The Best English Language Learner Resource “Colorin Colorado!”


Colorin Colorado!

Learning a second language can be difficult on its own. Pair language acquisition with learning in school and it can be downright frustrating to students and families. Colorín Colorado is the premier national website serving educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades PreK-12. Colorín Colorado has been providing free research-based information, activities, and advice to parents, schools, and communities around the country for more than a decade.

Link- Colorin Colorado



Nemours Has Great Resources for Reading and Health

I ran across this Nemours website by accident looking for developmental reading resources and I found so much more. I hope you find it as useful as I have in looking at reading and health subjects in a very concise and accessible format.




Teacher Site for Health Topics By Grade Level

Phonemic Awareness Assessments from LRI


LRI has created these English assessments for Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade. The assessments were created to inform teachers about a child’s progress with phonemic awareness throughout the school year, and they can be used as a tool for determining where to start the Phonemic Awareness curriculum when implementing the lesson mid-year. The assessments align with the Phonological Awareness Standards of the Common Core State Standards.

Assessment Scoring Guides

Spanish Phonemic Awareness Assessments

Common Core in relation to Phonological Awareness (K-1)

Alignment to the Common Core State Standards for Phonological Awareness: Kindergarten

Alignment to the Common Core State Standards for Phonological Awareness: Grade 1


Fountas & Pinnell Reading Levels

Fountas & Pinnell reading levels (commonly referred to as “Fountas & Pinnell”) are a system of reading levels developed by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell to support their guided reading method.[1] Reading text is classified according to various parameters, such as word count, number of different words, number of high-frequency words, sentence length, sentence complexity, word repetitions, illustration support, etc. While classification is guided by these parameters, syllable type, an important consideration in beginning reading, is not considered as part of the leveling system. Small books containing a combination of text and illustrations are then provided to educators for each level.[2]

While young children display a wide distribution of reading skills, each level is tentatively associated with a school grade. Some schools adopt target reading levels for their pupils. This is the grade-level equivalence chart recommended by Fountas & Pinnell.[3]

Recommended grade Fountas and Pinnell level
K A, B, C
1 C, D, E, F, G, H, I
2 I, J, K, L, M
3 M, N, O, P
4 P, Q, R, S
5 S, T, U, V
6 V, W, X, Y
7 Y, Z
8 and above Z

Alternative classifications of reading difficulties have been developed by various authors (Reading Recovery levels, DRA levels, Basal Levels, Lexile Levels, etc.).



Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level Characteristics

Instructional Level:  With teaching and support, the child can read the text.

Independent Level:  Text the child can easily read and understand on his/her own.


The Fountas and Pinnell Assessment System in one way our district identifies a student’s reading level.  The assessment provides valuable information about reading accuracy, comprehension, fluency, and more.  This is just one tool used to determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses. They read a combination of fiction and nonfiction books, mistakes are recorded, and questions are asked to gauge understanding of the text.  Students must be able to verbalize their thoughts for this type of assessment.  An expected 1 year growth may be 3-4 levels; therefore, if they are unable to make these gains each year they will have extreme difficulty reaching the grade level expectation.
The assessments are done at…

  • Beginning of the year (August-September)
  • Mid-year (November-December)
  • End of the year (April-May)

The assessment can…

  • Determine your child’s “independent” and “instructional” reading level
    • INDEPENDENT-Read with 95-99% accuracy with satisfactory comprehension
    • INSTRUCTIONAL-Read with 90-94% accuracy with satisfactory comprehension
  • Determine reading placement levels and group students for instruction
  • Identify students who need interventions
  • Assess the outcomes of teaching strategies
  • Document student progress during a school year and over several years
  • Inform parents of progress over a period of time

If your child is reading below grade level at this time, it’s not uncommon for them to score lower on classroom assessments. These levels have been tracked for several years; therefore, it’s unrealistic to think they can catch up to grade level in one year if they begin the year reading several levels below grade level.

The comprehension portion includes 3 types of questions, and students can score from a 1-3 in each area:

  • Within the Text-Retell or summarize the story and identify the problem.
  • Beyond the Text-Indicates your child’s ability to connect to their own experiences with the story and draw conclusions about characters or events.
  • About the Text-Indicates your child’s ability to think about the author’s purpose, style of writing, or how the text is organized. 


  • A self-correction rate of 1:4 means that the student corrects approximately 1 out of every 4 errors made during the reading. If a student has a rate of 1:4 or less, this indicates that he/she is self-monitoring or self-correcting his/her reading.  It lets you know that they are very aware of their reading abilities. 


  • Fluency is how smoothly your child reads with expression and meaning. 

Accuracy Rate

  • This is the percentage of words read correctly or accurately.  An instructional level accuracy rate may fall between 90-100%. 

Grade Level Expectations 5th Grade
Beginning of Year-Level S/T
End of Year-Level V

Anne Arundel County Public School Parents Guide to Guided Reading Levels
The site contains very valuable information regarding your child’s reading level including the characteristics of this level and strategies for helping improve your child’s reading level.  

 F&P Parent Resources F&P Recursos de los Padres
Parent Guide for Levels A and B Guia de padres para los niveles A y B
Parent Guide for Levels C, D, and E Guia de padres para los niveles C, D, y E
Parent Guide for Levels F and G Guia de padres para los niveles F y G
Parent Guide for Level H and I Guia de padres para los niveles H y I
Parent Guide for J and K Guia de padres para los niveles J y K
Parent Guide for Levels L and M Guia de padres para los niveles L 7 M
Parent Guide for Levels N, O, P, and Q Guia de padres para los niveles N, O, P, y Q
Parent Guide for Levels R, S, and T Guia de padres para los niveles R, S, and T
Parent Guide for Levels U and V Guia de padres para los niveles U y V
Parent Guide for Levels W, X, Y, and Z Guia de padres para los niveles W, X, Y, y Z


The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum, Expanded Edition

A Tool for Assessment, Planning, and Teaching, PreK-8


Basic Phonics Skills Test 3rd Edition (BPST III)



Basic Phonics Skills Test III (BPST III) (For students reading below a 4th-grade decoding level) by John Shefelbine

Basic Phonics Skills Test III

The Basic Phonics Skills Test III (BPST) is a phonics assessment that consists of the recognition of letter sounds, specific phonics patterns, and the blending of single syllable and polysyllabic words out of context. The BPST is a tool for teacher to isolate the phonics sounds students can identify and blend successfully.

– Give the student a copy of the BPST Student sheets.
– Begin with the letter sounds portion of the test, or begin with the word lists if
individual letter sounds have already been identified or are not a concern.
– Ask the student to read the sound and/or words aloud from left to right. Words must be blended, not simply sounded out, to be considered correct.
– Record the student’s correct responses with a check mark above the corresponding letter and/or word on the BPST Teacher sheet.
– You may choose to also record the student’s incorrect responses by writing the mispronunciation given above the corresponding letter and/or word.
– Consider stopping when the student is unable to correctly read all or most of the words in two consecutive rows.
– Do not offer the student any assistance except to ask him/her to move on to the next word as needed.

– Consider carefully the errors the student made in each section to determine
possible areas for instruction and intervention. Any section in which a student
achieved less than 80% proficiency represents a possible area of focus. The order of
sections does not represent a particular instructional sequence.
– It is important to note that a student who mispronounces polysyllabic words out of
context may demonstrate a need for vocabulary instruction versus phonics intervention. Listen to the child read polysyllabic words in the context of an
appropriately leveled text to determine if a vocabulary need is present



BPST-III – – Basic Phonic Skills Test (Word Doc)


Why is this important?

Phonics is the process of mapping the sounds in words to written letters. This is one of the earliest reading skills children should develop, because it introduces them to the link between letters and sounds, known as the alphabetic principle.

A lack of phonics instruction in early childhood can lead to reading difficulties further down the track. It’s important that children can grasp the concept that printed text represents the sounds of spoken words. There are many phonics activities that you can do with your child at home, which will help your child to develop early phonics skills, although it’s important to remember that these activities should always be complemented with regular reading.


We use measures like the BPST 3 to help understand the child’s level of phonics competency to help inform our instruction. Some children who score low will need additional practice with developing their understanding of phonics.

The Abecedarian Reading Assessment



In working through the pre-referral process with teachers to help identify reading issues, we ran across the Abecedarian Reading Assessment. It is free and easy to use and have found that the information it provides helps to guide the interventions we use in the Student Study Team process.

The Abecedarian Reading Assessment was designed to test what research has shown to be the most essential knowledge domains for developing reading skills.  The knowledge domains assessed by the Abecedarian include:

• Letter Knowledge
• Phonological Awareness (Rhyme and Phoneme Identity)
• Phoneme Awareness (First and Last Sounds and Phoneme Segmentation)
• Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle
• Vocabulary (Production, Synonyms, and Antonyms)
• Decoding (Fluency, Regular Words and Irregular Words)

Written by two reading researchers, Sebastian Wren and Jennifer Watts, the Abecedarian is available for you to download and use for free.  It is a large document (over 50 pages long), so it may take a while to download if you have a telephone connection.  The authors have given permission for this document to be reproduced freely on two conditions:

• The Abecedarian may not be altered.
• Appropriate credit must be given for authorship.

San Diego Quick Reading Assessment


San Diego Quick Assessment List

The San Diego Quick Assessment List is a very useful, quick way to determine a child’s approximate instructional reading level. It is certainly not a substitute for giving an Individual Reading Inventory with its graded word lists and graded reading passages. However, if a reading teacher merely wants a very easy, quick estimation of a child’s approximate instructional reading level, we have found it to be fairly useful for that purpose. NOTE: The San Diego Quick Assessment List never should be thought of as a substitute for an Individual Reading Inventory, but it can be useful for the purpose for which it was designed.


1. Type out each list of words on index cards.

2. Begin with a card that is at least two years below the child’s grade-level assignment.

3. Ask the child to read the words aloud to you. If he or she misreads any on the list, drop to easier lists until he or she makes no errors. This indicates the base level.

4. Write down all incorrect responses, or use diacritical marks on your copy of the list. For example, acrid might be read and recorded as acid. Molecule might be recorded a mole (long o) cule.

5. Encourage the child to read words that he or she does not know so that you can identify the techniques he or she uses for word identification. 6. Have the child read from increasingly difficult lists until he or she misses at least three words.


1. The list in which the child misses no more than one of the ten words is the level at which he or she can read independently. Two errors indicate the instructional reading level. Three or more errors indicate material that may be too difficult (frustration reading level).

2. An analysis of the child’s errors is useful. Among those that occur with the greatest frequency are the following: Error Example reversal how for who consonant book for look consonant blend string for spring short vowel note for not long vowel rod for road prefix protest for pretext suffix entering for entered miscellaneous (omission of accent, etc.)

3. As with other reading assessment devices, teacher observation of student behavior is very important. Such things as posture, facial expression, and voice quality may signal nervousness, lack of confidence, or frustration while reading

San Diego Quick Reading Assessment (PDF)

San Diego Quick Reading Assessment (PDF) #2

San Diego Quick Reading Assessment (DOC)

Comics and Reading

Obviously from the name of my blog I am a proponent in building momentum towards positive outcomes for kids. When I was learning to read in elementary school it was laborious and boring at first. Then as time went on I discovered the Tin Tin Series of comics and have loved reading ever since.

When I sit in meetings talking about certain students who struggle with their reading I often ask if they have books that are for fun and leisure around to practice with at home for down time. Quite often the answer is kinda. So, I think it is a worthy pursuit to find those interesting books, comics, and magazines to build that inertia of reading practice.


How Comics Helped My Kid Love Reading

10 Great Kids Comics for Early Readers

Graphic Language: How to Read Comic Books with Your Kid

How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read!

For Improving Early Literacy, Reading Comics Is No Child’s Play

Using comics to improve your child’s literacy

How comic books can help improve literacy