All sorts of goodies on the web!

Common Core

Text Complexity

Performance Tasks

Unit Planning

Informational Text

Writer’s Workshop

Close Reading

Argument Writing



Text Complexity

A website to help you level texts you find or those you write is called Readability Score

Epic offers tons of real books (and good quality ones, I might add) for kids to read online or mobile devices


Performance Tasks

The Best Resource for Common Core Writing is Finally Here! – Take a look at Understanding Proficiency to see scored student writing from performance tasks.

Do You Have What it Takes to Create a Performance Task? Yes You Do! – Watch this free tutorial on how to craft a curriculum-embedded Performance Task

Performance Task Handout – This resource goes with the preceding video link

Smarter Balanced Performance Task Specifications – Check out pages 2 and 3 for the research on what makes great performance tasks

Understanding By Design Framework

GRASPS – A helpful tool for designing performance assessments

Literacy Design Collaborative

Task Templates for Elementary Grades – From

Standards Venn Diagram – Take a look at how the CCSS and NGSS portraits and practices intersect.

SBAC ELA Content Specifications

SBAC Stimulus Specifications

SBAC ELA Scoring Guides

SBAC Digital Library – Performance Tasks and other curricular and professional resources are added all the time

Designing an Effective Performance Task for the Classroom – Kentucky Department of Education

Universal Design for Learning – Strategies for designing accessible curriculum

What is a Performance Task? – An article by Jay McTighe for ASCD Edge


Unit Planning

Unit Planning Template

Unit Planning Template Sample

Bloom’s Taxonomy for the 21st Century

Universal Design for Learning tech toolkit – Check out these online resources to help differentiate curriculum and instruction


Informational Text

Reading and Writing Informational Text excerpt from Scholastic

3-2-1 Strategy at Read Write Think

Informational Text and the Common Core Standards – this article references some of the most respected informational text experts

The Case for Informational Text – article by my favorite professor/researcher Nell K. Duke

An interesting Timothy Shanahan blog post (my friend claims she’s a Shana-fan, now I can’t stop calling him that!)

Text Mapping – an amazing approach to informational text that increases comprehension

Graphic Organizers and Transitions for Informational Text Structures – from Reading Rockets

Write Time passages in various genres

Unit Planning Template – Make adjustments that work for you!

Informational Text Map – graphic organizer

Summary Components – mini anchor chart

Summary Sample

NEWSELA – nonfiction articles with adjustable reading levels

DOGOnews – articles, book and movie reviews

KidRex – Google’s kid-friendly search engine

Brief, current articles – Environmental Defense Fund

The Learning Network – brief articles from the New York Times

TextProject – home of the FYI for Kids article series, and a lot more

CommonLit – free texts for middle school grouped by theme and question.  Tell them a text you’d love to use and they’ll get permission to share it online.


Writer’s Workshop

Writing Routines – there are many ways to write!

My Planning Template – a single lesson in writer’s workshop

Mini Lesson Planner – a series of lessons during a week of writer’s workshop

Writing Conference Cheat Sheet

My Mentor Text Tracker

7 Conditions for Effective Writing Prezi

What is Writing Workshop? YouTube video

Lucy Calkins Writing Community YouTube video

Lucy Calkins Reading Writing Project Workshop Overview YouTube video

A Day in the Life of 1st Grade Writing Workshop YouTube video

Writing Fix

Teaching That Makes Sense

Storybird – digital publishing

Literacy Bytes – writer’s workshop

Family Writing Activities

Corbett Harrison’s Always Write

Transition Words

Teachers College Reading & Writing Project

Annenberg Learner writing videos

A Great Article from IRA on the Essentials of Writer’s Workshop


Close Reading

Close Reading Q & A

Close Reading Lesson Video 5th Grade – Reading and Writing Project

Close Reading Lesson Video 1st Grade – Reading and Writing Project

Up Close Lesson Template – Editable

Print on Sticky Notes – Annotate for Close Reading and More

July 2014 LitCentric Close Reading Workshop Opportunity

Close Reading and the Common Core: What Does it Look Like for Primary Students? – check out my Prezi

Christopher Lehman’s blog – can’t wait to read his new book!

Dr. Shanahan Close Reading

Dr. Fisher Close Reading Part 1

Dr. Fisher Close Reading Part 2

Note Taking and Close Reading

Five Close Reading Strategies to Support the Common Core

Close Reading Piktochart

Close Reading in 1st Grade

Thinking Notes: A Strategy to Encourage Close Reading

Take a look at LitCentric’s YouTube channel for a Reciprocal Teaching video!

Reciprocal Teaching: Interactive Writing Video

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Close Reading Video

“The Dot” By Peter H. Reynolds Video Read Aloud

Click here for comprehension resources in my TeachersPayTeachers store!

Question Stems

Close Reading Defined and Explained by Grant Wiggins


Argument Writing

Persuasive Writing vs. Argument Writing with the Six Traits Gurus

LitCentric’s 2 Sides Argument Organizer

LitCentric’s Argument KELP organizer

LitCentric’s Argument Venn Diagram Organizer

LitCentric’s Argument Evidence Organizer

Persuasive techniques Powerpoint

Kid President Pep Talk Video

Fact vs. Opinion Powerpoint Quiz

Persuasive Writing Powerpoint, printable, and online tool from Read Write Think

Persuasive television commercials

Persuasive Write Time for Kids reading passages, among others

Argument writing explained at Purdue’s Online Writing Lab

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project resources and student writing sample



6 Steps to Successful Co-Teaching

Effective Co-Teaching Strategies

Collaborative Team Teaching: Challenges and Rewards

Countdown to Co-Teaching: Are You Ready?

Co-Teaching Videos

Co-Teaching Handbook from Texas

Co-Teaching Lessons Database

Co-Teaching Connection

Pairing Up

Co-Teaching Sample Plan

Co-Teaching Sample Plan – blank

Maryland Co-Teaching Framework

Teaching Channel video on collaborative co-teaching