Getting by with a little help from my friends, part one: Recommended resources from the web By Dr. Sam Bommarito

Getting by with a little help from my friends, part one: Recommended resources from the web By Dr. Sam Bommarito

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, there has been an explosion of information about distance learning and how to do it. It is very likely that distance learning and the use of resources from the internet will play an essential role in the coming school year. Accordingly, I am adding resource pages to the blog. They will provide a permanent home for useful resources you can find on the web.  This is the first of what will be several entries that I will be making from time to time on the resources I will be putting on those pages. This week I will focus on web pages. I hope you will find some of these are resources you can use to help you help your kids.  I will add the page later this week


Dr. Tim Rasinski is the guru of Fluency. He believes that the teaching of reading is both science and art. I have blogged often about his work, LINK1, LINK2. Over the past summer, he has posted daily, giving access to some of his word ladders and his other word work materials. His twitter handle is @TimRasinski1. Here is a link to his website:

Tim R

When you are on his website, be sure to uses the resources dropdown to look over the many free teacher resources he has there.  You can download pdfs from some of his presentations. He also has some older versions of his word ladders. Newer versions of his word ladders can be found on his blog- and there is a tab for that as well.

Dr. Tim Shanahan is an advocate for a research-based approach to reading. I’ve said that I don’t always agree with his positions but that I do always learn from them. Most folks on the internet know him best for his op-ed posts from his blog and on twitter. His twitter handle is @ReadingShanahan. However, I think everyone should also be aware that his web page also contains a treasure trove of materials and resources that can help teachers.

Tim S

Here is the link to his webpage:

You can find op-ed and informational pieces on many topics by going to the blog tab. Many people may not be away of the extensive collection of materials you can find under his resources tab. Please do visit those and explore this section. You will find a well-organized extensive collection of materials. Of particular interest in our current situation is his section of free reading materials for children and teens. You have to scroll down a bit on the resources tab to get to it, but as you can see, there are many useful materials once you get there.


Dr. Molly Ness has caught the attention of many people due to her work to end book deserts. A book desert is a zip code where children have almost no access to books at home. Dr. Ness has a podcast where she talks to folks about how they address this problem.  Here is the link:

Dr. Ness just published an article in Parents magazine, here is a link:

Dr. Ness’s website is another one of those with many resources, especially resources that both parents and teachers can use. I send the link to her website to all my parents at the start of each school year:

Dr. Molly Ness

As you can see from the screen capture, there are tabs for Students and Families and for Schools. One of the really good things about her advice for families is that she gives it from the twin perspectives of reading expert and mom. My families have found her to be a great resource for practical ideas about how to support their kids in literacy. That is especially valuable in our current situation. Molly’s twitter handle is @drmollyness.

Jennifer Serravallo is best known as the author of many useful books for teachers. Her twitter handle is @JSerravello. I have interviewed her several times as part of my work with The Missouri Reader, LINK.  I will talk about her books in future posts. Right now, I want to tell you about her Facebook page The Reading and Writing Strategies Community. Just type that phrase into your Facebook search for pages and you’ll find this page. The page focuses on posts about her two books on reading and writing strategies. It now has almost 40,000 followers. I have called the page the world’s biggest faculty lounge. Teachers come to it on a daily basis to find out the nuts and bolts of how to teach those strategies. If you ever have questions about how to teach those or what materials to use when teaching them just visit this page. You will get immediate and in-depth answers from the many practicing teachers who come to this page. From time to time Jennifer posts on this page and runs activities like her Summer Camp groups in Reading and Writing.

RR Sera

These are just a few of the sites I will be adding to the page about websites. If you have other sites that you use often, please tell me about them in the comments section this week. The website page is a growing living document, and I will always be looking for new things to add to it. In addition to visiting the web pages, it would be a great idea to follow each of the folks I’ve talked about on twitter. Here is a summary of their twitter handles: @drmollyness, @ReadingShanahan, @JSerravello and @TimRasinski1.

Next week I will continue this topic by adding a page of useful resources for distance learning, especially read alouds and other activities that folks like Eric Litwin and David Harrison have put on the net and software by companies like Learning A-Z,  makers of Raz Kids, and resources provided by Lauri and Evan Robb. Be sure to catch Learning A-Z’s  upcoming webinar on Equity and Access. Dr. Tim Rasinski will be one of the speakers along with Dr. Jilliam Joe
Senior Director of Learning Insights and Research LEAP Innovations. It is a free event



In future posts, I’ll also be talking about favorite professional books and favorite blogs to follow and I hope to do some interviews with folks about books they have written. Eventually, I plan to add pages about the full range of resources offered by two literacy organizations I belong to, the International Literacy Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. I’ll be interspersing these posts about resources with my future op-ed and informational pieces. In the meantime, Happy Reading and Writing!

Dr Sam Bommarito (aka, the blog guy, building his blog resources one page at a time)

Copyright 2020 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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