About the Author
Mark Pennington is an educational author, publisher, presenter, reading specialist, and middle school teacher. Mark’s English-language arts/reading resources help teachers apply assessment-based instruction to teach grade-level Common Core State Standards and also individualize instruction for the diverse needs of their students.
Mark has taught in the elementary, middle school, high school, and community college settings. He has also served as a district reading specialist. His MA Education (Reading Specialist) is from California State University at Sacramento. Mark received his teaching credential at the University of California at Los Angeles after graduating Magna cum Laude from the University of Southern California. Go Trojans!
As a professional writer, Mark served as series editor for Prima Publishing's (an imprint of Random House) Better in 5 Minutes series and has written two of the books in that series. He has also authored numerous ELA/Reading curricula for his own Pennington Publishing.
Teachers refer to his books as “user friendly,” “written by a teacher for teachers and their students,” “comprehensive,” “minimal prep and correcting/grading,” “easy to individualize instruction,” and “efficient and effective balanced instruction.”
Mark and his family live in the beautiful Sierra Foothills of Northern California. In his spare time Mark is a blues musician and avid day hiker.
About Pennington Publishing
Pennington Publishing specializes in Grades 4−8 English-language arts and reading intervention curricular resources. Each curriculum has been written by a teacher for teachers and their students and has been thoroughly field tested in classrooms. Pennington Publishing is committed to assessment-based instruction and learning.
The company had its roots in the late 1990s as teachers began transitioning from whole to part to part to whole instructional strategies. Teachers wanted to continue the benefits of literature-based reading instruction and writers workshop, but also saw the need to infuse explicit, systematic phonics instruction and direct instruction in reading strategies, spelling, writing, grammar, usage, and mechanics. As the standards-based movement gained full steam, teachers demanded more instructional materials keyed to their respective state standards and standardized tests.
Mark Pennington was serving as a K−6 reading specialist for Elk Grove Unified School District in Northern California. This culturally diverse district was expanding rapidly and reading specialists served as curricular coaches and trainers. Mark began writing curriculum to supplement district resources in English-language arts and reading. Working at several elementary schools, Mark co-taught lessons in intermediate and upper elementary classrooms and began sharing his instructional approaches and materials in district workshops. A popular speaker at educational conferences, teachers began asking for his materials and comprehensive supplementary programs.
Seeing a need for balanced literacy teaching resources, Mark launched online eBooks on his own Pennington Publishing website. Print materials followed as demand increased for his programs. As the Common Core State Standards were rapidly adopted by most states, Mark filled a niche with his popular Teaching the Language Strand Grades 4−8 programs to help teachers teach and students learn the rigorous grammar, usage, mechanics, spelling, vocabulary, and knowledge of use standards.
A prolific blogger, Mark has written hundreds of informative articles. Mark continues to speak at educational conferences and conducts workshops on assessment-based ELA/Reading instruction. Most importantly, Mark is still teaching seventh graders and using his own materials to “catch up and keep up” students with grade-level Common Core Standards.