Thinking, Talking, and Writing About Books in Grades K–8

July 16–19, 2018, 8:00 am–3:45 pm

Location: Lesley University, University Hall, 1815 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140. Find a place to stay.

All ​students ​need ​to ​spend ​time ​each day ​thinking, ​talking, ​reading, ​and ​writing ​about ​books ​for ​enjoyment ​and ​learning. In this year's Summer Literacy Institute, you'll learn techniques for supporting diverse learners while building their curiosity and excitement about books.

Learn ​how ​to ​use ​talk ​structures ​and ​a ​reader’s ​notebook ​to ​deepen ​and ​expand ​students’ ​thinking ​about ​texts. Discover how to create a classroom environment where students communicate their thinking about books. Literacy experts and authors Donalyn Miller, Maria Nichols, Irene Fountas, and Lesley University faculty will guide you in your thinking around these topics.

You can take the institute for noncredit and earn 24 professional development hours, or take it for 3 graduate credits.

Hosted by the Lesley University Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative.

  • Featured Speakers

    Donalyn Miller is an award-winning teacher in Texas and the author of several books on engaging children with reading including The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. She is co-founder of the community blog Nerdy Book Club and co-hosts the monthly Twitter chat #titletalk.

    Maria Nichols, veteran educator and author of Comprehension Through Conversation, supports teachers in urban San Diego while continuing her work on the development of thoughtful teaching and learning inside classrooms alive with purposeful talk.

    Irene Fountas directs the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative at Lesley University. She has been a classroom teacher, language arts specialist, and consultant in school districts across the nation and abroad. Irene and co-author Gay Su Pinnell have published several books with Heinemann.

  • Course Outcomes
    • Build curiosity and excitement about books through whole class conversations, book clubs, and partner talk.
    • Support listening and speaking development for diverse learners.
    • Use modeled, shared, and interactive writing to demonstrate and co-construct responses to reading in a variety of genres and formats.
    • Launch the readers' notebook and respond to students' written thinking about texts.
    • Assess and plan for instruction with The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum, oral and visual communication and writing about reading sections.
  • Required Texts

    If you're taking the institute for noncredit, these required professional texts are included in your registration cost. You'll receive these texts when you arrive at the institute.

    • The ​Fountas ​& ​Pinnell ​Literacy ​Continuum: ​Expanded ​Edition
    • The ​Fountas ​& ​Pinnell ​Prompting ​Guide: ​Part ​2 ​for ​Comprehension: ​Thinking, ​Talking, ​and ​Writing 
    • Comprehension ​Through ​Conversation ​by ​Maria ​Nichols 


    If you're registering for the Summer Literacy Institute for graduate credit, you'll need to purchase the required texts during online registration for an additional $100 fee.

"The training last year at the Summer Institute was easily the most impactful professional learning of my 13-year teaching career...this training transformed my teaching. I am even more hopeful that this will transform our school. Other teachers are implementing the work from last summer, and our school is sending a different set of teachers this summer to learn, grow, and be inspired."
Kristina Becker, Primary Teacher, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost and Registration

Noncredit (24 professional development hours)

2 or 3 Graduate Credits (with assignment + fees)

  • Both course sections can be taken for either 2 or 3 credits
  • 2 credits: $2,140; 3 credits: $3,140 ($1,000/credit + $40 registration fee + $100 for required texts). See tuition discounts.
  • Primary Institute (Grades K–2) course number: EEDUC 6020
  • Intermediate/Middle Institute (Grades 3–8) course number: EEDUC 6030
  • Contact to learn how to register for graduate credit.

Cancellation Deadlines & Refund Policies


You must cancel in writing by June 29, 2018 to get a refund, minus a $50 processing fee. Email to cancel. If you are unable to attend, you may send a substitute at any time. Regardless of weather conditions, if the event is held but you cannot attend, you will be billed for the full amount.

If you switch from noncredit to taking the Institute for credit, you must submit the Graduate Credit Form (PDF) to the University Registrar before 3:00 pm on day 2 of the Institute: July 17, 2018. Learn more about registering for graduate credit.

Graduate Credit

  • If you're taking the Institute for credit, you may cancel your registration up until the Friday before the Institute begins: July 13, 2018. You'll be refunded your fee in full, minus the $40 registration fee.
  • Lesley University policy does not allow retroactive withdrawals or refunds. Once the course has begun, there is no refund of any kind.
  • Review the university's cancellation and refund policies for credit bearing courses.
Contact Us
Please contact the Center for Reading Recovery & Literacy Collaborative if you have any questions.