What is Balanced Literacy?

Balanced Literacy incorporates all reading approaches realizing students need to use multiple strategies to become proficient readers.

What is its purpose?

It provides and cultivates the skills of reading, writing, thinking, speaking and listening for all students. A Balanced Literacy Program includes:

  • Modeled Reading (Reading Aloud) and Modeled Writing
  • Shared Reading and Shared Writing
  • Guided Reading and Guided Writing
  • Independent Reading and Independent Writing

How can I do it?

Reading
Writing

Reading TO children: read alouds

  • help to internalize sentence structure and "book language" concepts,
  • provide motivation to learn to read,
  • develop a sense of story structure,
  • develop vocabulary concepts,
  • build prediction skills, and
  • provide a proficient reader model

Writing FOR children:teacher-modeled

  • models how phonics works,
  • models conventional spelling,
  • models mechanics of writing- capitals at beginning, punctuation ( . ? ! ) at end, etc.,
  • aids in understanding the reciprocity of reading and writing,
  • Helps in hearing/sequencing sounds in words, and
  • develops print concepts

 

Reading WITH children: shared reading

  • develops: comprehension skills, language-rhyming, story line/story elements,
  • develops/reviews high frequency words and known phonics, and
  • teacher models/develops: print concepts, early reading strategies, use of 3
    cueing sources, monitoring and self-correction, good reader strategies, comprehension

Writing WITH children: shared writing;

  • models how phonics works,
  • models conventional spelling,
  • models mechanics of writing- capitals at beginning, punctuation ( . ? ! ) at end, etc.,
  • aids in understanding the reciprocity of reading and writing,
  • Helps in hearing/sequencing sounds in words, and
  • develops print concepts

and language experience

  • supports children's concept development and vocabulary growth while offering many opportunities for meaningful reading and writing activities
  • aids in the development of shared experiences that extend children's knowledge of the world around them while building a sense of classroom community
  • students are involved in planning, experiencing, responding to, and recording the experience and later, in participating in "remember when we …?" conversations.

Reading BY children: guided reading;

  • reinforces reading strategies in context of story
  • story introduction promotes children's effective use of cueing sources,
    prediction, monitoring, etc., and
  • teacher supports/prompts: print concepts, early reading strategies, use of 3
    cueing sources, monitoring and self-correction, good reader strategies, comprehension

and independent reading;

  • builds self-confidence, fluency, vocabulary, and
  • provides practice in applying reading strategies

Writing BY children: guided writing;

  • may begin with mini-lesson
  • students writing, practicing skills learned through mini-lessons
  • writing may be student choice or teacher assigned
  • teacher meeting with individuals or small groups of students to teach specific skills
  • students aware of and following routines established
  • students may be participating in peer conferences

and independent writing;

  • builds confidence as a writer,
  • strengthens story structure,
  • develops understanding of uses of writing,
  • supports reading development,
  • provides practice in different types of writing,
  • develops understanding of writing as a recursive process

and writing centers

  • a place that allows children the opportunity to independently practice what you've been teaching (either in large or small group instruction) while you work with a small group.

Assessment and Evaluation Considerations

Assessment should be on going and both formal and informal. Teachers should use assessment to guide future instruction. Some methods could include: graphic organizers, journal entries, projects, rubrics, running records, conferencing, book talks, book reports, book logs and checklists.

Teacher Resources

 


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