Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Curriculum Connections at the Carle a Success!

Erika moderating the nonfiction picture book panel.

We so enjoyed our time at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on Saturday, and working with a wonderful array of authors and illustrators. Our audience was filled with teachers, librarians, authors, and illustrators, allowing for vital cross-pollination.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Free Follett Webinar on Text Sets! April 8th

On Tuesday, April 8th we will be doing a webinar for Follett Learning entitled "Incorporating Text Sets into Elementary and Middle School Classrooms." You can find out more and register for this free webinar at:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Carle Museum and Kennedy Library

We wanted to let you know about two events that we will be speaking at this spring. 

On March 22nd, we will once again team up with the New England Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and our Lesley colleague Grace Enriquez for "From Creative Process to Curriculum Connections," a workshop for teachers, librarians, authors, and illustrators. You can find out more about this affordable daylong workshop (only $30!) at

We will also be speaking at "To Light the World: Stories of Hope and Courage for Challenging Times," a conference presented by the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on April 3, 2014. You can find out more about the daylong conference here:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Our New Book and Teaching with Text Sets in the News

Sorry that we have been remiss in posting of late. We have been hard at work writing our next book, which we like to describe as the "back story" to Teaching with Text Sets. In it, we discuss our process for selecting books for classroom use for a range of instructional purposes. We will be able to share more in the upcoming months with you. The book is expected to come out in the fall of 2014.

Also, we wanted to point out the shout-out that Teaching with Text Sets received, along with The Classroom Bookshelf blog that we co-author with two additional colleagues, from Marc Aronson's "Consider the Source" column on the School Library Journal webpage.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

AASL Conference

The following story on the School Library Journal webpage discusses, among others, the picture book biography panel that Mary Ann chaired at the American Association of School Librarian's annual conference in Hartford, Connecticut. The story focuses on the many ways in which school librarians are involved, or can be involved, in implementing the Common Core State Standards in authentic ways:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Looking Forward to the Finnegan Lecture with Steve Jenkins and NCTE

Such an exciting week! On Thursday, November 21we will welcome author Steve Jenkins to Lesley for the Evelyn M. Finnegan Children's Literature Lecture Series. In celebration, we have a special Classroom Bookshelf entry featuring three of Jenkins's recent books. We are also looking forward to our presentation at NCTE on Friday, November 22, at 4:00 p.m. In a session titled Multimodal, Multigenre Text Sets Across the Grade Levels, we will share current work teachers and literacy coaches are doing across grade levels using the text set models. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We're Back

It has been a very busy start to the school year for us! Not only are we busy teaching our literacy and children's/ya literature courses at Lesley University, but we are also busily writing what we consider a "prequel" to Teaching with Text Sets. It's a book that provides a bit of a back story to our Chapter Three ("Building a Text Set") and serves as a primer for the process of selecting texts for the classroom based on their quality, complexity, role in the curriculum, and the reader(s). We are looking specifically at Standard 10 in the CCSS but also addressing the larger context in which we have always talked about what makes books easier and more difficult to read. We will let you know when we know more about a release date. 

In September, we flew out to Park City, Utah to meet with educators, librarians, speech therapists, and children's book authors at the "Engaged Reading" conference sponsored by Utah Valley University. It was an honor to spend a few days sharing ideas with so many people invested in children, including authors Sara Pennypacker, Jim Murphy, and Loreen Leedy and illustrator Marla Frazee. Our thanks to our host, Nancy Peterson and the whole UVU team. 

This year, Mary Ann is continuing to write with Myra Zarnowski for School Library Journal. You can find our October column on teaching primary grade science using a text set approach at: Finally, we are looking forward to seeing some of you at the following annual conferences this fall: Literacy for All, American Association of School Librarians, and the National Council of Teachers of English.