VSRAOn March 16th-18th, I attended the 50th Annual Virginia State Reading Association conference in Roanoke, Virginia. The conference had sessions on every aspect of literacy imaginable. One of the great highlights of the conference was key note speaker, Steven Layne. He was there to discuss his newest book, In Defense of  Read-Aloud. The lecture was both motivating and informational as he shared his arguments for the case of the read-aloud as being an essential practice for students in grades in grades K-8. I also attended a hands-on session that modeled how to combine literacy with STEM by providing students with opportunities to collaboratively solve problems that were presented in picture books. In addition, I learned how to build student comprehension by teaching them to predict, question, clarify, and summarize while reading. I came home with not only new ideas, but also some great (and free!) materials to use in my classroom. Overall, the conference was an enriching experience and I look forward to attending next year!