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Balanced Literacy: Classroom Layout, Scheduling, Establishing Routines Welcome! Please make a name tag, grab a snack and a handout.

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Presentation on theme: "Balanced Literacy: Classroom Layout, Scheduling, Establishing Routines Welcome! Please make a name tag, grab a snack and a handout."— Presentation transcript:

1 Balanced Literacy: Classroom Layout, Scheduling, Establishing Routines Welcome! Please make a name tag, grab a snack and a handout.

2 Celebrations

3 Norms Cell phones on vibrate No side talking Stay on task Start & end on time

4 Session Objectives Participants will… Review definition of Balanced Literacy Discuss options for classroom layout. Identify ways to schedule and manage the literacy block.

5 What is Balanced Literacy An approach that develops life-long readers and writers Authentic reading & writing through several components to meet the needs of each student Teachers are informed decision makers, using assessment to drive instruction

6 What Balanced Literacy is NOT A program A swinging pendulum: phonics to whole language Teaching all students the same way (fair is not always equal)

7 Classroom Configuration What messages are we sending?

8 8 Traditional Classroom How it looks… What it says… Teacher: “I am the teacher. You will do as I say. Listen to me.” Students: “We are supposed to do what the teacher says. The teacher’s way is THE way” T

9 9 Connected Rows How it looks…What it says… Teacher: “I have the information. I want you to be part of my group, but I’m not ready for you to be on your own.” Students: “Watch the teacher. Stay in your seats. That’s where you do your work.” T

10 10 Horseshoe How it looks… What it says… Teacher: “We will work together to learn. I’m not going to be the only one thinking. I’m interested in what you have to say.” Students: “We are going to be expected to think and participate. The teacher will lead our discussions.” T

11 11 Table Groups How it looks… What it says… Teacher: “We will be learning together in lots of ways.” Students: “We are ALL learners and will work together. My ideas are valued here and will be used to help others.” Small Groups Area T Whole Group Area

12 Classroom Configuration 12

13 Classroom Configuration 13

14 Classroom Configuration 14

15 Classroom Configuration 15

16 Classroom Configuration



19 Turn and talk

20 Routines vs. Schedules The terms routines and schedules are often used interchangeably. Schedules represent the big picture—the main activities to be completed daily. Routines represent the steps done to complete the schedule.

21 Routines vs. Schedules Routines and schedules need to be taught directly. Routines and schedules may vary. Based on level of children’s interest Should be inherently flexible (to allow for fire drills, field trips, etc.)

22 Routines Activities and procedures that occur regularly Often involve a series of responses Literacy Block routines may include: Consistent signal for attention Entry procedure and task that uses lesson reading skills Transition procedures/routines Independent work procedures Materials procedures Small group procedures Exit procedures from today’s lesson

23 Daily Schedule “You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” -Charles Bruxton

24 Daily Schedule Maximize instructional time to meet student needs Blocks of time for literacy instruction – K-2 180 minutes total – 3-6 120 minutes total Sequence of classroom activities Sample schedules in handouts

25 Turn and talk

26 Planning and Managing Small Group Instruction 26

27 Flexible Groupings Students are grouped according to similar needs. They read texts that are about the same level and the same complexity. (Reading level conversion chart handout) They are about the same level in their word-solving ability. Groups change as needs change. 27

28 Student Proficiency LevelsNumber of Times to Meet With Levels Exceeding grade level expectations; above grade-level students 1-2 small group reading lessons per week Meeting grade level expectations; on grade-level students 2-3 small group reading lessons per week Not meeting grade level expectations; at-risk students 4-5 small group reading lessons per week Below grade level expectations; students needing intensive interventions 4-5 small group reading per week 28

29 Scheduling How much time can you allot to small group reading? 60 minutes Create a small group rotation schedule Goal: three to four groups daily See sample schedules handout

30 Small Group Reading 60 minutes a day MonTuesWedThurFri AAAAA BBBBC CDCD

31 What does the rest of the class do during small group instruction? Silent independent reading Workstations Process writing Reading Response Journals Reader’s Theater Literacy Circles 31

32 Turn and talk

33 Instructional Priorities Know the children Create a firm daily plan Focus instruction on the highest priority first Ask yourself “Why?” Gather data each day Keep the kids and parents appraised Who is doing the work – Gradual Release of Responsibility More information…“Questions for Creating a Classroom Environment for Literacy”


35 Reflection & Evaluation  Write 3 things that you gained from today’s training.  Write 2 things that you are still wondering about.  Write 1 goal to take back and implement in your classroom. 35

36 Sources 36 -Debbie Diller, Spaces & Places, 2008 -Dr. Mary Louise Hemmeter, Vanderbilt University, Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning website -Massachusetts Department of Education website -Mrs. Meacham’s Classroom Snapshots website -Hubbard’s Cupboard website

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