Balanced Literacy at Irwin Academic Center October 24, 2013
Session Objective: Develop a better understanding of the Balanced Literacy framework and how it is being implemented at Irwin Academic Center.
Balanced Literacy is NOT… A curriculum A set of materials A program A kit
Balanced Literacy is… A model for instruction A framework for organizing instruction in reading and writing. Independent Reading Writing Balanced Literacy
Balanced Literacy consists of… Balanced Expectations –The teacher provides high expectations, yet the children are able to work on their individual instructional level. Balanced Content –A balance of activities in reading, writing, and speaking using models from quality literature. Balanced Responsibility –The teacher knows how to gradually release the responsibility of learning to the children.
Balanced Literacy consists of… Balanced Variety –The teacher provides a variety of genres and teaches reading and writing across the curriculum. Balanced Environment –The teacher, parents, and community work together to support the use of reading and writing across all disciplines Reading and Writing are Essential Tools for Learning!
Why Balanced Literacy? a way to meet and exceed Common Core Standards allows students to work on their individual levels provides and avenue for teachers to teach learners of ALL abilities ensures all components of literacy are taught daily
Comparing Imagine It & Balanced Literacy Imagine ItBalanced Literacy Teaches reading skills and strategies Teacher models skills One grade level selection for every student per week from basal textbook Weekly test used for assessment Teaches reading skills and strategies Teacher models skills Self-selected texts on students’ independent reading level Assessment consists of: conferencing, daily work, post-its, cold reads and quizzes
Structure of Writing Workshop Mini-lesson (whole group 7-10 minutes) Independent Writing Time (approximately 20-45 minutes depending on grade level) Continue Independent Writing Time Share (whole group 3-5 minutes) Students Writing Teachers 1:1 Conferencing Strategy Groups Mid-Workshop Interruption (whole group 1 – 2 min)
Structure of Reading Workshop Mini-lesson (whole group 7-10 minutes) Independent Reading Time (approximately 20-50 minutes depending on grade level) Continue Independent Reading Time Share (whole group 3-5 minutes) Students Individual Reading Partner Reading Reading Response Teachers Guided Reading Groups Strategy Groups 1:1 or 1:2 Conferring Mid-Workshop Interruption (whole group 1-2min)
Architecture of a Mini-Lesson Whole Group,10-15 minutes Purpose: build a specific skill brief, explicit teaching opportunity teacher’s chance to talk 1 teaching point (as concise & clear as possible) Follow a consistent architecture
Reading & Writing Conferences 1. Research Begin conversation using open ended questions, collect prior to or look at post-its and make observations, easier to do beforehand 2. Compliment “catching kids on the edge of greatness”, should lead to the teaching point, be specific 3. Decide/Teach Think about what you will teach, plan for how you will teach it, have reader practice what you taught them, a mini-mini lesson 4. Link Reiterate what you have taught and encourage students to do this often as they read
Word Work Includes: Phonemic awareness Phonics (letter/sound relationships) Morphemic analysis (using word parts to denote meaning) Automaticity of sight words Spelling patterns and rules Vocabulary Decoding Greek and Latin Roots
What are Irwin Classrooms Using for Word Work? Words their Way: –Developmental –Phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction –Students move through a continuum Vocabulary their Way: –Focus on content-specific vocabulary –Word sorts –Vocabulary strategies
What Can You Expect to See in Classrooms? Meeting area Anchor charts & explicit examples Classroom library Less whole class instruction Set routines and procedures Reading and Writing Conferences
What Can You Expect to See in Classrooms? Student Collaboration/Engagement Less worksheets Reader’s Theater and Literature Circles Book Clubs Read Alouds and Think Alouds Independent Reading and Writing More informational/ nonfiction reading and writing
How Can You Help at Home? Visit the local library Read with your child daily Allow them to read aloud to you Read aloud to them Do a combination and share the responsibility of reading Help them to select a variety of books Fiction Non Fiction Assorted Genres Engage in conversation about the books Ask thought provoking questions Share your thoughts with them Help your child find “just right books.”
Finding a Just Right Book Step 1: Turn to any page near the center of the book. Step 2: Hold up a finger each time you arrive at a word that is difficult to read and/or understand Step 3: Follow the “Five Finger Rule!” Step 1: Turn to any page near the center of the book. Step 2: Hold up a finger each time you arrive at a word that is difficult to read and/or understand Step 3: Follow the “Five Finger Rule!”
How Can You Help at School? Volunteer in your child’s classroom. Read with children. Level classroom library books. Donate materials and resources. Post-it notes Beanbag chairs Support the PTA.