If you are a teacher or literacy interventionist struggling to:

  • assess students in meaningful ways,
  • provide more effective differentiated instruction,
  • manage the diverse needs of your students with limited time, or
  • find the instructional resources you need (like quality decodable texts),

then you should know, you are definitely not alone! 

There are literally thousands of amazing literacy educators just like you who share the same worries,  wonderings, challenges, and vision. They, like you, want to ensure that their students develop, not just the skill of reading, but a love of reading, too.

We’re excited to let the insights from a recent survey of our community guide us as we make more of the tools you need. But in the meantime we want to share seven tools we’ve already made to help with the concerns that are top of mind for you right now. We’ve divided these tools into two categories.


Category #1  –  What is the Science of Reading?


In thinking about your responses, we were excited by the number of you searching for information on the Science of Reading in general. To help people at the beginning of their journey into the reading science, we wrote a post and created a video about this topic back in November. Of course it’s intended only as a starting point, but here’s the link. 

And for those of you who are ready to dig in deeper, we also offer you a booklist with ten of the books we’ve found really helpful.

Also, since Shifting the Balance is all about bringing the science of reading into the balanced literacy classroom, and since the book itself has chapters that match up to many of the topics you’re thinking about, summer might the perfect time to gather a group of colleagues and engage in book study. If a book study is of interest to you, we invite you  to explore theBook Study” tab on our website where there are lots of free goodies we’ve prepared just for you and your group including, such as a welcome video, a guided peek inside the book, a downloadable study guide, and a podcast series (an episode for each chapter).


Category #2 – Specific Tools to Help with Your Specific Needs


We also noticed that educators like you are definitely hungry for support with lots of specific content topics so that the shift to more brain-friendly literacy instruction feels less overwhelming. So, in the table below, we’ve listed some of the topics you identified and a free resource for each. Just click on the links in the table to download each tool.


Your Request Downloadable Tool
Tools for Phonemic Awareness Instruction  Phonemic Skills Development Tool 
High Leverage Phonics Routines   Explicit Phonics Lesson Template 
Tools to Support Orthographic Mapping   Sight Word Success Lesson Template (NEW!) 
Decodable Texts  A Pup Can – Decodable Text Available in Digital and Print format  

Wherever you are in the process of transitioning to more brain-friendly practices, we are honored to be with you for this leg of your journey.  Meanwhile, we are hard at work creating more tools to help you smooth the way and bridge science and classroom practice as YOU make learning to read easier for students. 


Jan and Kari

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