Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


Powerful Practices in Teaching Writing
Matt Glover & Carl Anderson

Thursday, October 13, 2016 9:30 am - Friday, October 14, 2016 3:00 pm

ISACS Classroom
Chicago, IL

Teaching writing and conferring with student writers are cornerstones of teaching/learning at all ages and stages. We invite you to become immersed in best practices in teaching writing followed by the most effective and powerful ways to confer with student writers. Learn specific strategies and language to support the developments of student writers at the highest level. You may attend one or both days and leave with improved approaches, assessment tools and powerful ways to confer with young writers.  Everything you learn can be put into practice on your first day back in the classroom.


  • Day One: "Key Concepts in Teaching Writing" with Matt Glover, Thursday, October 13, 2016, Time: 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
  • Day Two: "Conferring with Student Writers" with Carl Anderson, Friday, October 14, 2016,
    Time: 9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Day One: Thursday, October 13

One of the challenges teachers face is determining what to teach each day during a unit of study in writing workshop.  Even when teachers have curricular plans and resources that give teaching possibilities, only teachers can determine what their students need each day. Carefully created units will change and evolve as the unit unfolds.  During this workshop, teachers will learn and use a process for projecting units of study that meet curricular goals and respond to the individual needs of their students.  

The day will start by examining key concepts in teaching writing including the importance of vision, choice, and using mentor texts throughout writing workshop. Participants will then learn a process for projecting units that allow for responsive decisions based throughout the unit. In addition, participants will study a stack of mentor texts, create their own writing to use with students, determine primary and secondary goals, and project a possible sequence of mini lessons for the unit. Participants will then be able to use this process to help them teach more effectively in any unit of study.

Objectives include:

  • practicing and understanding the importance of reading like a teacher of writing as the starting point for designing a unit
  • examining issues related to choice of topic and choice of genre
  • understanding the difference between planning and projecting a unit
  • learning strategies for creating and using their own writing throughout a unit
  • understanding strategies for gathering a stack of texts
  • using the entire process for creating a unit of study

This workshop is for teachers in grades 3-8.

Matt Glover has a deep interest in nurturing the thinking and decision-making of teachers and students. He has been an educator for over 25 years, as a teacher, a principal, author and consultant. He is the co-author with Mary Alice Berry of Projecting Possibilities for Writers: The How, What, and Why of Designing Units of Study, K-5, which supports teachers in designing units of study based on a stack of mentor texts. He is also the author of Engaging Young Writers, and the co-author with Katie Wood Ray of Already Ready and Sit Down and Teach Up, a video enhanced ebook that includes video clips of writing conferences with young children. Glover recently published with Kathy Collins the book I Am Reading: Nurturing Young Children’s Meaning Making and Joyful Engagement With Any Book, which focuses on emergent readers. Along with Ellin Keene, he is the editor of a collection of essays titled The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays on Children, Learning and Teaching. He is a frequent presenter at conferences on topics related to nurturing young writers and readers and supporting children’s intellectual growth and development. 

Day Two: Friday, October 14

In this workshop, Carl Anderson, author of How’s It Going? A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student Writers and Assessing Writers, will discuss the how-to’s of having effective writing conferences with students.  He’ll explain key conferring concepts, discuss the teacher’s role in a writing conference and strategies for helping students play an active role in conferences, and answer the most frequently asked questions about managing conferences in a classroom. Anderson will also discuss the how-to’s of assessing students as writers so that teachers will know what to teach students in conferences.

Throughout the workshop, Anderson will show videos of his conferences with students to give participants a clear image of effective conferring. He will also show and discuss typical student writing samples, using them to demonstrate how to assess student writers.

Participants will learn new ways of thinking about writing conferences, and practical conferring and assessment strategies that they will be able to put into practice as soon as they return to their classrooms.

This workshop is for teachers in grades 3-8.

Carl Anderson is a former elementary and middle school teacher, and staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and now works with teachers around the world.  The author of How's It Going? A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student Writers and Assessing Writers, Anderson helps teachers learn how to have powerful writing conferences with their student writers. 


Location of Workshops
The workshops will take place at the ISACS classroom at 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702, Chicago, IL. 

Directions, Parking & Public Transportation
The location is located in the heart of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation.

Click here for directions to the ISACS classroom including driving, parking and public transportation directions. Parking is available at several area garages. To secure discounted rates prior to your arrival in Chicago, visit If possible, we suggest taking public transportation.

Air Travel
Both Midway and O'Hare airports are easily accessible to the ISACS classroom. Fly into Midway (on Southwest Airlines) or into O'Hare and take the "L" (Chicago's public transportation) and be at the ISACS classroom in less than an hour.  

‚ÄčGO Airport Express (Share-a-Ride) Shuttle Service
ISACS has negotiated a special rate with GO Airport Express for ISACS members – 15% off standard rates. Reservations MUST be made in advance and online to receive the discounted rate.  The standard rate per person to/from O’Hare is approximately $28 one-way; $49 round-trip. The standard rate per person to/from Midway is approximately $24 one-way; $40 round-trip. To receive the 15% discount off the standard rates, please click here for the Go Airport Express website to make a reservation in advance. A credit card is required and charged at the time of reservation. Airport walk-ups are not eligible for the discounted rate, standard rates apply. Parties of two more reserving at the same time receive a discount. Please visit their website for more information.  

Hotel Accommodations
The ISACS Professional Development team has partnered with many incredible Chicago hotels. The hotels are within walking distance of the ISACS classroom and as a member of ISACS you have access to the discounted rates all year long for your professional and personal travel. Click here to find out how to make a reservation at any of the hotels and select the option that best meets your travel needs.

If you have any issues when booking a room, please contact the ISACS office at 312-750-1190. 

Registration Fee
During the registration process, please select the day(s) you plan to attend.

Two-day Fee

  • $350 member fee
  • $450 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 $25 discount
  • Workshop includes coffee/tea, light breakfast, lunch and refreshments on Thursday and Friday
  • Register early as we anticipate this workshop will reach capacity
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

One-day Fee

  • $190 member fee
  • $240 non-member fee 
  • There is no group discount available for one-day registrants
  • One-day Workshop includes coffee/tea, light breakfast, lunch and refreshments
  • Register early as we anticipate these workshops will reach capacity
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

Registration Confirmation Communications from ISACS
Once registration for the workshop has been completed the following communications will be sent from ISACS:

  • Once registration is complete, an email will automatically be sent to the contact person on the registration confirming that registration has been completed.
  • Approximately three weeks prior to the workshop, ISACS will send a confirmation email to the registrant with details for the workshop.
  • Approximately one week prior to the workshop, ISACS will send a final confirmation email to the registrant with details for the workshop.

If you do not receive these emails prior to arriving at a workshop, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190. It is possible your email address was entered incorrectly OR your registration was not completed.

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: $350     Non-member Cost: $450


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