It seems only fitting that my first real post should be about literacy. Here are some sites that I have found especially helpful over the years:
Florida Center for Reading Research
Lots of helpful lessons, worksheets, etc. The site is organized in grade spans: K-1, 2-3, 4-5. If you use literacy centers, stations, guided reading, etc. lots of these resources would be beneficial. I like the grade spans for helping me scaffold or differentiate concepts. For example, I can start with the context clues materials in grades 2-3, then move up to 4-5. The resources are also broken down into phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
Teaching Resources by Laura Candler
I love getting Laura's newsletter every week and seeing her ideas. Best of all, she is a teacher from North Carolina and therefore aligns her lessons with our standards.
South Dakota’s Education Service Agencies 6 & 7
Great packets of information on literacy concepts. These condensed versions of best practices, literacy strategies, and theory would be helpful for any beginning teachers, for literacy coaches supporting balanced literacy, and as a reminder of best practices for seasoned teachers. Topics include strategies for: supporting struggling readers, improving test scores, building vocabulary, differentiating instruction, make meaning through inferences, writing in the content areas, and more! All of a sudden, I am inspired to print these off and see what new strategies/reminders these have to offer me.
20 Reading Strategies from Journey North
The Journey North website contains great overviews and explanations of 20 important reading strategies. Each reading strategy includes key questions you and students can use to incorporate the strategies into their thinking. Journey North classifies these reading strategies as nonfiction/content area reading strategies, but of course readers have to use a lot of these strategies no matter the genre. (We used this site to guide our literacy PLC's and found it helpful in defining skills like "making generalizations" for students.) This site also contains 40 Best Practices Instructional Strategies, which I have just discovered. Most of these seem to focus on using graphic organizers or other activating strategies that can be applied to all content areas and learning topics.
Wachusett Regional School District Literacy Resources
This district website is full of AMAZING resources for readers and writers workshop. Click on Elementary or Middle School curriculum for tons for resources, lesson plans, mentor texts, vocabulary strategies, and so much more! This is an invaluable resource to teachers of reading and literacy coaches. Click on MCAS and Readers Workshop for TEST TALK minilesson (you know, when you are moving from "what readers do" to "what test-taking readers do").
Happy Reading and Happy Planning!