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About the Authors

Lucy Calkins, author of ten books including The Art of Teaching Reading, The Art of Teaching Writing, and Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide is Professor of Curriculum and Teaching and the Founding Director of The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. The Project is both a think-tank, developing state-of-the-art methods, and a provider of professional development for hundreds of schools. As the leader of this world-renowned organization, Lucy works closely with superintendents, district leaders and school principals to re-imagine what is possible when school leadership is closely aligned with professional development. She, meanwhile, also works closely with particular teachers and their vibrant, quirky classes full of children. This series of books grows especially out of Lucy's work with a handful of her staff, and with a small cadre of New York City's teachers who joined her in a year-long study group in primary writing. (Author of The Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Writing and the Co-Author of all seven Units of Study, The Conferring Handbook, and Resources for Primary Writing: CD-ROM of supporting print and video material)

Before her life as a kindergarten teacher at PS 116, Zoë Ryder White served as a writer-in-residence through the Teachers and Writers Collaborative in nearly 25 public schools throughout New York City. Her experience teaching creative writing in the complex, varied and lively classrooms of New York led Zoë, after finishing her MFA in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College, to obtain her MA in Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College. She was lucky to study with Lucy Calkins, and to student teach with both Abby Oxenhorn, author of the Small Moments book, and Emily Smith, now a Reading and Writing Project Staff Developer. Zoë and her husband have (temporarily) relocated to Cape Town, South Africa this August, where she plans to continue teaching, researching and writing. (Co-Author of The Conferring Handbook)

Pat Bleichman always dreamt of being a teacher and after years in the workforce, attended college in order to make that dream a reality. She has been an educator for twelve years now, teaching special education as well as both kindergarten and first grade. Her classroom is a demonstration site for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, and also serves as a research and practice site for Lucy Calkins and other Project staff members. Pat is the mother of two daughters, Jessica and Rebecca. (Co-Author of The Craft of Revision)

Natalie Louis is a teacher-researcher, a passionate advocate for her first grade students, a teacher-educator and a lifelong student. She's earned several Masters degrees - including one in diagnosing and working with struggling readers - and studies Spanish in order to communicate closely with the families of her Latino students. Before her life as a first-grade teacher and a teacher-educator with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in New York City, Natalie was a Peace Corps volunteer, living in a tree house on an island in the Pacific. (Co-Author of Writing for Readers: Teaching Skills and Strategies)

As a staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Amanda Hartman has helped a dozen large urban schools establish state-of-the art reading and writing workshops across every grade-level. The principals and teachers who study with Amanda win accolades, and their schools are widely visited as models for standards-based reading and writing instruction at its best. Amanda's own teaching experience was as a dual language teacher at P.S. 165 in Manhattan. A passionate advocate of social justice, Amanda has traveled widely across Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, and she draws on her travels, her teaching, her school reform and her work on behalf of social causes when she speaks at conferences and universities across the country. (Co-Author of Authors as Mentors and The Conferring Handbook)

As Deputy Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Laurie Pessah has major responsibility for designing, staffing and supervising the Project's work with several hundred schools. Laurie has a special interest in extending the Project's knowledge base pertaining to literacy instruction in the primary grades. Laurie works closely with some of New York City's finest primary teachers, and this book relies upon shared work she has done with teachers from P. S. 188 in Queens, District 26. Laurie was a principal in Port Washington, Long Island, before becoming a leader at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, and she draws on that experience as she leads courses and study groups for principals, and as she coaches and provides demonstrations in leadership for principals at their schools. (Co-Author of Nonfiction Writing: Procedures and Reports)

Stephanie Parsons studied photography and sculpture at Yale, then spent the next few years acting in New York City. One day, a friend took her to hear Lucy Calkins speak at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, and Stephanie stepped into her life as an educator. She wrote this book at her home in Brooklyn, near P. S. 321 where she taught first grade. She now assists and collaborates with teachers and principals all around the world, but especially in New York City's public schools. Along with that of Lucy Calkins, she is strongly influenced by the work of Katie Wood Ray and Isoke Titilayo Nia. (Co-Author of Poetry: Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages)

Thousands of teachers and principals have visited Abby Oxenhorn's kindergarten classroom since she began teaching at P.S.116 six years ago. The visitors always remark over the magical combination of joy and rigor in Abby's classroom, and they remark also on the clarity of Abby's teaching. "I never realized kindergarten children could do much," they say. While maintaining her position as a teacher, Abby is also a teacher-of-teachers through the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. This book chronicles one month—October—in Abby's kindergarten classroom.(Co-Author of Small Moments: Personal Narrative Writing)

Leah Mermelstein taught both in Massachusetts and in New York City before becoming a staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. As a member of the Project's staff, Leah has mentored primary teachers in a dozen schools, providing the demonstration teaching, coaching and study groups necessary to help those teachers establish joyful, rigorous writing workshops. Leah has led leadership groups comprised of master teachers from many schools, and has led those groups to research writing conferences and reading-writing connections. The unit of study which Leah and Lucy detail in this book is based on their work in many, many classrooms and they thank all of those teachers, especially Shawn Brandon, of P. S. 11 in Manhattan. (Co-Author of Launching a Writing Workshop)

Beth Neville is the Associate Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. As a member of the Project's leadership team, she has the major responsibility at the Project for strategic planning, program creation, design and oversight of the Project's web site and development of support materials necessary to provide professional development to several hundred schools. Beth has special expertise on the interface between staff development, computer technology and video. Before coming to Teachers College, she was as Assistant Dean and the Director of University without Walls at Hofstra University. Beth loves Plato and Melville, classical piano and her devoted beagle, Charlie.(Co-Author of Resources for Primary Writing: CD-ROM of supporting print and video material)

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