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My Commitment to Balanced Literacy
Transcript of My Commitment to Balanced Literacy
I was once told we need to find something we love to do, and then come to love the way we do it. For me, that is teaching. I have a firm belief that children learn best when actively involved in the learning process. My role is to be a coach, mentor, model, and guide. By providing an environment that is respectful, safe, and loving, students can be challenged to explore, investigate, ask questions, construct ideas, and take risks to reach their learning potential.
A classroom where learning is student centered.
A classroom where students are exploring, asking questions, and taking risks.
A classroom where students are collaborating with their peers and constructing new understandings.
A classroom where learning is approached as authentic, developmental, and holistic.
A classroom where the reading and writing instruction is integrated into all areas of the curriculum using a balanced literacy approach.
My Commitment to Balanced Literacy through Best Practices
By: Michelle Wallrich
"Good teachers, effective teachers, matter much more than particular curriculum materials, pedagogical approaches, or proven programs...expertise matters"
What does balanced reading and writing instruction look like in the classroom?
Active instruction will be taught with lots of modeling and demonstration of useful strategies
Think Alouds will be integrated into all subject areas
Students will be given choice for reading, projects to investigate, and topics for writing
Conferencing one-on-one between teacher and student
Listening and Speaking
What is Balanced Literacy?
Students would be provided with a rich supply of books in every genre and at all reading levels. They are given a choice to what they will read. There will be lots and lots of books to engage them in the reading process.
In my classroom students would be working in whole group, small group, and independently. I will be conferring with my students throughout the day. Lots of collaboration activities will be used including turn and talk, paired reading activities, literature circles, writing circles, inquiry circles, and whole class meetings. Student choice will be given and there will be use or real world documents. Deepening of content knowledge through integrative units will be used in the curriculum.
Representing to Learn
In my classroom, students will write, tell, draw, debate, sing, or act out new learning. We know that to really understand a concept we need to be involved in a hands on, minds on way through multiple experiences. There will be lots of modeling and practice learning how to listen.
In the classroom, there will be lots of talking. Not just random chatter, but purposeful talk between students and teacher. This will be taught and modeled throughout the year. In
addition to this there will be lots of opportunities for turn
and talk and open ended questions to achieve higher
According to Allington (2002), exemplary teachers award grades based on effort and improvement, rather than achievement.
Students reflect on their own work in face to face interviews, written questionnaires, and learning logs
Evaluation conferences with teacher
Student provide samples of their best work
Report, Explain, and Present
I would set up my classroom with student centered tables. There would be designated spaces for whole group instruction, small group work, and independent work. The students art work and projects would be displayed throughout the room.
Community of Learners
Zemelman, S., Daniels, H., and Hyde, A. (2012).
Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in America's Classrooms
(4th Ed.) Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Imagine the power of reading to our kids everyday...
Allington, R. (2002). What I've Learned About Effective Reading Instruction.
Phi Delta Kappan
Power of Reading in Action
According to Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde (2012), "hearing books read aloud is key to learning to read. Reading aloud allows children to hear the rich language of stories and texts they cannot read on their own..." (P. 106).
I did an interactive read aloud, using a book that has higher vocabulary, a good story line, and that the kids were interested in. They transferred vocabulary and book language as they used props to retell the story.
What would this look like in a classroom?
Project Based Learning
Readers and Writers Workshop
Modeled Reading and Writing
In modeled reading and writing I will teach short mini lessons by showing, modeling, and demonstrating. I will provide read alouds, think alouds, model fluent reading, and develop active listening. I will work on concepts of print, writing strategies, and model connections between sounds, letters, and words.
Shared Reading and Writing
During shared reading my students will be invited to read along with the story, share their own thoughts and ideas using Fountas and Pinnell's systems of strategic actions and turn and talks. During shared writing my students and I will "share" the pen and compose and write together.
Guided Reading and Writing
Guided reading and writing will allow the students to practice working on strategies just taught. I will circulate around to offer support.
Independent Reading and Writing
In the last phase of gradual release, kids take full responsibility for their learning, by reading and writing on their own.
Best Practices in Reading
According to Allington (2002), effective teachers have students reading and writing for half of their school day. Extensive reading is critical to the development to reading proficiency.
Getting meaning from stories using comprehension strategies
Providing opportunities for children to work with print such as listening to stories, participating in shared reading activities, making stories and books, plays, and dialog
Using strategic thinking activities such as KWL charts, text coding, and written conversation
Teach children how to use reading as a tool for learning and answering real questions
Provide opportunities for authentic activities (no worksheets!!)
"Doing everything in your power to get kids to read. Reading is the best practice for learning to read. Voluntary reading, both in and out of school is strongly associated with gains in reading achievement (Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde, 2012).
Qualities and Strategies Used In Teaching Reading
Gradual Release of Responsibility
Optimal Learning Model was used
from Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde
(2012) Best Practices, P.40.