(January 23, 2018) After a long week of educating students, what do IPS teachers do to unwind on a Saturday? They sign up to learn new and innovative ways to boost their teaching, of course! Nearly 200 teachers and some administrators attended Literacy Extravaganza on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Forest Manor.

The event kicked off with a session lead by Keynote Speaker Jan Richardson, Ph.D. Dr. Richardson is America’s leading expert in guided reading and travels the nation providing schools with customized workshops and classroom demonstrations. This inspiring session gave teachers progressive steps for teaching reading comprehension that will strengthen each reader’s ability to construct meaning during targeted guided reading sessions.

“Hosting events like this is so important to rejuvenating teachers, giving them something fun and engaging and providing them opportunities to try best practices,” said Allyson Peterkin, IPS Literacy Coordinator and an event organizer.

In addition to learning best practices for implementing guided reading in the classroom, teachers had a wide variety of exciting breakout sessions to choose from including the following: Google Classroom Apps, Culturally Relevant Books and Resources, How to Fund your Classroom through Donors Choose, Trauma-Informed Instruction, Reading Rx and so much more.

“We want our teachers to know they can use creative and innovative ways to get kids engaged in reading and comprehension and still meet state standards,” said Peterkin.

Peterkin didn’t just help organize the event, she also lead a workshop of her own. She tackled high frequency words through charts, games and pop-up books. Armed with pieces of colorful paper, glue sticks, stickers and markers, teachers learned how to make these fun, dynamic books. Many said they couldn’t wait to share the literary craft with their young elementary students giving them a special keepsake that also provides an outlet for writing and reading.