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Balanced Literacy

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Mz You

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of Balanced Literacy

BALANCED LITERACY INSTRUCTION
Balanced Literacy
Balanced Literacy serves to help students become independent readers and writers. Successful students can easily access a variety of strategies or skills to support their literacy skills. Our goal is to introduce a variety of these strategies to our students.
Why Balanced Literacy?
There is a gradual release of responsibility embedded within a Balanced Literacy program - allowing for a balance of guided, modeled, shared, and independent literacy activities to be offered by teachers. Balanced Literacy programs give teachers the opportunity to inform their own instruction, allowing students' individual needs to be met. Teachers "make thoughtful choices each day about the best way to help each child become a better reader and writer." Spiegel's definition (as cited in Mermelstein, 2013).
What Does it Look Like?
A Primary teacher would try to structure the school day so that there are Literacy (and Numeracy) blocks. The Literacy blocks consist of Reading and Writing blocks (often something like Reader's and Writer's Workshop).
Balanced Literacy Components
As Reading and Writing are interconnected components of literacy, a Balanced Literacy program combines strategies, with intentional supports and carefully selected materials to help students become independently successful.
Reflect:
How do you structure your day in your current role?
Do you have a set schedule/timetable or do you have the freedom to create blocks of time for teaching various subject areas?
What are the benefits to blocking off time to build Literacy skills in a primary classroom?

Reading Block
The Reading Block is an organized chunk of time in the students' schedule. In a primary class, this might be for an hour or 45 minutes in the morning.

These are the reading components in a balanced literacy program:
Read Aloud
Shared Reading
Guided Reading
Independent Reading
Read Aloud
Shared Reading
Guided Reading
-the teacher chooses a text at the student's instructional level - usually in small groups (by ability)
Independent Reading
- students read by themselves
Presentation Goal:

I am interested in learning about your personal experiences and reading your reflections about how they might be used in a balanced literacy program at the primary level. My hope is that we can pool our ideas and use them to create a picture about how our primary classroom might look one day.
~S~
Balanced Literacy Needs:
Direct, explicit instruction
Daily, independent reading
Daily guided writing
Modelled writing
Opportunities for mini-lessons with small groups
Integration with other subjects
Structured timetable
Assessment
Primary Level Applications:
~focus on Oral Language
Reading Block
Writing Block
Vocabulary Work

Why?
to introduce new reading strategies
to introduce a variety of texts and new vocabulary
to model fluent reading
-the teacher reads aloud to students.
- the teacher and students read together
direct modeling of "how reading works"
develops fluency, phrasing, sense of content
non-threatening environment to read aloud everything they can (students can join in whenever they are comfortable)
shared discussion about the reading
Why?
opportunity for focused instruction on specific reading skills or strategies
deep discussion on key features of text can occur
allows teacher to closely monitor students' progress
encourages independent reading
includes all written materials, not only books (strategic reading) such as word walls, bulletin boards, etc.
students have time to practice the behaviours of good readers (skills and strategies)
promotes fluency and reading for enjoyment
promotes problem solving
students can read quietly to partner or on their own
If you're interested, this is a video of how one teacher uses a 'toolkit' to encourage independent reading in her class:
Balanced Literacy Components
Writing Block
When students have a solid understanding of foundational strategies and an ability to practice their reading skills, they in turn support the development of their writing skills.

These are the writing components in a balanced literacy program:

Modelled Writing (Write Aloud)
Shared Writing and Interactive Writing
Guided Writing
Independent Writing
Modelled Writing (Write Aloud)
Shared and Interactive Writing
Guided Writing
-the teacher chooses a text at the student's instructional level - usually in small groups (by ability) - teacher provides instruction
Independent Writing
- students write by themselves

Why?
especially great for early readers and writers to develop concepts of print (sound symbol connections can be made at this time)
teacher 'thinks aloud' to demonstrate how writers make decisions about writing
explicit strategies can be modelled
-the teacher is the scribe (students observe)
- the teacher and student compose the text together
Why?
opportunity for focused instruction on specific writing skills or strategies
allows students to have ownership over their writing
allows teacher to closely monitor students' progress
encourages independent writing
students can produce detailed and complex texts more often than on their own
develops understanding of the multiple uses of writing
students have time to practice the behaviours of good writers (skills and strategies)
develops independence
Interactive Writing
Shared Writing
teacher holds pen
teacher initiates and models writing
teacher and students negotiate text and teacher records
ideas and vocabulary can be negotiated
teacher is scribe and pen is strategically "shared"
student could help to construct text by adding familiar sight words or other parts
text is written and planned word by word
produces written text that students can read (at their level)
teachers and students work together to co-create a written work
increases spelling knowledge
creates opportunities to develop writing strategies
Balanced Literacy Components
direct teaching about how words look, sound, and mean
noticing words in meaningful contexts
apply the new vocabulary as students read and write
-connects Reading, Writing and Oral Communication
Wrap Up
Reflect:
In your experience, do you feel you have many opportunities to model the strategies suggested here for the Reading and Writing blocks? Can you see opportunities to integrate various subject areas into these blocks?
Vocabulary Work
Resources that might help:
Boushey, Gail, Moser, Joan. The Daily Five. 1st ed. Markham: Stenhouse
Publishers, 2006. Print.
Resources that might help:
Fountas, Irene C., Pinnell, Gay Su. Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6.
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2001. Print.
Why this could help:
This is a fantastic resource - if you don't have it personally, then a colleague likely will. There are all kinds of graphic organizers at the back that can be used for any subject area.
This resource guides teachers toward implementing a comprehensive literacy program. It lays it out step by step. Chapter 9 offers a "first 20 days of school" guide for teachers who want to establish readers workshop. I think this is an invaluable resource.
Boushey, Gail, Moser, Joan. The CAFE Book. 1st ed. Markham: Stenhouse
Publishers, 2009. Print.


Why these might help:
Written by two elementary teachers (called "The Sisters")
Structured programs (you would use them together) that include classroom management techniques, assessment strategies, and other literacy work
Allow teachers to teach and model reading and writing skills and strategies but also allow time to work with small groups for targeted practice AND train students to be independent
I think it is perfect for younger grades and early readers/writers (I tried it with my middle school students and tried to tailor it for them but was not successful, although I will be trying again soon).
Questions to Discuss?
1. How do you structure your day in your current role? Do you
have a set schedule/timetable or do you have the freedom to
create blocks of time for teaching various subject areas?
2. What are the benefits to blocking off time to build Literacy
skills in a primary classroom?
3. In your experience, do you feel you have many opportunities to
model the strategies suggested here for the Reading and
Writing blocks? Can you see opportunities to integrate various
subject areas into these blocks?
“Components of a Balanced Literacy Program.” St. Martha Catholic School. Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Web. 13 Oct. 2013.
Quick Reference Guide
For some extra information on literacy blocks:
See the Capacity Building Series - http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/LearningBlocks.pdf
References
Au, Kathryn H., Carroll, Jacquelin, H., Scheu, Judith A. Balanced Literacy Instruction: A Teacher’s Resource Book.
Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc., 1997. Print

“Balanced Literacy A Successful Literacy Program in Edmonton Public Schools.”” Ministry of Education Ontario.,
May 2007. Web. 16 Oct 16, 2013.

Bennett, Carol. “What is Balanced Literacy.” Western Region Education Service Alliance. PDF, Web. October 16,
2013.

Boushey, Gail, Moser, Joan. The CAFE Book. 1st ed. Markham: Stenhouse Publishers, 2009. Print.

Boushey, Gail, Moser, Joan. The Daily Five. 1st ed. Markham: Stenhouse Publishers, 2006. Print.

“Components of a Balanced Literacy Program.” St. Martha Catholic School. Algonquin and Lakeshore
Catholic District School Board, Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

Fountas, Irene C., Pinnell, Gay Su. Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2001.
Print.

Hughes, Dr. Janette M., “Balanced Literacy.” Teaching Language and Literacy K-6. UOIT, Web. October 15, 2013.

“Learning Blocks for Literacy and Numeracy.” Ministry of Education Ontario. Capacity Building Series - Literacy and
Numeracy Secretariat, May 2007. Web. 16 Oct 2013.

Mermelstein, L. “The Components of Balanced Literacy.” Education.com Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall, July,
19, 2013. Web. October 16, 2013.

Parr, Michelann., Campbell, Terry. Balanced Literacy Essentials: weaving theory into practice for successful
instruction in reading, writing, and talk. . Markham, ON: Pembroke Publishers Limited, 2012. Print.


Rog, Lori Jamison. Guided Reading Basics. Markham, ON: Pembroke Publishers Limited, 2003. Print.

Sklavounos, Leslie. “Balanced Literacy.” Ms. Leslie’s Teacher Zone. Crestview Elementary School, April 2009.
Web. October 16, 2013.

Teachersnetworkvideo. “Balanced Literacy - Kindergarten.” YouTube. YouTube, 19 Aug 2009. Web. 19, Oct
2013.

The Balanced Literacy Diet. “Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom: Shared Reading in Kindergarten.” YouTube.
YouTube, 30 Dec 2011. Web. 19 Oct 2013.

The Balanced Literacy Diet. “Daily Read Alouds: Using Non Fiction and Math Books in the Literacy
Program.” YouTube. YouTube, 30 Dec 2011. Web. 19 Oct 2013.


The Balanced Literacy Diet. “Guided Reading: Promoting Fluency and Comprehension in the Third and
Fourth Grade.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Nov 2011. Web. 19 Oct 2013.

The Balanced Literacy Diet. “Reading Toolkit: Fostering Independent Reading in First and Second Grade.”
YouTube. YouTube, 18 Nov 2011. Web. 19 Oct 2013.

Winton, Mary., Jones, Elva. “Balanced Literacy A Successful Literacy Program in Edmonton Public Schools.”
Ministry of Education Ontario. 24 Nov, 2005. Web. 16, Oct 2013.
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