The implementation of a Balanced Literacy approach provides students with access to both reading and writing skills at their level. The structure of a balanced literacy program encourages whole group, small group and individual strategies and support. This approach to literacy allows for teachers to model skills necessary in both reading and writing and provides opportunities for students to practice and receive feedback in reference to these skills, all while meeting students at their level, and providing them with the structure for continuous learning and improvement.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE IN BELLE PLAINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
Current implementation of Balanced Literacy in grades PK-6 involves embedding the components listed above into the daily planning and structure of literacy lessons. Currently, our PK-2 teachers provide a Daily 5 structure to incorporate a Balanced Literacy approach. This structure allows for whole group modeling and practice of literacy skills, followed by a daily rotation in small groups to work on independent or shared reading, vocabulary, writing, and guided reading/writing. This structure also provides an opportunity for teachers to confer with students one-on-one and monitor and provide support based on needs. With our current 1:1 iPad program in place, teachers have set up individualized learning opportunities for students in those small groups using our current web-based curriculum as well as individual applications (RAZ Kids/A-Z Learning, IXL, Lexia, TumbleBooks.) These programs support the skills being taught in class, and allow for students to work at their level and at their own pace.
Balanced Literacy looks very similar in grades 3-6. Although the teachers have not specifically adopted the Daily 5 model, they have incorporated a very similar structure. Teachers are modeling and practicing the skills with the whole group to begin the lesson. The remainder of the class period consists of students working on independent or shared reading, vocabulary development, and writing. Teachers take this time to meet with small groups or confer with individual students, monitoring and providing support. Like our PK-2 students, our 3-6 students have access to many web-based resources or individual applications (IXL, Storia, Lexia,Spelling/Vocabulary City) which support individualization (pacing and leveled skills.)
- eBooks (Storia and A-Z)
- Virtual Labs
- Spelling City/Vocabulary City
- Instructional Videos/Flip the classroom
- Daily formative assessements with instant feedback