Access to great resources is an essential component for an effective educator. With the implementation of The Common Core Curriculum across school districts, teachers are getting back to developing meaning lessons tailored for students instead of following a scripted program, and this requires finding educational resources to support instruction. A wonderful resource for reading tools that support the development of literacy skills across curriculum is provided by literacy specialist Kathy Bumgardner.
Kbumreading.com contains an assortment of literacy resources for guided reading, cooperative groupings, and independent literacy centers. This website gives teachers access to downloadable materials which can be used to support the development of literacy skills in students grades K-8. Some materials may be adapted for use with older students. Photographs, ideas, and examples to use for literacy instruction with students are also provided.
The Lit Tools page contains a link for literacy centers for grades K-2. Many center ideas are provided with procedures for guided reading instruction. There is a link for book club documents that provide students with opportunities to evaluate texts and share their thoughts with others. The real highlight is the literacy extension activities link. It contains 28 activities for students to engage with texts in meaningful ways.
The Reading and Writing page contains Common Core State Standard (CCSS) tools to support instruction. The CCSS Bloom’s Taxonomy bucks and CCSS Close Reading bookmarks links provide educators with literacy manipulatives that can be used in guided reading instruction or be given to student pairs to work with cooperatively. Other notable items are the Marzano wheels and the Student Thinking Toolkit. The Student Thinking Toolkit link opens to a word document with recommendations for the literacy tools students should have to be prepared for instruction.
The Comp Strategies page provides links for literacy manipulatives to use with students for comprehension of a variety of texts. Resources include fiction and nonfiction roll-ups and walks to teach use of comprehension strategies. A link to a reading comprehension rubric is also included on this page, which is a good tool for informally assessing students. One great and useful resource can be found on the Think Clouds page. The think cloud links provide teacher and student sized think clouds to promote the use of comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading.
Site presentation and organization needs a good tune up. The homepage is packed with colors from the background to font choice. The interchanging of font colors within each paragraph, from paragraph to paragraph, is over the top and distracting. Also, the photograph arrangement covers portions of the text and doesn’t enhance the information provided on the homepage. The side navigation is nine pencil fixtures with an inconsistent use of print features. Capitalization is used throughout some titles but only at the beginning of others. The homepage link is placed in the center of the side navigation instead of at the top. There are also two links to pages for literacy tools titled “Lit Tools” and “LITERACY TOOLS”. One page would be sufficient.
Navigating the site isn’t straightforward. Other pages continue with the theme of interchanging backgrounds and font colors. Placement of some materials looks random and unstructured. On the Anchor Charts page, the side navigation rearranges placing the link for the homepage at the bottom. This page contains only photograph examples of anchor charts. Information about the purpose and ways to use anchor charts would add meaning to this page. Pages contain PDFs that are not labeled and should, but don’t, automatically open in a separate window. The viewer is forced to use the back arrow. The Literacy Tools page contains links for higher order thinking questions, revised Bloom’s Taxonomy bucks, and fix up strategies. There would be zero need for this extra page if content was presented in a more organized format. These resources could have been included on the Reading and Writing page.
The use of photographs is a bit excessive and at times doesn’t match content provided, but may be useful for educators who need visuals to create their own products or view how materials can be implemented in their instruction. This site also provides Contact and Services pages through the side navigation. The contact page can be used to inquire about materials and workshops that are listed on the services page. If you can navigate through the lack of structure and have some extra time, this site is worth a look.