elsie! Loved that poem and structure and I can say ‘yes’ to it all! It was an exciting and full couple of days. I still don’t know how to manage all the session opportunities and the exhibit hall — I don’t like to stand in lines! (I know some books are free, but …) You sure did some massive book lifting! Wow! Sorry to have missed you — I was keeping my eye open, but there were a few other people attending. 🙂 Look forward to hearing more about ILA and the sessions you attended.

  3. Mandy Robek says:

    I was hooked with your lead, My brain simmered with new learning. What a fun way to capture your learning via poetry. Your book stacks are fabulous, you’ve peaked my interest in attending ILA. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love your book stacks! Budget exploding, I can relate. I was good at the Reading Summit. Hopefully I can attend ILA next year. I was all ready to go, too, when life happened. Jennifer Sniadecki

  5. Awesome! I got to read your post while on a break at a district writing institute. Thanks for helping me find more nonfiction greats and to (re)fill my Amazon basket! I love books too!

    P.S. Love the is/is not poem format!

  6. I’m positively drooling over the stacks of books!!!! Thank you for sharing the example of the vocabulary poem. I definitely will challenge myself and my students with a what it is/what it is not poem!

  7. mrssurridge says:

    So jealous! Of the experience, the learning, the “good” exhaustion–but mostly of the books. They are proof of an amazing conference.

  8. Wonderful book stacks! Some of your titles are in my current WTR (want to read) stacks – Echo & Bayou Magic. Two favorites that I’ve read are small as an elephant and Counting by 7s, both fabulous books. I can’t keep up with all the new picture books, but I’ve recently read Look, Red, Beekle and Sweep Up the Sun which is a visual stunner. Happy Reading!

  9. I am sad that I couldn’t go to be with you & Lori & see so many others. What a book bonanza. When I was at NCTE I was tired from carrying so many books around, & of course, who can resist. Vocabulary is often a contentious topic, isn’t it? I often wondered if it wasn’t because the publishers wanted to see the vocabulary books? Glad it was a good time, Elsie!

  10. Judy C. says:

    When Michelle arrived here after the ILA, she was talking non-stop about everything she learned, all the people she met and yes, the books she bought. She said that she looked for you wherever she went, but too many people and too much to see.

  11. We missed you last week…I kept wondering why I hadn’t received your post. Glad to hear you were enjoying yourself at a literature conference. Would you please explain ILA for those of us unfamiliar with the conference? The booksellers must LOVE to see you coming! I have 12 boxes packed with books and papers from my life as a teacher…so I am very careful about what I buy these days. But couldn’t help but grab a Naomi Shihab Nye poetry book from the local library book sale rack today…for 50 cents! Can you blame me?

  12. lodonnell13 says:

    I love the poem. I did not see the structure at first, but now I must try writing one.

    Those books… jealous. 🙂

  13. It is so neat when books follow us home. Your beginning made me cringe because that was my weekly spelling lesson all through elementary school—write the word and its definition five times and use each word in a sentence. Of course that is why I have such an extensive vocabulary, 🙂

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