Category Archives: Balanced Literacy

Sight Words – Free Resources

Visit Sight Words to access printable flash cards for your students to practice the words that build their literacy.

Free resources to teach your child to read.

  • Printable Sight Words – Custom words, Fry or Dolch.
  • Teaching Strategies with how to videos.
  • Sight Word Games: Sight Words Bingo Generator, Sight Words Snakes and Ladders, Sight Words Fly Swat, Sight Words Fishing, Sight Words Go Fish, Sight Words Memory, Sight Words Bean Bag Toss, Sight Words Parking Lot, Sight Words Pathways, Sight Words Dominoes.



Inquiry is on classroom agendas each day. Visit the Wonderoplis website daily with your students as ‘Bellwork” to start their day with an  inquiry. Or you could use the site as text for a non-fiction mini-lesson. Daily Wonders are provided. Each Wonder includes a short video, a text passage on the daily topic, Wonder Words from the passage, content specific weblinks to support further inquiry, and a Test Your Knowledge Quiz. The past Wonders are posted here. You can subscribe to the Wonders of the Day and they will arrive in your inbox each morning for quick reference.

Register for Camp Wonderoplis as a counselor. Once this is done, you can add campers to your list. They then can investigate a variety of topics. Their progress is tracked.

Teachers can join the Wonder Ground to be a part of an educators network. You will receive a teacher’s guide by email once you register.


Books for Teachers: Classroom Management Advice…

An earlier post introduced you to a book by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. I want to outline another Fountas and Pinnell book that you want to have — Guiding readers and writers Grades 3-6: Teaching comprehension genre, and content literacy. ISBN 0-325-00310-6

You may have just been placed in a class after a school reorganization and now are trying to get your class working independently so you can expand your Balanced Literacy Program to get to the essential guided reading lessons with your groups. There are many topics in this book, but do take time to read through Chapter Nine- Getting Started: The first twenty days of independent reading. The lessons outlined in this chapter show you how to do just that. They outline minilessons on 1. Lessons on management, 2. Lessons on strategies and skills, and 3. Lessons on literacy analysis. (Fountas & Pinnell, pg. 128, 2001)

The First 20 Days (Adapted from Guiding Readers and Writers, Grades 3-6, by Fountas & Pinnell)

Books for Teachers

I will be reviewing books for your professional library as a regular post. As a teacher-librarian I often had the opportunity to suggest resources to teachers. These books are at the top of my list for teachers.

All elementary teachers need to have ready access to titles by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas. The Continuum of Literacy Learning, grades K-8: behaviors and understandings to notice, teach, and support is a book that you can use to develop your literacy program. Pinnell and Fountas have written many books to guide your literacy practice. They address the components of the balanced/comprehensive literacy program:

  • Interactive Read Aloud
  • Shared Reading
  • Writing
  • Oral, Visual and Technological Communications
  • Phonics, Spelling, and Word Study
  • Guided Reading (Levelled Books)

Most schools use levelled reading as the basis for their reading program. Take particular notice of the Guided Reading section for their information they provide for each reading level. They address: Genre/Form, Text Structure, Content, Themes and Ideas, Language and Literacy Features, Sentence Complexity, Vocabulary, Words, Illustrations, Book and Print Features. Each school district has their own curriculum to follow and this information dovetails quite nicely with your learning goals and expectations/ Common Core Standards.