• Literacy Glossary At-A-Glance


    Anchor Chart

    Through explicit teaching and guidance, it records students’ thinking about a text, lesson, or strategy; connects past teaching and learning to future teaching and learning.

    Before, During, and After Reading Strategies

    Special techniques for developing and enriching reading skills throughout the whole reading experience.

    Book Talk

    A formal or informal talk about a book, ranging in length from thirty seconds to five minutes. It is a book "commercial" designed to provoke the listener’s interest and entice him or her into reading the book. It introduces interesting books and authors to students who might not find the books on their own.

    Classroom Libraries

    A collection of classroom books attractively displayed; they represent a wide range of reading levels, genres, authors, themes, and topics.

    Comprehensive Literacy Framework

    A broad view of the reading and writing processes that reflect research-based practices and incorporates the full range of experiences that students need to reach their literacy potential.

    Flexible Grouping

    An instructional practice in which students are grouped and regrouped according to specific skill, strategy, interest, reading/writing behavior, or guided reading level.

    Guided Reading

    A component of Reader’s Workshop in which a teacher-chosen text is used as the basis for instruction; the teacher works with a small, temporary group of students to develop their processing strategies as they read a variety of increasingly challenging texts. (One of three components of Reader’s Workshop).

    Guided Reading Levels

    A system according to Fountas and Pinnel; this is a gradient of text levels, organized from easiest to hardest in order of the alphabet. Each level is labeled with a letter from A to Z. The levels reflect a defined continuum of characteristics related to the level of support and challenge.

    Guided Writing

    A process in which a teacher instructs a small, temporary group of students on the craft and conventions of writing in a variety of genres.

    Independent Reading

    A component of Reader’s Workshop in which individual students read silently and respond to a variety of texts of their own choosing, expanding the depth and breadth of their reading with continuous teacher support and guidance through conferences.

    Independent Writing

    A component of Writing Workshop in which students work in their writers’ notebooks or on drafting, revising, editing, or publishing writing projects with continuous teacher support and guidance.

    Interactive Read Aloud

    A teaching context in which students are actively listening and responding to an oral reading of a text.

    Language Word Study

    Students explore the intricacies of language across multiple genres including literature, informational text, and poetry. They investigate the meaning and structure of words and the conventions and forms of written language. (Possibilities include interactive read aloud, modeled or shared reading/writing, reader’s theater, choral reading, poetry sharing/response, word study, and handwriting).

    Leveled Book Room

    A designated location where shared instructional materials are available for use by the whole school faculty. This is an efficient means of increasing access to the instructional materials teachers need to support differentiated reading and writing instruction.


    A developmental scale for reading ranging from below 200L for beginning-reader material to above 1700L for advanced text. Text difficulty is measured upon semantic difficulty (word frequency) and syntactic complexity (sentence length).

    Literacy Work Stations

    Areas within the classroom that provide a range of meaningful literacy activities that encourage students to practice the skills real readers and writers use. Students may work alone, with partners, or collaboratively in groups to interpret the literature they read or to reinforce listening, speaking, writing and reading abilities.

    Literature Study/Circle (Book Clubs)

    A small, heterogeneous group discusses the literary elements and multiple dimensions of a text or set of related texts, while the teacher guides their in-depth analysis. (One of three components of Reader’s Workshop).


    A short lesson focused on a specific principle or procedure. They are interactive with students contributing ideas and examples. There are three kinds- management, skill, and craft.

    Reader Response Journal

    Students respond to literature by recording their thoughts, feelings, reactions, and questions about the text they are reading.

    Readers Theater

    An instructional approach in which students bring a piece of literature such as a story, poem, or play alive through the expressive reading of a script. The actors read and rehearse their parts instead of memorizing them. This is an excellent strategy for developing fluency.

    Reading Workshop

    Students read a variety of self-selected and teacher-selected texts for extended periods. They construct meaning and make personal and textual connections as they learn from and about reading. Students learn effective comprehension strategies that they apply to fiction and non-fiction texts. (The three components include Independent Reading, Guided Reading, Literature Study/Circles).

    Response to Intervention Model (RTI)

    Contributes to the improvement of instruction for students with disabilities and to the prevention of the inappropriate identification of specific learning disabilities. This is a multi-tiered intervention model that provides services and interventions to students at increasing levels of difficulty based on progress monitoring and data analysis.

    Shared Reading

    A reading strategy which focuses on the teacher and students reading a text together. During shared reading, the teacher involves students in reading predictable text in an enlarged format in order to help students learn aspects of literacy such as print conventions and to develop reading strategies.

    Shared Writing

    A teacher and students work together first to discuss and then to compose a text related to an experience or something that they are studying.

    Thinking Within the Text

    Involves readers efficiently and effectively understanding what’s on the page; the author’s literal message.

    Thinking Beyond the Text

    Requires readers to make inferences and put text ideas together in different ways to construct the text’s meaning.

    Thinking About the Text

    The use of readers’ skills to analyze and critique the author’s craft.

    Word Wall

    A wall or other surface in the classroom used to accomplish different objectives such as developing familiarity with word patterns or families, for remembering high frequency/high use words, and for referencing content-area vocabulary.

    Workshop Conferences

    These provide the teacher with an opportunity to collect formative data by meeting individually with a student to assess progress, to provide guidance as needed, and to assist in goal-setting.

    Writing Workshop

    Students develop writing strategies and skills, learn about the writer’s craft, and use writing as a tool for learning and communication. Writing for sustained periods, they explore different genres and formats for a range of purposes and for a variety of audiences.