Wednesday, September 24, 2014

COMING SOON: Teaching to Complexity: An Evaluation Framework for Literary and Content Area Texts

We're excited to announce that we have a new book that willbe released on November 1st. Shell Education / Lesley University will release Teaching to Complexity: An Evaluation Framework for Literary and Content Area Texts.

We think of Teaching to Complexity as the 'back story' to Teaching with Text Sets. The book is a primer for selecting texts for classroom use. We seek to give teachers a deeper "keel" for understanding how texts operate, the nuances of genres, and why having "good" books in the classrooms matter. We link an evaluation of the quality of a book with its role in the classroom, and discuss the many, many different purposes for using books across the content areas, and how that shapes your approach to selecting a text. Ultimately, we then bring in a conversation about readers, matching the quality and utility of the book with a consideration of text complexity. We "unpack" what the CCSS says about complexity and then present a process for thinking about how quality, utility, and complexity intersect when selecting books with readers at the forefront.

Here is the official book blurb:

As an important tool for instruction and text selection, Teaching to Complexity will help teachers learn to evaluate children’s and young adult literature for quality and complexity to support rigorous literacy and content learning. In addition, it explores how instructional purpose shapes not only the kinds of curricular texts used, but also considers their complexity relative to readers. By offering a framework for text selection, this book helps teachers more deeply understand text complexity in the Common Core and other state standards as well as its importance when building and using text sets in the classroom and reading for different purposes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Revere Award Finalist! Upcoming SLJ Webinar

Over the weekend, we were delighted to learn that Teaching with Text Sets has been named a finalist for the Revere Award, for Professional Development, in the category of Curriculum, Instruction, and Classroom Practice. We are truly honored and humbled to be in the company of such outstanding authors and publishing organizations. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, June 4th.

This Thursday, May 1st, we will be presenting a webinar hosted by School Library Journal, entitled: "Text Sets: Blueprints for Curriculum Design." To register, please go to: The webinar runs from 3 pm - 4 pm EST.

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.