Professional Development Workshops

Did you know we offer free professional development workshops for educators? Illinois K-12 teachers can receive professional development credits for attending our workshops. We cover all kinds of interesting topics throughout the school year! This page will show future workshop descriptions and dates as well as archived handouts from previous workshops. To suggest topics for future workshops, please contact Rachel Reinwald at or 847.245.5113

Future Workshops

Perfect Pairs: Fiction/Nonfiction Pairs

October 16, 2018, 4:30-5:30 pm

In this standards-based workshop, learn how pairing fiction and nonfiction on related subjects helps improve reading comprehension.


Mock Caldecott

December 5, 2018, 4:30-6:30 pm

Learn about picture book art terms and discuss how art technique informs character, setting, mood and theme to create award winning books. Debate and vote with other participants for a Mock Caldecott winner book. Adapt what you learn for teaching. Dinner will be provided. Teachers can get extra credits for optional pre-assigned work.


Close/Demanding Reading

February 28, 2019, 4:30-5:30 pm

Annotating is essential for close and critical reading of texts in preparation for writing assignments, analysis, research, and exam responses. Learn different ways to teach students to interact with text by note-taking on specific issues in their texts (i.e. theme, problem/solution, predictions, inferences, clarification, text evidence, character development, internal conflict, etc.).


Breakout EDU

April 29, 2019, 4:30-5:30 pm

Escape unengaging lesson plans and learn about ways to use Breakout EDU in your classroom. The workshop will be set up like an escape room, so be ready for interactivity.


Resources from Past Workshops

Booktalking Magic

Reading Informational Text: Skills for Research Projects in Grades K-6

Tap Into New Nonfiction: A Compiled Bibliography