The first smaller session I went to was called "Exploring Genre Within the Reading Workshop." You can see the description and handouts here. The presenters taught an inquiry process for helping kids to learn the characteristics of a specific genre. The handouts include a chart that you can use as a whole class and/or in the students' Reading Notebooks. This was a useful and interesting presentation.
The session I had planned to attend next had apparently been cancelled, and the room for my alternate choice was empty as well. I blundered into the first open room I could find, and there I heard the funny and dynamic Danny Brassell. (That link is to his Facebook page; his website is here.) The theme of the session was "Building School and Home Connections," and Brassell was an incredibly engaging presenter. I filled four pages of notes with his fun ideas about encouraging risk-taking, making reading fun, helping kids to discover knowledge for themselves, and choosing exciting books. He praised J.K. Rowling, Will Hobbs (who was Brassell's seventh grade reading teacher, in addition to being a YA author), Wayne Logue (the creator of Wordtoons), Stephen Krashen, and Jim Trelease. He booktalked a whole list of interesting books, old and new. He used every single second of his time, and then took our email addresses and sent us a huge pdf a few days later. I'm glad I accidentally went to this session!
Here's highlight post number one.
43 minutes ago