Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


Cancelled Workshop - Engage Students in Reading: Eight Traits of Conversation
Brian Kissman

Friday, January 13, 2017
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

ISACS Classroom
Chicago, IL

Readers Workshop Approach for Lifelong Learning

*** Update on the January 13 Workshop with Brian Kissman

This workshop has been cancelled. Please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 if you have any questions. We regret the inconvenience. 

In this hands-on, experiential workshop, participants will gain readily implemented strategies for best practice for reading to make meaning and conversation to build and shape understanding through the reader's workshop approach: 

•   conversation to build and shape understanding (speaking and listening)
•   reading to make meaning (close reading and reading comprehension)

The aim is to engage students in the authentic acts of reading and conversation.  This approach establishes basic and easy to implement routines and protocols so that students “learn to learn” and self-direct their reading and collaborative learning through a gradual release of responsibility. In this participatory workshop, participants grow their science and art of modeling, conferencing and coaching, and using formative assessments to drive instruction.

The workshop is for teachers and instructional leaders grades 3-8.

Brian Kissman is an author, educator, consultant and public speaker whose goal is to end the literacy crisis in the US and beyond by providing teachers, parents and students with groundbreaking and engaging learning tools anchored by scientific research. Kissman’s core belief is that learning to read with proficiency and developing the language arts (reading, writing, conversation, and presentation) from early childhood are key skills to ending our literacy crisis and closing the achievement gap.  His innovative approach to learning has been developed through years of experience with numerous research-evidence best practice programs.  His best-selling works include: Phonics Things, an ABC, phonics, and "learn to read" book for the 21st century; and Literacy Mats, an innovative “read to learn” book and learning tool aimed on developing conversation skills to build and shape understanding, the ability to read to make meaning, the ability to write to express meaning, and presentation skills to inform, educate, and entertain. Kissman consults and trains teachers around the country and internationally. A native Michigan educator and school administrator, he has spent half of his career in international schools, including Bali, Qatar, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, France, Japan, and Liberia, West Africa. He is dedicated to creative expression and lifelong learning. For more information, visit:

Location of Workshop
The workshop 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 the 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. 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 meets your travel needs.

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

Registration Fee

  • $175 member fee
  • $225 non-member fee 
  • The first person pays the full fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
  • Workshop includes coffee/tea, light breakfast, lunch and refreshments 
  • Register early as we anticipate this workshop 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: $175     Non-member Cost: $225


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