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The Leveled Library: color coded by Book Bands

Click here for Book band document (Goals of this work, Conference Checklists for small groups, and a sample script of a conference)

Click here for Book Band Overview (Overview of  a unit around Book Band Work)

Click here for sample conference checklists. Book Band MembersUVWXYZ, Book Band MembersRST, Book Band MembersNOPQ.  This really helped me keep track with what students were working on. It especially helped me with language I needed for on the run conferences in small groups. Note that the bulleted points would often be copied on large post-its and left with students as a visual artifact. They’d choose the strategy that best fit their book and work on it for the next few days. * In the past, I have really struggled with keeping up with conference notes. This is the first time I have felt real success. All the information I needed is on 1 page and I used space on the back for more notes. I had 1 page of notes for each table. (Kids were sitting by book bands/levels.)

What we might think about when we read...

Think Deeply, Write Long, Revise for Brilliance!

* Thank you to the wonderful teachers at MS 223 for working tirelessly on this work. You inspire me.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 11:04 pm

    As a side note.. these documents were created within a particular community for a particular community. Although I think some of these principles and structures are good, I do not suggest this as a “way to teach bands of difficulty.” As with anything, I think curriculum should be developed within the context of a class/school’s needs. (For example, not every child needs “speed bumps” nor will an entire table of students need the same strategy within their book bands.)

  2. MARIAN permalink
    September 16, 2010 3:51 pm


    I just came across your blog while searching for more info on the bands of text difficulty. I think it will revolutionize my teaching…I am still wrapping my head around it since learning about it during the Reading institute this July. You are SOOOOO lucky to have Kate Roberts as your staff developer. She was my a.m. instructor last summer for my first Writing institute and this summer I went to a few of her workshops during the Writing institute as well as the Reading…she rocks!!!

    Thank you for sharing your work on this…I am pretty much alone at my school when it comes to reading and writing workshop. Our principal wants to take us in that direction but i think it will take a while: we’re a charter school with close to no money and our school is going through a transition period in terms of curriculum and the vision of the school.

    I look forward to reading your blog more often!

    • September 20, 2010 6:50 pm

      Hi Marian! I’m so excited to hear from you– the bands of text absolutely changed my life, too… I hope you find they make teaching more enjoyable and efficient! I feel like I now always know what to teach next!

      I also shared your comment with Kate- you are so sweet. And you are right… She IS amazing!!!! I am so blessed to have learned from her up close! She is definitely one of my favorite people in the world.

      I was alone in workshop years ago, so I can empathize with you… There are so many resources online now, so hopefully you’ll never be hurting for them. Please let me know if you ever want to collaborate or share!

      • MARIAN permalink
        September 25, 2010 9:06 am

        Hi Lindsey!

        Thanks for your reply. Yes, the bands are changing the game for me. I totally used your configurations…I know the best way to figure it out is to have conversations with colleagues, but I am pretty much alone… while at the reading institute Mary Ehrenworth (I couldn’t adore/worship her more if I tried!) spoke about them a few times and i was pretty confused. I kept thinking, what are they talking about? BANDS? DIFFICULTY?

        She then spent a little while talking about them and once she did, I was stunned by the implications for teaching! I teach middle school but am using the NEW Reading Units of Study 3-5. There’s information about the “bands” in one of the volumes. Have you seen them? have them? I think my work with students will dramatically change after I “get better” at working and understanding how to use these bands.

        Would love to keep sharing! Keep the posts coming!

  3. Erin permalink
    November 6, 2012 8:15 pm

    Hi Lindsey,

    I am new to the idea of Text Bands, but I am really loving the idea! I think this is going to guide my instruction in a new way to help students really dig deeper in their texts. I noticed in the conference script it mentioned charts. I would really appreciate any insight you can offer on the different types of charts this is referring to. Thanks in advance for sharing your wealth of knowldege! You are inspiring. 🙂



    • November 7, 2012 10:06 am

      Hi Erin,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I was just telling someone that I hadn’t written on here for a couple years and I wanted to get back into it. Your comment was serendipitous!
      Can you email me at I actually just made some new resources that might explain what I mean by jotting/charts. Thank yoU!!

  4. Lisa O'Doherty permalink
    October 24, 2013 1:57 pm

    Hi Lindsay! I went to your workshop at TC last Saturday, October 19. I loved what you shared with us about conferring!! When I brought back what you taught me and went to share it with my colleagues, I realized that I cannot find the Level of Text Bands you shared with us towards the end. I assumed it would be in the F&P books I have, but I cannot find it:(
    Is there any way you could share it with me? I thought it would be a huge help with conferences, as you stated.

    Thanks so much!! I loved your workshop!!



  1. Book Bands: Levels of Text Difficulty in Fiction Books | A Place for Sharing

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