The Power and Importance of Reading!

The Power and Importance of...READING! by: Luke Bakic
TEDx Talks

Published on Nov 20, 2018

Why reading is so essential in today's society - a nine-year old's perspective. Luke is passionate about reading and believes the reduction of readings is causing a lot of social ills. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Luke has a great message and a great video!


Phonics Assessment - BPST-III (basic Phonics Skills Test)

The Basic Phonics Skills Test - by John Shefelbine

     The Basic Phonics Skills Test was developed by John Shefelbine to assess relatively quickly students’ knowledge of a broad range of phonics skills beginning with consonant sounds normally taught in kindergarten and ending with polysyllabic word patterns encountered in third and fourth grade. The BPST is an informal test of (a) high-utility, spelling-sound relationships for reading single- syllable words and (b) syllabic and morphemic strategies for reading polysyllabic words. It is best used in conjunction with other kinds of assessments including graded passages, graded word lists, and measures of phoneme awareness (especially blending and segmentation).

     The latest version of the BPST, the BPST III, directly assesses consonant sounds and names, short vowel sounds, and words representing the following 12 kinds of patterns: (a) short vowels with consonants (CVC), (b) short vowels with consonant digraphs (sh, ch, th, wh), (c) short vowels with consonant blends (st, sn, fl), (d) short vowels with inflectional endings (ed, ing), (e) final e (fine), (f) long vowel digraphs (lvd) (team), (g) r-controlled (r-c) (hurt), (h) other vowel digraphs and diphthongs (ovd) (boil), (i) two-syllable words, (j) polysyllabic words with affixes, (k) 3-4 syllable words, and (l) 3-5 syllable words. Students' responses can also be used to indirectly evaluate their knowledge of blending and the alphabetic nature of reading in English. [Note that changes from the BPST-II involved adding an extra line of more difficult polysyllabic word, replacing some polysyllabic words that students might know at sight, and making some single-syllable words more representative of a variety of consonant sounds.]

     The BPST-III is most informative when students are reading below a fourth grade level on a graded word list such as the San Diego or on graded passages. At fourth grade reading levels and above, students typically do quite well because they have mastered basic phonics skills.


BPST-III Basic Phonics Skills Test

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.

Click Here for a copy of the BPST-III Assessment and score sheet

Phonics, Phonemic and phonological Awareness Resources


Turtle Diary  

Letter Names, Sounds, How to Pronounce Sounds

At Turtle Diary, child experts and educators design interactive online games for kids. Our learning games for kids help in building skills needed for success in school. While playing our fun, educational games, kids learn to read with phonics, build skills in math, language, social studies, science and much more. Our educational videos encourage children to keep learning, even after school hours.

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Turtle Diary on YouTube

Jack Hartman - Kid's Music Channel

Letter Name, Shapes, and Sounds

Jack has made over 45 albums for children with over 1,000 super fun and movement songs for children.  Our songs for kids and educational videos will help your children learn counting, numbers, reading and language skills, nursery rhymes, science, physical fitness, dance, and movement.  Children actively participate in all the learning with lots of movement and fun.  These songs for kids have a tremendous diversity of musical styles from pop, Hip-Hop, Latin, country and rock.  Jack Hartmann is a 2016 Parents' Choice Approved Award Winner for the CD, Brain Breaks. These songs for kids are based on curriculum and brain research. Research has proven that music and movement help children learn and music holds a powerful place in our memory. Listen to just a few of Jack's 1,000 educational songs and you will see why he is the best. On this channel, you will find a selection of kids videos that showcase Jack's music and movements.

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Jack Hartman - Kid's Music Channel

Little Fox 

Welcome to the Little Fox channel, fun, educational animated stories and songs for children. Little Fox makes learning English fun with animated stories. As students watch our stories, they quickly build vocabulary and fluency naturally and authentically.  Little Fox has been the recipient of many awards, including a Teachers' Choice Award for the Classroom, 2014; a Teachers' Choice Award for the Family, 2014; a NAPPA Gold Award, 2013; and the Bologna New Media Prize, 2002.

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Little Fox Word Families

Scratch Garden 

They offer entertaining videos about grammar, syllables, phonics, etc. 

Scratch Garden loves laughing and learning with young minds!  We create educational videos for kids and people that used to be kids.

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Scratch Garden

Teaching Reading Resources

Reading Rockets

We bring the best research-based strategies to teachers, parents, administrators, librarians, childcare providers, and anyone else involved in helping a young child become a skilled, confident reader. Our goal is to bring the reading research to life — to spread the word about reading instruction and to present "what works" in a way that parents and educators can understand and use.

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Reading Rockets


Comprehensive Leveled Reading Resources for Kids

Raz-Kids is an award-winning teaching product that provides comprehensive leveled reading resources for students. With hundreds of eBooks offered at 29 different levels of reading difficulty, it's easy to put the right content in every student's hands.

Kids access their leveled text through an interactive learning portal designed to keep them motivated and engaged. Every eBook is available in online and mobile formats and allows students to listen to, read at their own pace, and record themselves reading. Students then take a corresponding eQuiz complete with an extended answer response to test comprehension and determine future instruction needs. Once a child has read ten or more of the leveled eBooks and passed each of the corresponding eQuizzes, they advance on to the next reading level where they have access to the lengthier and more difficult text.

  2. 800+ leveled eBooks for students to practice reading anytime, anywhere
  3. Corresponding eQuizzes that measure student comprehension 
  4. Spanish eBook and eQuiz translations for ELLs and bilingual programs
  5. Digital management and reporting tools to easily track individual and class-wide reading progress

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Fluency Resources

What is Fluency?


Read Naturally

Fluency is the ability to read "like you speak." Hudson, Lane, and Pullen define fluency this way: "Reading fluency is made up of at least three key elements: accurate reading of connected text at a conversational rate with appropriate prosody or expression." Non-fluent readers suffer in at least one of these aspects of reading: they make many mistakes, they read slowly, or they don't read with appropriate expression and phrasing.

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Article - What is Fluency?

What are the ORF (oral reading fluency) norms for grades 1st-6th?


Hasbrouck & Tindal (2017)

From Hasbrouck, J. & Tindal, G. (2017). An update to compiled ORF norms (Technical Report No. 1702). Eugene, OR. Behavioral Research and Teaching, University of Oregon.

If you have ever wondered where your students should be for their fluency WCPM (Words Correct Per Minute) rate here is an updated ORF norms chart.  It shows where students suggested WCPM score should be in the fall, winter, and spring for each grade level. 

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Compiled Oral Reading Fluency Norms Chart

Screening, Diagnosing, and Progress Monitoring for Fluency


Reading Rockets 

By: Jan Hasbrouck

Screening, diagnosing, and progress monitoring are essential to making sure that all students become fluent readers — and the words-correct per-minute (WCPM) procedure can work for all three. Here's how teachers can use it to make well-informed and timely decisions about the instructional needs of their students. 

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Article - What is the screening, diagnosing, and progress monitoring of ORF (Oral Reading Fluency)?

Assessing Reading Fluency


Assessing Reading Fluency 

by:Timothy V. Rasinski, Ph.D.

Assessing Reading Fluency is intended to assist practitioners in monitoring students’ fluency development. Assessments are discussed in terms of three components of fluency:

  • Accuracy, or accurate decoding of words in text;
  • Automaticity, or decoding words with minimal use of attentional resources; 
  • Prosody, or the appropriate use of phrasing and expression to convey meaning.
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Assessing Reading Fluency Article

Reading Fluency For Your Student


Emily Motley

Published on Oct 12, 2016

Reading Fluency For Your Student

This video explains what fluency is, why it is essential, and how to help students develop good fluency skills with specific strategies to develop accuracy, speed, and expression.  Students need lots of reading practice time and appropriate book levels to be able to read independently.

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Video: Reading fluency for your student

Developing Fluent Readers


Developing Fluent Readers

By: Jan Hasbrouck
Reading Rockets

What should fluency instruction look like? And, what can teachers do to help students whose fluency is far behind their peers'? This article should help practitioners use of fluency-based assessments and select instructional practices.

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Developing Fluent Readers Information

Close Reading Explained

Close Reading Explained: The definition of a close reading can be a little confusing for some teachers because the meaning of a close reading has recently changed with the new Common Core Standards. This video describes the purpose of the close reading and how it applies to the new Common Core standards. In this brief video, Dr Timothy Shanahan discusses the characteristics of Close Reading. 

McGraw-Hill Education PreK-12

Published on May 29, 2014 

Examples of Close Reading - Various Grade Levels 1st, 6th, and 9th Grades

Close Reading Examples:
Thinkport MPT Published on Sep 22, 2014

Close Reading practiced in three classrooms, at multiple grade levels and subject areas--first grade ELA, 6th grade science and 9th grade government.