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One-Day Workshop:
Understanding Texts & Readers: Strategies to Make Sense of Comprehension

Presented by Jennifer Serravallo

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Special note: This group PD event will be delivered as a one-day Virtual Workshop during the date, time, and time zone of the listed location. If you are registered for this event, we will email you directly about conversion to virtual delivery.

Drawing from Jen's bestselling resources on the teaching of reading: Understanding Texts & Readers; The Reading Strategies Book; and A Teacher's Guide to Reading Conferences, this workshop will help you to make sense of text leveling and comprehension, and become adept at assessing and teaching to support student comprehension through conferences and small group instruction.

The day will begin with hands-on activities designed to help educators understand how to break down comprehension into manageable goals, skills, and strategies. Exploring the role of text complexity, you'll also understand how to use text levels as a teacher's tool to know what to expect of readers' written and oral responses level-by-level and goal-by-goal.

With a foundational understanding of text levels and student response, you'll then explore the ways that this knowledge can help you find the right goals and strategies for students, creating your own formative assessments. You'll work with student case studies to practice evaluating responses. This is all designed to make it possible to turn around and translate it into your classroom right away.

Once goals are targeted from meaningful, authentic evaluation of student work, you'll learn how using these same skill progressions can help guide you while teaching. Jen will discuss and show videos of various methods of teaching—individual conferences, small group strategy lessons, and whole class instruction. Here, you'll explore the role of guided practice and coaching. You'll leave equipped to put strategies in action in your classroom and support your readers as they work toward comprehension goals.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Understand how to use text leveling as teacher's tool
  • Develop an understanding of research bases for comprehension instruction and text leveling
  • Learn to study student writing about reading to determine comprehension goals using a hierarchy of reading goals
  • Craft strategies and feedback prompts and learn to match them to student comprehension goals
  • Learn practical ways to differentiate instruction through conferences and small groups, and how to match methods to purposes
  • Explore practical ways to manage differentiation, including notetaking and scheduling

About the Presenter

Jennifer Serravallo is a literacy consultant, speaker, and the author of several popular titles including the New York Times' bestselling The Reading Strategies Book; The Writing Strategies Book; and Understanding Texts & Readers. Her recent publication, A Teacher's Guide to Reading Conferences, takes a closer look at the purposeful, responsive instruction that takes place while conferring. Jen has developed Complete Comprehension, a revised and reimagined whole book assessment and teaching resource based on multiple award-winning previous publications. She was a Senior Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and taught in NYC public schools. Follow Jen on Twitter @jserravallo or on Instagram @jenniferserravallo.

Who Should Attend?

Classroom teachers of grades 1-8 (teachers of younger and older students are welcome, but the workshop will be focused on text levels J-W), administrators, curriculum coordinators, reading specialists, writing teachers, literacy specialists, coaches, and staff developers.


8:30 A.M.-3:00 P.M.


The cost of this workshop is $249.00 per person. If you register 3 or more participants at the same time the cost is $239.00 per person.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

04/29/2020 - Philadelphia, PA
05/13/2020 - Los Angeles, CA
05/14/2020 - Foster City, CA

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