Rose Cappelli

Rose Cappelli comes from a family of musicians and teachers, both of which have greatly influenced her life. A volunteer job in high school led her to pursue work with hearing- and language-impaired children. But she knew that in order to be successful with this population, she needed to better understand the relationship of language acquisition to reading and writing. This led her to become a reading specialist as well as to her involvement with the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project.

She received her bachelor's degree in Deaf Education from Pennsylvania State University and her master's degree in reading from West Chester University. She also holds an elementary certification from Immaculata University. Rose has worked as a reading specialist in the West Chester Area School District and as a teacher consultant and course coordinator at the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project.

Her approach to staff development follows the premise of "teachers teaching teachers," which is the basis of the work done by PAWLP. "I want to bring what I have learned in the classroom to my work with teachers, so all the things I suggest are classroom tested, and the teaching beliefs I have formed come from my work with children. I have been greatly influenced by the work of Regie Routman, Lucy Calkins, Donald Graves, Katie Wood Ray, and others whom I consider my mentors and who have guided my practice and understandings.

"I think the best way to approach staff development is to guide teachers in reflecting on their own practice, give them the opportunity to try out some new strategies, share thoughts and ideas, and then think about where the new ideas could fit in with or change their beliefs. Reflection is a big part of working with teachers.

"The writing of Mentor Texts was truly a collaborative process with my friend and colleague Lynne Dorfman. While we worked on some parts separately, I think our best work came on the days we spent sitting in my sunroom pouring through countless children's books, and the conversations that ensued. Working together, we had the opportunity to question and search for answers, clarify understandings, and think about the best way to present ideas to teachers so that they could try them out with their students. And that brings me back to reflection. Writing the book gave us time to reflect and put into words the strategies we have found to be successful in using with our students. We followed the same process in writing Mentor Texts and Nonfiction Mentor Texts. With all three projects, the writing journey was a learning journey."

Rose is married with two grown children, Brian and Ann. She and her husband, Allan, live in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  She enjoys gardening, golf, and, of course, reading. "I have been trying to learn how to play golf for a few years now. Going through the process of learning something new that doesn't come easily or naturally to me has given me new insights into what some kids go through who struggle with reading and/or writing. I have been reminded of the whole learning process and the importance of modeling and guided practice."

Rose Cappelli

Twitter: @rosecappelli


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