Sunday, July 5, 2015

Balanced Literacy Basics

I am here today to talk all about Balanced Literacy!

After studying and researching this subject and then putting it into practice in the classroom, I thought it might be helpful to put down all of my thoughts in a blog post.

By all means, there might be a different definition for balanced literacy.  I am only claiming this as my version of balanced literacy (in hopes that I am pretty darn close to following what the experts are saying it is).

Here are the components:


Now, this might seem like a lot to do, but keep in mind our goal is to balance the way we teach our literacy block.  So if you are struggling with fitting it all in the day (like I did!) think "bigger picture".  
Take a look at your weekly schedule and now see if you can fit in all of the components.

Easier, right? 

Okay, now that we have the components listed, let's take a peek at what each one would look like in the classroom.

To read more about Reader's Workshop in depth, check out my previous blog post here.

To read more about Writer's Workshop in my classroom, read my guest blog post on Leach Teach's Blog.

In order to have a successful read aloud with accountable talk time, our students need to be sitting close to a reading partner so that they can do some talking!  (Go figure!)

The book should be marked up by the teacher with sticky notes as reminders of when to think aloud or prompt students to talk. 

The students are actively engaged by: 
-turn and talk
-stop and jot
-stop and act out/pretend
-stop and sketch

Our Word Study time should be differentiated, hands-on and focused on these skills:
-phonological awareness
-phonemic awareness
-high frequency words

This is typically found during morning meeting or calendar time.

During Shared Reading, the teacher is modeling and noticing reading behaviors.  The students are engaged in fluency, comprehension and accuracy.

And that is it in a nut shell.

I am wondering, is there one component that you want to learn more about?  Are you struggling with a certain piece? Or are you a professional juggler? 

Remember, it's a balancing act!  

It takes time, patience, and just plain hard work. 

But it is worth it because IT works!

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