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Units of Study – Meet the Coauthors

Author and Series Editor

Lucy Calkins

Lucy Calkins is the Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, where she has developed a learning community of teacher educators whose brilliance and dedication shine through in the Units of Study books—which are quickly becoming an essential part of classroom life in tens of thousands of schools around the world. Lucy is the Robinson Professor of Children's Literature at Teachers College, Columbia University where she co-directs the Literacy Specialist Program. She is the author or coauthor of several score of books, including Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement—a New York Times education bestseller—The Art of Teaching Writing, The Art of Teaching Reading, Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions, One to One: The Art of Conferring with Young Writers, and A Principals Guide to Leadership in the Teaching of Writing.

Co-Authors

Angela Báez

Coauthor of Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Angela Báez is a staff developer at TCRWP. A primary classroom teacher for more than a decade, she now works alongside teachers and administrators in classrooms across the nation. She leads workshops and summer institutes at Teachers College on early literacy instruction. Angela is passionate about mindful ways to talk with children and about ways in which the subtleties of our language can grow attentive, independent, and self-motivated learners. She believes that a sound education supports the social and emotional, as well as academic, realms of experience. She infuses her teaching of reading with her deep love of books, and of children themselves, most especially her own young reader, Grace.

Lindsay Barton

Coauthor of Readers Have Big Jobs to Do: Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension (Grade1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Lindsay Barton is a staff developer at TCRWP. She works with primary teachers in New York City and across the country, sharing her passion for the power of observation and all that it teaches us about young readers. Yes it's true - she loves running records and is on a mission to get others to feel the same. Lindsay began her career in education at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child and Human Studies at Tufts University, where she taught young children at the department lab school for several years. She worked as a bilingual Kindergaten teacher in Costa Rica, and before joining the Project, she was a teacher of a mixed-age first and second grade classroom in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has presented at literacy conferences, taught at summer institutes around the nation, and recently completed a second degree in the Literacy Specialist Program at Teachers College. Next to working with children, and learning alongside teachers, Lindsay loves most to be outdoors hiking, skiing, and biking.

Grace Chough

Coauthor of Reading History: The American Revolution (Grade 4) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Grace Chough is a Lead Staff Developer at TCRWP. In her work at the Project, she supports teachers, coachs, and administrators throughout New York City, across the U.S., and in Shanghai, China. Grace works cloesly with schools to create lasting structures that promote a culture of learning that leads to best practices in literacy. In this endeavor she draws on her MEd from Teachers College in the English Education Department, and her work as an instructor at Teachers College, working with Lucy as a teaching assistant in a writing instruction course and teaching seminars for student teachers. Grace has led a teacher leadership group focusing on literature and qualitites of good writing and presented at institutes in New York and around the country on teaching reading and writing. She is most inspired when she is in the midst of children, teachers, coaches, and principals, making meaning out of their reading, writing and teaching lives.

Katie Clements

Coauthor of Tackling Complexity: Moving Up Levels of Nonfiction (Grade 5) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series and Literary Essay: Opening Texts and Seeing More (Grade 5) a New Foundational Unit of Study for Writing.

As a staff developer at TCRWP, Katie Clements supports teachers, coaches, and administrators across the nation. She leads advanced sections at the Project's renowned summer institutes, and year-long study groups for lead teachers. Katie has been an adjunct instructor at Teachers College, teaching graduate courses in literacy education. She has a deep interest in building student agency, fostering independent thinkers and problem-solvers. In all her work, Katie draws on her experience as an upper-grade teacher at PS 321 in Brooklyn.

Anna Gratz Cockerille

Coauthor of Bringing History to Life (Grade 4) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Anna Gratz Cockerille was a teacher and a literacy coach in New York City and in Sydney, Australia before joining the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as a staff developer and writer. She has been an adjunct instructor in the Literacy Specialist Program at Teachers College, and has taught at several TCRWP institutes, including the content literacy institute, where she helped participants bring strong literacy instruction into social studies classrooms. Anna also has been a researcher for Lucy Calkins, contributing especially to Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement (Heinemann 2012). Currently Anna works as a part-time writer, blogger, literacy consultant, and a full-time mother.

Rebecca Cronin

Coauthor of Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Rebecca Cronin began her career in education as an early childhood specialist and then co-director of Pastures Child Center, located on a 2000-acre sheep ranch in Bodega, California. Her passion in early childhood education brought her to the kindergarten and first-grade classrooms of PS 28 in Manhattan. She has been a staff developer at TCRWP for the past decade, serving now as a Lead Staff Developer, teaching specialty courses, leading full-day conferences, teaching at the Content Area Institute, and joining with her colleagues to staff both the reading and the writing summer institutes. Rebecca's work has taken her to South America and Europe, as well as across the United States - always working alongside teachers, coaches, and administrators to develop state of the art literacy practices. Rebecca is also the proud mother to Kyla, who is herself a first-grade teacher.

M. Colleen Cruz

Coauthor of The Art of Information Writing (Grade 3), The Arc of Story: Writing Realistic Fiction (Grade 4), and Writing Realistic Fiction: Symbolism, Syntax, and Truth (Grade 7) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Fantasy Book Clubs: The Magic of Themes and Symbols (Grade 5) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

In addition to being the author of The Unstoppable Writing Teacher, M. Colleen Cruz is the author of several other titles for teachers, including Independent Writing and A Quick Guide to Helping Struggling Writers, as well as the author of the young adult novel Border Crossing, a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award Finalist. She also contributed to multiple titles for the units of study reading and writing series. Colleen was a classroom teacher in general education and inclusive settings before joining the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project where she is Senior Lead Staff Developer. Colleen presently supports schools, teachers and their students nationally and internationally as a literacy consultant.

Jennifer DeSutter

Coauthor of The How-To Guide for Nonfiction Writing (Grade 2) a New Foundational Unit of Study for Writing.

Jennifer DeSutter is a staff developer at TCRWP. She works with K-5 teachers in New York City and in schools and districts across the country to develop best practices in literacy. Jennifer began her career teaching in New York City, working specifically with students with IEPs and English Language Learners. She enjoys working alongside administrators, coaches, and lead teachers to develop schoolwide goals to improve student achievement and teacher practice. When she's not in a school, you can find her exploring Brooklyn or practicing yoga.

Mary Ehrenworth

Coauthor of From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction (Grade 1), The Research-Based Argument Essay (Grade 5), Investigative Journalism (Grade 8), and Position Papers: Research and Argument (Grade 8) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Historical Fiction Clubs (Grade 4) and Fantasy Book Clubs: The Magic of Themes and Symbols (Grade 5) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Mary Ehrenworth is coauthor of Pathways to the Common Core (with Lucy Calkins and Christopher Lehman). She is Deputy Director at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University. She studied history and literature at Harvard and then curriculum theory and adolescent literacy at Columbia, where she received her doctorate—and then has been lucky to work with three subjects she loves—books, children, and teachers. In addition to Pathways, Mary has authored and co-authored numerous books, including: The Power of Grammar; Teaching Reading Through Fantasy Novels; Constructing Curriculum and Tackling Complex Texts from Units of Study in Reading; and Looking to Write: Teaching Writing Through the Visual Arts.

Stacy Fell

Coauthor of Personal Narrative: Crafting Powerful Life Stories (Grade 6) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

For many years, Stacey Fell was an English teacher as well as a literacy coach at MS 131, a middle school in lower Manhattan. After completing her EdD in Curriculum and Teaching at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Stacey joined TCRWP as a staff developer. She has worked closely with middle-school educators throughout New York City and Seattle to create thriving reading and writing workshops for young adolescents. Currently, Stacey teaches eighth-grade Humanities at Tompkins Square Middle School, a progressive middle school in New York City’s East Village. Stacey has published several journal articles and was a contributing author to Forever After: New York City Teachers on 9/11.

Elizabeth Dunford Franco

Coauthor of Persuasive Writing of All Kinds: Using Words to Make a Change (Grade K), Writing Reviews (Grade 1), and Writing About Reading (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Super Powers: Reading with Print Strategies and Sight Word Power (Kindergarten), Building Good Reading Habits (Grade 1), Readers Have Big Jobs to Do: Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension (Grade1), and Meeting Characters and Learning Lessons: A Study of Story Elements (Grade 1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series and Word Detectives: Strategies for Using High-Frequency Words and for Decoding (Grade 1) a New Foundational Unit of Study for Reading.

Elizabeth Dunford Franco is a Senior Research Associate at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Before joining TCRWP she was a teacher at PS 58 in Brooklyn. Her passion is for finding ways to make reading and writing both playful and rigorous. Liz is known especially for her state-of-the-art work making tools that support youngsters to work with more independence. She leads staff development for teachers, literacy coaches, and principals from coast to coast, as well as in Dubai. Throughout all this work, Liz draws on her love of writing, storytelling, children's books... and above all, kids themselves.

Shana Frazin

Coauthor of Once Upon a Time: Adapting and Writing Fairy Tales (Grade 3) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

As a Senior Staff Developer at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Shana works closely with administrators, coaches, teachers, and children across New York City, the country, and the world. She has led leadership groups on strong readers and higher-level comprehension, as well as taught institutes on the teaching of reading, writing, and the content areas. Prior to joining the Project, Shana taught third, fourth, and fifth grades in Pasadena and Los Angeles Unified School Districts, and was a faculty member at Pacific Oaks College.

Brooke Geller

Coauthor of Mystery: Foundational Skills in Disguise (Grade 3) a New Foundational Unit of Study for Reading.

Brooke Geller is a Senior Lead Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Brooke holds a MSEd with a concentration in Reading with distinction. She also holds a MS in Educational Leadership and a Supervisory Certificate. Brooke is especially dedicated to mentoring staff developers and teacher leaders, and teachers advanced sections at TCRWP summer institutes. Brooke draws on her interest in teaching children and adults in her staff development work across the U.S. and internationally.

Valerie Geschwind

Coauthor of The How-To Guide for Nonfiction Writing (Grade 2) a New Foundational Unit of Study for Writing.

Valerie Geschwind taught both primary and upper grades and was an inclusive classroom teacher prior to joining the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as a staff developer. Valerie has presented on the role of talk in the classroom and wrote an article on this topic for Heinemann's Digital Campus. She was also a member of the role action-research plays on student growth and teacher happiness. Valerie works with teachers in New York City and around the country, promoting a growth mindset in students and play as a teaching tool.

Cory Gillette

Coauthor of Boxes and Bullets: Personal and Persuasive Essays (Grade 4) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Cory Gillette is the Literacy Coordinator for Darien Public Schools in Connecticut. She previously worked for Teachers College Reading and Writing Project for over ten years as a staff developer, presenter and reading researcher. Cory played a lead role, while at the Project, in a think tank on whole-book assessments, and was involved in developing performance assessments for nonfiction reading. Cory has a post-master’s degree in educational leadership from Stony Brook University as well as a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Barbara Golub

Coauthor of Nonfiction Chapter Books (Grade 1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Currently an independent literacy consultant, Barb was a Staff Developer at TCRWP for four years, and before that, a teacher at PS 158 in Manhattan. While at the Project, Barb led work that revolved around both vocabulary instruction and the tools that support student independence. She has provided professional support to schools in New York City, across the country, and around the world, including Sweden and India.

Amanda Hartman

Coauthor of Launching the Writing Workshop (Kindergarten) and Lessons from the Masters: Improving Narrative Writing (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Super Powers: Reading with Print Strategies and Sight Word Power (Kindergarten), Learning About the World: Reading Nonfiction (Grade 1), Becoming Experts: Reading Nonfiction (Grade 2) and Series Book Clubs (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Amanda Hartman is the Deputy Director for Primary Literacy of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, where she plays a lead role both in supporting staff developers and in developing the Project’s methods for K–2 reading and writing instruction. Amanda leads the TCRWP’s Coaching and Whole School Reform Institutes, and has presented at conferences throughout the country and the world, including NCTE, ILA, AERA, and NESA. She is coauthor of One to One: The Art of Conferring with Young Writers (Heinemann 2005), of the DVD Up Close: Teaching English Language Learners in Reading and Writing Workshops (Heinemann 2005), and of two books in the Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing series. Above all, however, Amanda supports schools and districts nationally and internationally to establish state-of-the-art reading and writing workshops in the primary grades.

Kelly Boland Hohne

Coauthor of Changing the World: Persuasive Speeches, Petitions, and Editorials (Grade 3), Boxes and Bullets: Personal and Persuasive Essays (Grade 4), and The Art of Argument: Research-Based Essays (Grade 7) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Argument and Advocacy: Researching Debatable Issues (Grade 5) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Kelly Boland Hohne is a Writer in Residence and Senior Research Associate at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, earned her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College while working at the Project. Kelly is part of the leadership team for a think tank, sponsored by the Council of Chief School Officers, in which researchers from both CBAL, the research arm of ETS, and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project study learning progressions in argument writing. In all of her work, Kelly draws on her experience as a classroom teacher at PS 6, one of the TCRWP’s mentor schools.

Christine Holley

Coauthor of From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction (Grade 1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Becoming Avid Readers (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Christine Holley is a Senior Lead Staff Developer at TCRWP. In this role, she works with teachers and school leaders in a score of schools across New York City and beyond; including Sweden, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Christine is especially known for helping teachers lead assessment-based instruction, including small-group work, and for using drama, stroytelling, and the arts to bring literature to life. She leads advanced sections at the TCRWP's renowned summer institutes, and courses for literacy coaches. Before joining the Project, Christine taught PreK and Grade 1 at PS 126 in New York City and in Santa Monica, CA. She earned her MA in education from Fordham University through the Ennis William Cosby Scholarship Program. Her work with lead professor Joanna Uhry helped her gain skills needed to support children struggling with literacy.

Havilah Jesperson

Coauthor of Readers Have Big Jobs to Do: Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension (Grade 1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series andWord Detectives: Strategies for Using High-Frequency Words and for Decoding (Grade 1) a New Foundational Unit of Study for Reading.

Havilah Jespersen first fell in love with teaching reading as a Reading Recovery teacher, where she developed a passion for working with struggling readers and became an advocate for great literacy instruction in every classroom. She went on to earn her MA in the Literacy Specialist Program at Teachers College, and intern as a staff developer with the TCRWP. Havilah has extensive experience as a classroom teacher of grades 1-6 in Canada and at international schools in China. She currently works as a literacy coach supporting PreK through Grade 6 teachers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Gerrit Jones-Rooy

Coauthor of Resources for Teaching Writing (Grade 6), Resources for Teaching Writing (Grade 7), Resources for Teaching Writing (Grade 8) Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Gerrit Jones-Rooy is a Research Specialist and Literacy Specialist & Project Developer with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education. He previously worked as a Staff Developer and Instructional Coach with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Before working for the Project, Gerrit worked as a Teach for America Corps member in rural Louisiana and as a reading and writing teacher and curriculum author at KIPP New Orleans. He later received his MA from Teachers College in Curriculum and Teaching.

Monique Knight

Coauthor of Lab Reports and Science Books (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Monique was a Staff Developer at TCRWP where she worked in schools as diverse as the Promise Academy in Harlem, international schools in France, the Westminster Charter School in Buffalo, suburban schools in Westchester County and on Long Island, and public schools across New York City. Monique has a special interest in integrating literacy and science education. She led summer institutes across the nation, and teacher-research projects with the TCRWP.

Hareem Atif Khan

Hareem Atif Khan teaches in the Literacy Specialist program at Teachers College. She is also a staff developer in schools in New York City and worldwide. Before joining Teachers College and the Reading and Writing Project, Hareem was a teacher-educator and curriculum developer, beginning her career in schools in rural and urban Pakistan. She holds an Ed.M. from Teachers College and an M.Sc. in International Relations from Quaid-E-Azim University, Islamabad. Hareem has helped develop many of the Units of Study over the years, including coauthoring.

Lauren Kolbeck

Coauthor of Lab Reports and Science Books (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Bigger Books Mean Amping Up Reading Power (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Lauren is a lead staff developer at TCRWP, where she works with teachers, coaches, and school leaders to support state-of-the-art reading and writing workshops. Lauren has pioneered work in content-area literacy and also has a special interest in reading-writing connections in the primary grades. She works with schools across the U.S. and internationally. Before joining the Project, Lauren taught PreK through Grade 3 at PS 29 in Brooklyn.

Celena Larkey

Coauthor of Writing Reviews (Grade 1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Becoming Experts: Reading Nonfiction (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Celena Larkey, Lead Staff Developer, has worked with teachers, coaches, and principals to establish rigorous, and responsive literacy instruction across the primary grades. Celena leads specialty courses, lead teacher groups, coaching institutes and content area institutes focused on Inquiry and developing deep literacy connections across content area studies. Her work has taken her from coast to coast in the US, as well as to Asia. Celena is especially grateful to her son Gabe, who stayed late in her classroom many nights while his mother studied one last writing folder.

Natalie Louis

Coauthor of Writing for Readers (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and We Are Readers (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Natalie Louis is a Senior Lead Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia Unniversity. She loves teachers. Her deepest desire is to make teaching and learning rigorous and fun for both children and teachers. Natalie leads advanced sections at the TCRWP's summer institutes and does data-obsessed staff development locally, nationally, and internationally. Natalie also participates in Thursday Study Groups, where she gets the chance to learn in the company of smart and deeply passionate colleagues. Before joining the Project, Natalie taught grades 1-3 in the New York City public schools. She earned her MA in Teaching and Curriculum from Teachers College and her Reading Specialist license from Fordham University through the Ennis William Cosby Scholarship Program. Her work with lead professor Joanna Uhry helped her gain the skills to support children struggling with literacy. Her very first teaching experience involved teaching ESL to children in the Federated States of Micronesia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. When Natalie is not in her beloved NYC, she is chasing frogs with her boys at her camper, tucked deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Alicia Luick

Constructing Curriculum: Alternate Units of Study in the first Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grades 3–5 series. Growing up as the daughter of a 54-year teaching veteran, Alicia Luick honed her passion for education and teaching at an early age, focusing on improving educational practices and methodologies one classroom at a time. Prior to joining TCRWP as a lead staff developer, she spent many years teaching and coaching in northern New Jersey. Alicia has presented at national conventions such as NCTE and NCSS and leads small- and large-group as well as advanced sections at reading and writing summer institutes in New York and around the world. She holds two Masters degrees from Fordham University: the first in Curriculum and Instruction and the second in Administration and Supervision. Alicia was one of the pioneers of TCRWP’s Writing Toolkit Institute and has presented extensively on creating and using tools with all learners. When not supporting teachers, coaches, and administrators, Alicia can be found singing in churches and temples and on stages worldwide.

Alexandra Marron

Coauthor of Writing About Reading (Grade 2), The Literary Essay: Writing About Fiction (Grade 4), Narrative Craft (Grade 5), Shaping Texts: From Essay and Narrative to Memoir (Grade 5), Personal Narrative: Crafting Powerful Life Stories (Grade 6), Literary Essays: From Character to Compare/Contrast (Grade 6), in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Interpretation Book Clubs: Analyzing Themes (Grade 5) and Reading Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions (Grades 3–5) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Alexandra Marron is a Staff Developer, Researcher, and Writer-In-Residence at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Her responsibilities include leading a yearlong study group for master teachers, presenting at conferences, teaching sections at the TCRWP summer institutes, and above all helping teachers and principals in a dozen schools lead state-of-the-art reading and writing classrooms. Ali has played a leadership role in developing learning progressions in argument writing, and co-leads a study group on the subject, sponsored by the Council of Chief School Officers, involving ETS and TCRWP. Ali graduated from Columbia University. Prior to joining the TCRWP, she taught at PS 6, one of the Project’s mentor schools, and while there contributed to the book Practical Punctuation: Lessons on Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing (Heinemann 2008).

Marjorie Martinelli

Coauthor of Crafting True Stories (Grade 3) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Becoming Avid Readers (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Marjorie Martinelli is coauthor—with Kristine Mraz—of Smarter Charts and the new Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies. Their popular blog chartchums keeps teachers in touch with ongoing and relevant classroom issues and ways to use charts as a support. Chartchums is also on Facebook and on Twitter @chartchums! While in schools as consultants with the Reading and Writing Project, the teachers they’ve worked with have begged them to write a how-to book about the amazing charts they introduce to consulting classrooms. Smarter Charts was that guide, and Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies extends that work across the teaching day. She is Senior Research Associate and Co-Director of Reading Rescue at the Reading and Writing Project where for the past ten years she has lead numerous leadership groups and presented at many national and international educational conferences. Prior to joining the Reading and Writing Project, Marjorie was a New York City public school teacher, a teacher-researcher, and an adjunct teacher at Bank Street College of Education. She has an MA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New York University and is a contributing author to Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Teaching Writing. She is also the author of two Brain Quest Math decks for first and second grade. Listen to an interview with Marjorie and Kristi, the Chartchums, on Education Talk Radio.

Cornelius Minor

Coauthor of Investigative Journalism (Grade 8) and Position Papers: Research and Argument (Grade 8) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Cornelius Minor is a frequent keynote speaker for and Lead Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. In that capacity, he works with teachers, school leaders, and leaders of community-based organizations to support deep and wide literacy reform in cities (and sometimes villages) across the globe. Whether working with teachers and young people in Singapore, Seattle, or New York City, Cornelius always uses his love for technology, hip-hop, and social media to recruit students’ engagement in reading and writing and teachers’ engagement in communities of practice. As a staff developer, Cornelius draws not only on his years teaching middle school in the Bronx and Brooklyn, but also on time spent skateboarding, shooting hoops, and working with young people.

Julia Mooney

Coauthor of Lessons from the Masters: Improving Narrative Writing (Grade 2), If...Then.....Curriculum: Assessment-Based Instruction (Grade 2), and If...Then...Curriculum: Assessment-Based Instruction (Grade 3) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Character Studies (Grade 3) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Julia is Writer-in-Residence at TCRWP, where she collaborates with Lucy Calkins and a team of writers on K–8 literacy curricula, learning progressions, performance assessments, and other major projects. Julia holds a BA in English from Stanford University. At Teachers College, Julia has helped organize and TA courses by children's book authors James Howe and Sarah Weeks, in whose classes she tapped into her first love of storytelling.

Elizabeth Moore

Coauthor of How-To Books: Writing to Teach Others (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and If...Then...Curriculum: Assessment-Based Instruction (Grades K–2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Beth has worked for more than a decade as a staff developer at TCRWP, drawing on her experience teaching first and fifth grades. She holds an EdM in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College. Beth is passionate about fostering a love of reading and writing in young children. In her time at the Project, she has played a leadership role in developing the TCRWP's assessments for reading, as well as leading literacy-coach groups, specialty courses, leadership groups, conference days, and advanced institute sections. Beth has traveled the country, supporting students, teachers, coaches, and administrators in all aspects of literacy instruction. She also coauthors the popular blog Two Writing Teachers, sharing tips about teaching and providing a space for teachers to practice their own writing.

Kristine Mraz

Coauthor of Nonfiction Chapter Books (Grade 1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Kristine is a Staff Developer at TCRWP and works with primary teachers across New York City and the United States, and in schools as distant as Taiwan. In addition to providing in-classroom support around the teaching of reading and writing, she has presented at conferences and institutes across the nation. Before joining the Project, Kristine was a classroom teacher in Boston, Washington DC, and New York City. She has taught across the primary grades and holds a special place in her heart for engaging in social action with young students. When she is not working alongside adults and children, Kristine is reading and doodling. Kristine is coauthor—with Marjorie Martinelli—of Smarter Charts and Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies and co-founder of the blog Chartchums.

Mike Ochs

Coauthor of Reading the Weather, Reading the World (Grade 4) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series and Literary Essay: Opening Texts and Seeing More (Grade 5) a New Foundational Unit of Study for Writing.

Mike Ochs taught in New York City, Washington, DC, and Mississippi before joining TCRWP as a staff developer. He has led site-based staff development in schools across the country, helping hundreds of teachers build strong reading and writing workshops. Mike is especially dedicated to the work of helping all kids become engaged and thoughtful readers of informational texts, and is himself a writer of nonfiction texts for children. Mike has also contributed to many publications for teachers, including several books in the Units of Study series.

Brianna Parlitsis

Coauthor of Bigger Books Mean Amping Up Reading Power (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Brianna Parlitsis began her career in education as a research fellow at the Institute for Child Development, where she worked on studying best practices for students with disabilities. She then moved to New York City where she taught in NYC public schools and received her M.Ed. from Teachers College before joining TCRWP as a staff developer. Brianna has a special interest in data and working with teachers in high-needs schools who are supporting large populations of high-need students. Brianna supports schools across the New York City metropolitan area, and also on accasion across the country and around the globe, to find ways to give readers and writers roots and wings. She speaks often at conferences and is part of the faculty at the TCRWP summer institutes. She has also choreographed many successful flash mobs at institutes around the country.

Stephanie Parsons

Coauthor of Poetry: Big Thoughts in Small Packages (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Stephanie Parsons is a literacy consultant, a former staff developer with Lucy Calkins and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, and a former teacher. She loves working alongside teachers and children to discover new ways of teaching. She hopes you will feel the power of transformative teaching along with your students. After attending Yale University and Teachers College at Columbia University, she became a first grade teacher at P.S. 321 in Brooklyn. She is now a reading and writing staff developer working with elementary schools in New York City and across the country.

Laurie Pessah

Coauthor of How-To Books: Writing to Teach Others (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Laurie is Senior Deputy Director at TCRWP where she has responsibility for organizing staff development in several hundred schools in New York City and around the country and shares responsibility for coaching staff developers. As a former principal and director of literacy, Laurie is deeply involved with working with school leaders. In this capacity, Laurie leads study groups, institutes, and a calendar of conference days for superintendents, principals, and assistant principals. Laurie is coauthor of A Principal's Guide to Leadership in the Teaching of Writing.

Alissa Reicherter

Coauthor of Mystery: Foundational Skills in Disguise (Grade 3) a New Foundational Unit of Study for Reading.

As a staff developer at TCRWP, Alissa Reicherter works with teachers and coaches in New York as well as across the country. She received her MSEd from Hunter College's Literacy Education Program. Alissa has a deep interest in empowering students to read and write so they can build more equitable and just communitites. In all of her work, she draws on her experiences teaching in general- and special-education settings in New York City public schools. Alissa enjoys immersing herself in new cultures, a passion which inspired her to teach abroad in Panama, Tanzania, and Nicaragua.

Audra Robb

Coauthor of Writing About Reading: From Reader’s Notebooks to Companion Books(Grade 7), Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions(Grades 6–8) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions, Grades K–8.

Audra Robb is the Associate Director for Middle Schools at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Audra has degrees in Comparative Literature and English Education, and taught middle school English Language Arts in New York City before joining the Project as a staff developer. Since then, she has become the resident expert on assessment at the Project. Audra led TCRWP’s participation in pilot studies with the New York City Department of Education on the design, implementation, and instructional use of Common Core-aligned reading–writing performance assessments. She has worked closely with the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) on several projects. Audra also frequently leads workshops on incorporating poetry into ELA and content-area curriculum.

Kate Roberts

Coauthor of Literary Essays: From Character to Compare/Contrast (Grade 6) and The Literary Essay: Analyzing Craft and Theme (Grade 8) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing.

As a Lead Staff Developer at TCRWP, Kate supports middle schools nationally and internationally. A former middle-school teacher, Kate encourages educators to teach reading and writing through powerful and engaging units of study, rallying students to work toward rigorous and attainable goals. Above all, she helps teachers hold on to their love of kids and teaching. Kate is the coauthor of Falling in Love with Close Reading (Heinemann 2013) and DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence (2016), as well as the cofounder of the blog indent. A proponent of social media, Kate works tirelessly to connect educators and to help make possible what sometimes appears impossible.

Maggie Beattie Roberts

Coauthor of Once Upon a Time: Adapting and Writing Fairy Tales (Grade 3) and Research-Based Information Writing: Books, Websites, and Presentations (Grade 6) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Maggie, a Lead Staff Developer TCRWP, is committed to helping teachers tap into the power of their own deep engagement in reading and writing. Maggie has led research and development to help teachers use digital literacy and technology, including popular media, as an alternate way to help young people grasp fundamental concepts; she has also pioneered new work in content area literacy. Maggie is the coauthor of DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence (2016) and is a frequent speaker at national conferences, and leads advanced institutes on information writing and school- and city-wide staff development around the country.

Rachel Rothman

Coauthor of Small Moments: Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue (Grade 1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Rachel Rothman is a Lead Staff Developer at TCRWP and leads study groups, workshops and advanced sections at summer institutes on assessing and teaching foundational skills in addition to her professional development work in schools. At the Project, she is known for her leadership in phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and assessment-based instruction in the primary grades. Rachel’s passion for teaching and school leadership began when she was a classroom teacher at Gilder Elementary School in San Jose, CA, and in her studies in San Jose State University’s MA program in Literacy Education. She is an ardent student, tackling inquiry topics and developing deep knowledge through a succession of apprenticeships that have allowed her to push back the frontiers of her thinking.

Shanna Schwartz

Coauthor of Writing About Reading (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Second-Grade Reading Growth Spurt (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Shanna Schwartz is the K-2 Senior Lead Staff Developer at TCRWP. In this role, she provides leadership throughout the organization. She pilots performance assessments, mentors junior staff and graduate students, advances work at mentor schools, leads the Project's distance learning project for K-2 teachers, and supports study groups for prinicpals, assistant principals, and literacy coaches. Shanna has years of experience developing both reading and writing curricula at TCRWP and with schools across the country and around the world. She is never happier than when she is thinking about books with children and then studying that thinking with educators.

Julie Shepherd

Coauthor of Position Papers: Research and Argument (Grade 8) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Julie taught eighth-grade Social Studies and Humanities for five years at IS 289 in lower Manhattan. While there, she developed text sets that have been used by many other educators in NYC. Her classroom was frequently used as a Project lab site for NYC teachers and visiting educators from across the country. Julie earned her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Simmons College in Boston. She currently teaches seventh-grade Humanities in South Portland, Maine.

Abby Oxenhorn Smith

Coauthor of Small Moments: Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue (Grade 1) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Abby worked as a K–2 teacher at PS 116 in Manhattan for seven years. In that capacity, she was a teacher-researcher with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Many teachers and principals visited Abby's classroom, and her teaching was videotaped for the DVD Big Lessons from Small Writers: Teaching Primary Writing (Heinemann 2005). She also worked as a literacy coach, and led sections at the TCRWP summer institutes.

Emily Butler Smith

Coauthor of The Lens of History: Research Reports (Grade 5) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Reading the Weather, Reading the World (Grade 4) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Emily Butler Smith (EdD) is the Associate Director for Professional Development at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Emily’s research interests have focused on reading–writing connections and content literacy. As part of her doctoral work at Teachers College, Emily became a resident researcher in an inclusive third grade classroom, tracking the development of a few writers across a semester, in particular analyzing ways in which their study of mentor texts lifted the level of their writing and their understandings of writing. Emily leads an ongoing collaboration between the TCRWP and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation devoted to the teaching of history and literacy. Emily draws on all of this in her staff development work across the US and internationally.

Kristin Smith

Coauthor of Character Studies (Grade 3) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading.

As a staff developer at TCRWP, Kristin Smith works with many schools in New York and across the country. She has a deep interest in working with students and teachers to develop reading and writing identities while fostering strong classroom communities where all students are afforded opportunities to succeed. Kristin received her MEd from Teachers College in the Literacy Specialist Program, and has since worked as an instructor, teaching graduate reading courses. In all of her work, Kristin draws on her teaching experiences in West Windsor-Plainsboro, New Jersey and in the South Bronx, New York. In her spare time, you can find Kristin scouring travel books with her husband Bill, planning their next adventures.

Janet Steinberg

Coauthor of Reading History: The American Revolution (Grade 4) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Janet Steinberg was a teacher and a data specialist in the Bronx before joining the Project as a data specialist and staff developer. She has a deep interest in using data to support instruction, and in finding principled ways to respond to the pressures around us without losing our way in the dark. She has special expertise in content-area literacies, especially in history, in Teacher Effectiveness work, in supporting high-needs students, and in using a knowledge of high-stakes assessments to allow us to be in a position to influence policy. That position of influence comes, in part, from achieving on measures that others deem inportant, and Janet has a laser-like focus on doing that, while holding tight to the principles and the rigor and authenticity of reading and writing workshop instruction.

Emily Strang-Campbell

Coauthor of Research-Based Information Writing: Books, Websites, and Presentations (Grade 6) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Emily is a staff developer at TCRWP. In that role, she supports schools across New York City, New Jersey, and the nation. Before joining the Project, Emily's classroom at the Clinton School for Writers and Artists was frequently used as a Project lab site for NYC teachers and visiting educators from across the country. Her students' writing and performance work is featured in several TCRWP projects and videos. Emily earned her Master's Degree from New York University, with a dual certification in Educational Theatre and English in the secondary classroom. She also received her MFA in Theatre Arts from Brooklyn College.

Annie Taranto

Coauthor of The Research-Based Argument Essay (Grade 5) and The Art of Argument: Research-Based Essays (Grade 7) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Annie is a Lead Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, and a graduate of the Literacy Specialty Program at Teachers College. Annie works with teachers, coaches, and principals in a score of schools in New York City and across the nation, as well as in Asia. She has a deep interest in helping teachers tap into their powers as readers and writers, and is especially known for her summer institute sessions and conference days.

Kathleen Tolan

Coauthor of The Literary Essay: Writing About Fiction (Grade 4) and Literary Essays: From Character to Compare/Contrast (Grade 6) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series, and Building a Reading Life (Grade 3), Reading to Learn: Grasping Main Ideas and Text Structures (Grade 3), Research Clubs: Elephants, Penguins, and Frogs, Oh My! (Grade 3), and Interpreting Characters: The Heart of the Story (Grade 4) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

For more than 20 years, Kathleen was a Senior Deputy Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. She had special responsibility for the Project's work with reading instruction, organizing instruction for staff developers and the Project's four summer institutes. She was also instrumental in the creation of the content literacy institutes and coaching institutes. Kathleen provided staff development at schools in the South Bronx, Harlem, Manhattan, and Scarsdale. Throughout her distinguished career, Kathleen remained a consummate professional and an unyielding champion for kids and for literacy.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Coauthor of Poetry: Big Thoughts in Small Packages (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is a writer, staff developer, and former fifth grade teacher. Amy directed a summer writing program for many years and currently teaches writing workshops around the United States. Her poems appear in numerous anthologies, and she is the author of two poetry books for children: Forest Has a Song (Clarion 2013) and Reading Time (WordSong, forthcoming). Amy writes and shares hundreds of original poems and minilessions on her blog, The Poem Farm. She lives at Heart Rock Farm, south of Buffalo, NY, with her husband and three children.

Katie Wears

Coauthor of Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles (Kindergarten) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Katie Wears brings years teaching in primary classrooms and working as a literacy coach to her current role as a staff developer at TCRWP. In this capacity, Katie helps schools throughout the country develop coherent, joyful approaches to teaching reading and writing. For Katie, the challenge is not just to play Johnny Appleseed, carrying great ideas from one site to another, but also to help schools themselves become centers for professional inquiry. Her greatest challenge, then, is always to figure out ways to tap into the passions and dreams and talents of teachers with whom she is so fortunate to work. At Teachers College, Katie teachers advanced sections at summer institutes and leads study groups for literacy coaches as well as for teachers. She works closely with students from Teachers College's Literacy Specialist Program who apprentice with her. Those who know Katie know all about her role as the proud aunt to three enthusiastic super readers: Owen, Keegan, and Parker; and of her love for the North Country and its teachers and kids.

Lindsay Wilkes

Coauthor of Becoming Experts: Reading Nonfiction (Grade 2) in the Units of Study for Teaching Reading Series.

Lindsay Wilkes is a staff developer at TCRWP. In that role, she supports schools in New York City and across the country. Prior to joining the Project, Lindsay received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Hofstra University's School of Education and Columbia University's Teachers College, respectively. She then went on to teach at PS 58, one of the Project's mentor schools. Lindsay strives to increase engagement, independence, and joy in the classroom - helping teachers and children discover a love of reading and writing, and of teaching and learning.

Katy Wischow

Coauthor of The Literary Essay: Analyzing Craft and Theme (Grade 8) in the Units of Study for Teaching Writing Series.

As a Senior Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Katy Wischow supports elementary and middle schools not only in New York City but also across the nation and the world. She has been an adjunct instructor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, teaching graduate courses in literacy education. Before joining the Project, Katy earned her MA in the Literacy Specialist Program at Teachers College and taught for many years in Newark, NJ. Katy has always been passionate about curriculum development and about helping teachers bring their own reading and writing lives into their teaching.