Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Best Practices in Teaching Student Writers: Day 1 with Jennifer Jacobson Day 2 with Ralph Fletcher
Jennifer Jacobson & Ralph Fletcher

Thursday, December 11, 2014 9:30 am - Friday, December 12, 2014 3:00 pm

ISACS Office Conference Room
55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702
Chicago, IL 60601


  • Day One: “No More "I'm Done!" Fostering Independent Writers” with Jennifer Jacobson - Thursday December 11: Time: 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
  • Day Two: “Engaging Boy Writers” with Ralph Fletcher - Friday December 12: Time: 9:30 am – 3:00 pm


No More “I’m Done!” Fostering Independent Writers in the Classroom with Jennifer Jacobson

In a hands-on, experiential session, participants will:

  • gain teaching strategies to help students become independent, engaged writers
  • learn successful procedures for providing students with immediate and effective writing feedback – feedback that encourages genuine revision
  • experience lessons and routines that help students develop a sense of audience, and therefore to write with authentic purpose and voice
  • be better able to articulate and teach students the craft of fine writing

We teachers (with the very best of intentions) often train our students to be dependent rather than independent writers. In this seminar, we’ll identify nonproductive practices and learn classroom designs, routines, and lessons that help writers grow into motivated, effective, self-sufficient writers. We’ll explore a model of increased daily writing that allows students to move through the writing process with explicit instruction, immediate feedback, and authentic audience.   Principles of Writer’s Workshop and Six-Trait Teaching will be Included.

This workshop is for K-6 teachers.

Jennifer Richard Jacobson a literacy specialist, is the author of
No More "I'm Done!" Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades and over a dozen award-winning books for children including Andy Shane and the Very Bossy Dolores Starbuckle and Small as an Elephant. A graduate of Lesley College and Harvard Graduate School of Education, she has taught preschool through sixth grade and has served as Curriculum Coordinator, Head of Studies, or Language Arts Specialist in several New England schools. As a continuing author-in-residence and educational consultant, Jennifer has worked with thousands of teachers and administrators to help students reach their highest potential. Her own development as a writer of children’s fiction and nonfiction, and her expertise in the area of children’s literature, provide her with an intimate understanding of the complex processes of learning to read and write. Jennifer is praised for her high energy, practical strategies, and educational wisdom while presenting (and modeling) exemplary teaching practices. For more information,


Engaging Boy Writers with Ralph Fletcher

Anecdotal and empirical evidence suggests that boys struggle in writing classrooms. This one-day workshop will look at the root causes for boys’ struggles. Then we’ll look at concrete steps teachers can take to create boy-friendlier writing classrooms. We’ll look at several video clips, and talk about optimum conditions for nurturing boys as writers. This workshop will tackle nitty gritty challenges that boy writers face including: penmanship, lack of choice, and a severe restrictions on violence. 

This workshop is for K-8 teachers, literacy coaches, and administrators.

Ralph Fletcher is the author of several resources including Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices and Guy-Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know.

The workshop will take place at the new ISACS office conference room at 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702, Chicago, IL. 

The location is located in the heart of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation.


Click here for directions to the ISACS office including driving, parking and public transportation directions. Parking is available at several area garages and you can use to find discounted parking in the area prior to your arrival in downtown Chicago. If possible, we suggest you take public transportation.

Hotel Accommodations

The ISACS Professional Development team has partnered with two incredible hotel brands - the Monaco Chicago and Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan, both within walking distance to the ISACS office, to offer you low rates throughout the year for all of your professional and personal travel. As a member of ISACS you have access to discounted rates at two of the best hotels in the city. Below is information on the two options, select the one that best meets your needs.

Monaco Chicago, a Kimpton Hotel: ISACS has secured a discount off the standard room rates at the Hotel Monaco, 225 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL. The hotel is located less than three blocks from the new ISACS office/conference room. To view rates and reserve your room, please call 1-800-KIMPTON and request the ISACS rate. Click here to book your room online. Rates and availability vary based on time of year. 

The Monaco Chicago, a Kimpton Hotel is an award winning boutique hotel offering a stylish window onto the Windy City. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the Hotel Monaco is in the Loop business district and just steps from North Michigan Avenue shopping and the popular Millennium Park. A former hat factory on the banks of the Chicago River, the transformed Hotel Monaco draws guests in and surrounds them with all manner of stimulations once inside. Complimentary highlights of the Hotel Monaco include: a 24-hour fitness center, pet friendly policies, and complimentary coffee and tea and evening social hour in the living room. Join the Kimpton Karma loyalty program and receive complimentary wireless internet access, personalized amenities and a whole lot more. For more details on the Monaco Chicago, visit www.monaco-chicago.comClick here for directions and parking information.


Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan: The Independent Schools Association of the Central States is now a member of Club Quarters, full service business hotels for member organizations.  The entire ISACS community has access to low member rates at Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan and their second location in the Central Loop. Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan is located less than three blocks from the new ISACS office/conference room. When you stay at Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan, you are just steps from the Magnificent Mile, famous for shopping, fine dining and museums, and Grant Park.  Member guests enjoy automatic Gold Status benefits including subsidized weekend and holiday rates from as low as $65/night, complimentary onsite benefits including WiFi, exercise facilities, chilled, purified bottled water and access to the Club Living Room with snacks and refreshments and Gold Rewards, the richest guest rewards program.

For additional information or to make a reservation, please contact Member Services at or you can reach them at 203-905-2100 anytime between Mon.-Fri. 7am-11pm, Sat. 9am-5pm and Sun. 10am-6pm (Eastern). Make sure to identify yourself as a member of ISACS - Independent Schools Association of the Central States. Credit cards are required to book all room reservations. For more details on Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan, visit here for directions and parking information.

If you have any issues booking a room at the Monaco Chicago or the Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan, please contact the ISACS office at 312-750-1190. 

Registration Fees

Two-Day Fee

  • $300 member fee
  • $400 non-member fee
  • Group discounts are available for two-day registrants from the same school – The first person pays the full two-day fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
  • Workshop includes a light continental breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday

One-Day Fee

  • $175 member fee
  • $225 non-member fee
  • There is no group discount available for one-day registrants
  • Workshop includes a light continental breakfast and lunch 

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund. 

Questions? Please call 312-750-1190.

Member Cost: $300     Non-member Cost: $400


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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