Benchmark Advance Resources

My district is using the ELA program Benchmark Advance. I will be posting all my additional resources here and gems I find online! 

Balanced Literacy is a framework designed to help all students learn to read and write effectively. The program stands firmly on the premise that all students can learn to read and write. This balance between reading and writing allows students to receive the individualized teaching appropriate to their strengths and needs in literacy.

Balanced Literacy is a model for teaching children in a student-centered classroom, based on the research of Marie Clay, Irene Fountas, and Gay Su Pinnell. Daily, children read and write independently and in a variety of group settings. Balanced Literacy classrooms focus on different types of reading experiences: read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, reading conferences, and independent reading. Students also participate in shared and individual writing activities each day. The types of writing experiences include shared writing, interactive writing, guided writing, writing conferences and independent writing.  Additionally, during many daily reading and writing experiences, students are engaged in word study. Listening and speaking are also emphasized in this integrated language approach.
These authentic opportunities for reading and writing are arranged on a continuum based on the gradual release of responsibility. Some reading and writing tasks are modeled by the teachers and others are accomplished with the support of the teacher, leading to those that are done independently by the child.  Our district will follow a Balanced Literacy approach with the adoption of our new K-6 reading series Benchmark Literacy.

Sample Schedule for 120 minute ELA block
*Please note:  Reading Workshop, Phonics/Word Study, and Writing Workshop components can be scheduled in any order.  For example, teachers may choose to start the ELA block with Writing Workshop first instead of Reading Workshop.
Reading Workshop

·   Read aloud
10 min
·   Whole group mini-lesson
20 min
·   Small-group reading (2 groups per day)/Independent reading/Literacy workstations
40 min
Phonics/Word Study
20 min
Writing Workshop

·   Whole group mini-lesson
10 min
·   Independent writing/conferring
20 min

120 minutes total
Components of an ELA Block

Benchmark Literacy Reading Levels Conversion Chart

Here you will find resources to help you successfully use the new Benchmark Advance curriculum. 

Videos that provide information to FAQs: 

Designated ELD Lesson Planning with Jill Hamilton-Bunch Using Benchmark
Berkshire Elementary: 5th Grade Benchmark Lesson Planning 
Great Benchmark Ideas with Kim Svihovec (McAuliffe Elementary)
Benchmark Advance Assessment Reporting Overview:
Teacher Created Videos:
 Score Writing to Submit Tests for Grading 
 Locate Phonics Skills and Spelling Words Within Benchmark
Access student scores from Benchmark Interim
How To Create an EPlanner to Help Organize Lesson Plans: 
 Using Benchmark to Facilitate Small Groups: 
Using Benchmark to Create an E-Planner to Check the Spiral of Standards: 
Novel Units of Study in Benchmark Universe


  1. Our district just purchased this program and this is our first year using it. Do you use the electronic resources?

    1. Yes. I use their website and the audio for the readings. The students enjoy following along.

  2. Thank you so much! Not a lot out there for BML. Any other thoughts on this program, especially for grade 2, is greatly appreciated!

  3. Are the Levels in Benchmark Universe the same as Fountas and Pinell lettered levels?

  4. The PDF's don't work. There is nothing to download to print. Can you help? This looks like great information to share. Thank you.

  5. This program is one of the final resources we are looking at for 2018 adoption. Can you offer some pros and cons of the program???