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Jennifer Serravallo

Jennifer Serravallo is a literacy consultant, researcher, and author of several professional books. Until 2012, Jennifer was a Senior Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, where she worked for eight years helping urban, suburban, and rural schools implement exceptional literacy instruction through reading and writing workshops. Jen developed Complete Comprehension: Fiction and Complete Comprehension: Nonfiction (Scholastic) to help teachers meet students wherever they are in their learning curve as readers and writers. She also penned the professional book Understanding Texts & Readers (Scholastic) to further illuminate the topic. After graduating from Vassar College, Jen moved to New York City to begin her teaching career at a Brooklyn public elementary school. After a few years, she moved to a school close to Teachers College on the Upper West Side and began learning from TCRWP staff developers while also working toward an MA at Teachers College, Columbia University. Experiences at both NYC Title I schools with swelling class sizes, high numbers of emerging bilinguals, and a wide range of learners taught Jen about the importance of matching instruction to individual needs, and managing varied needs within a single classroom. For eight years following her classroom teaching experience she was a member of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, where she supported schools with reading and writing workshop and balanced literacy instruction. In her role as Senior Staff Developer, she mentored new staff developers, led think tank meetings, spearheaded summer institutes around the country, ran annual principal study groups, and co-wrote the Project’s reading and writing curriculum that was shared with thousands of schools. In addition to her work with teachers and school leaders, she has also taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Teachers College and Vassar College on the topics of children’s literature and urban education reform. She is the author of more than a dozen best-selling books and resources on the teaching of reading and writing. Last year, The Reading Strategies Book was the first book of its kind to hit the NY Times Best-Seller list for nonfiction. This book, and the new The Writing Strategies Book, are collections of 300 strategies aligned to goals, skills, genres, and levels (Heinemann 2017 and 2015, respectively). Prior to this book, she authored The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook: Four Steps for Turning Assessment Data into Goal-Directed Instruction for Grades K–2 and Grades 3–6 to support teachers with becoming expert diagnosticians of students’ literacy skills and habits (Heinemann 2013, 2014). She is the author of the AEP award-winning Independent Reading Assessment: Fiction (Scholastic, 2012) and the REVERE award-winning Independent Reading Assessment: Nonfiction (Scholastic, 2013) IRA is the first and only assessment of whole-book comprehension for chapter book readers. The IRA resources, currently in revision, will be available in early fall of 2017 as the retitled Understanding Texts and Readers, a stand-alone professional book that helps teachers understand comprehension expectations and text characteristics for levels J–W. Complete Comprehension: Fiction and Complete Comprehension: Nonfiction are the new assessment-and-teaching resources with an updated, streamlined, classroom-ready design. Jen has also written professional books and created online courses about the structures of teaching including the best-selling Teaching Reading in Small Groups (Heinemann, 2010) and Conferring with Readers (Heinemann, 2006), and the Heinemann Digital Campus Course: Teaching Reading in Small Groups. Jen is a frequent keynote and featured speaker at state and national conferences including ILA, NCTE, SCIRA, CCIRA, WSRA, VSRA, CT Reading, ASCD, Learning Forward, and many more. She is active on social media (@jserravallo) and blogs (www.jenniferserravallo.com).