Biography

Jennifer Serravallo headshot Spring 2015Follow me on Twitter (@jserravallo), Instagram (@jenniferserravallo), and join my Facebook Community!

After graduating from Vassar College, I moved to New York City and began teaching in a Brooklyn public elementary school. After a few years, I taught in a school close to Teachers College on the Upper West Side and began learning from TCRWP staff developers and working towards an MA at Teachers College, Columbia University.  During this time I also taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Teachers College and Vassar College.

Until 2012, I was a Senior Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, where I spent eight years helping urban, suburban, and rural schools implement exceptional literacy instruction through reading and writing workshops. Since then, I’ve continued consulting with schools, speaking at state and national conferences, and traveling the country presenting workshops.

I am the author of over a dozen books and resources on the teaching of reading and writing. In my newest, A Teacher’s Guide to Reading Conferences, I aim to make goal-directed conferring doable for all reading teachers. I also recently published Understanding Texts & Readers (Heinemann 2018) in which I connect comprehension goals to text levels and reader response. Previous publications include the New York Times Bestselling The Reading Strategies Book and The Writing Strategies Book: each is a collection of 300 strategies aligned to goals, skills, genres, and levels (Heinemann 2015 and 2017, respectively). Prior to these books, I wrote two versions of a resource to help teachers analyze, synthesize and make sense of all the data they collect in order to manage goal-directed instruction: The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook: Four Steps for Turning Assessment Data into Goal-Directed Instruction, for Grades K-2 and Grades 3-6.

I am the creator of the AEP award-winning Independent Reading Assessment: Fiction (Scholastic, 2012) and the REVERE award-winning Independent Reading Assessment: Nonfiction (Scholastic, 2013) These are the first and only assessments of whole-book comprehension for chapter book readers (F&P levels J-W). Now undergoing a major revision, they will be re-published by Heinemann under the titles Complete Comprehension: Fiction and Complete Comprehension: Nonfiction in 2019. 

My other books, about teaching structures to support differentiated instruction, are Teaching Reading in Small Groups (Heinemann, 2010) and Conferring with Readers (Heinemann, 2007).

I’m also really proud of my contributions to Heinemann’s On-Demand Course line-up. My self-paced courses are based on my best-selling professional books. My newest online course Strategies in Action: Reading and Writing Methods and Content is offered as a full-length course, and also as eight stand-alone single-session courses. My other on-demand course is titled the same as my second book, Teaching Reading in Small Groups. Both include dozens of videos of me working with students in a variety of lesson formats, and offer lots of opportunities to reflect and interact with other members of the online community.

I live in a New Jersey suburb just outside of New York City with my partner Jen, and our two daughters Lola (a fourth grader) and Vivian (a kindergartener).

If you’re interested in learning when I’ll be speaking in your area, please click on the speaking calendar link. If you’d like to invite me to work with your school or district, please email me through the contact link.