Quick Guide to Benchmark Advance: Planning

This post is for a series called “Quick Guide to Benchmark Advance,” which helps teachers with the basics.

My biggest tip for planning Benchmark:

The program follows one overall pattern in K-1 and then follows another pattern in grades 2-6. In Kinder and first grade, there are phonics, reading, and writing mini-lessons each day. In grades 2-6, there are word study, close reading, and writing mini-lessons each day.

For efficient planning, it helps to look at everything in a certain order.

  1. Analyze the unit at-a-glance.
    – What is the essential question?
    – What will the word study, reading, and writing look like across the unit?
    – What texts will we read?
  2. Read or preview the texts that the students will be reading.
  3. Record the Week 1 skills and strategies.
  4. Record the Week 2 skills and strategies, and note if any lessons repeat in the second week.
  5. Record the Week 3 skills and strategies, and note if any lessons repeat in the third week.
  6. Decide which lessons you can skip, combine, or need to spend more time on.

I have created free planning templates for both K-1 teachers and 2-6 teachers that will help you with planning. You can also watch my “Plan With Me” video series to see how I plan while following those six steps.

Happy Planning!

Click on the links below to read the other
blog posts included in this “Quick Guide” Series. 

A MESSAGE BEFORE YOU BEGIN: This is a good message to keep in mind as you get started
SUPPLY LIST: A short list of items you may want to purchase for your students
MATERIALS OVERVIEW: A shortcut page to reference materials in the program
WHOLE VS. SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION: What everyone is doing and using in whole and small group time
TEACHER TIPS: Advice from teachers who are already using the program

Hi! I’m Toluca from Markers and Minions, where I help teachers feel more effective and confident with high-quality resources and an awesome teacher community!

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2 thoughts on “Quick Guide to Benchmark Advance: Planning”

  1. Do you happen to have any of your completed day by day lesson plan templates to view possibly for 3rd Grade unit 2? I feel as though a completed one will help me to understand if I’m on the correct track.

    Thank you!

    • Last year I recorded live Plan With Me videos every Sunday and I planned third grade units as examples. Pictures of each completed template are found under the photo albums in my Benchmark Facebook Group (Benchmark Advance Planning, Organization, and Tips).


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