Balanced Literacy Approach? What is it? How do I teach it? Get comfy… grab a cup of tea… this might prove to be a long post.
The other day in our Kindergarten Facebook group, the subject of the various balanced literacy approaches came up, so I promised to help explain them. Many of these I have blogged about in the past, so be on the lookout for links to related posts. That will help you get a better glimpse. You may want to pin this post or save it in your bookmarks so you can find it again.
It is also important to point out that this is how it looks in my kindergarten classroom. This is also how I suggest it look in first grade.
Balanced Literacy: Read Aloud
A few years back I did a webinar and blog post that goes into great detail on interactive read aloud’s. You can read that blog post HERE.
We were reading Insect Detectives and working on our schema chart during our initial reading. (Sidenote: Every picture catches me with a crazy expression on my face… sigh!)
Balanced Literacy: Shared Reading
When I was going through my teacher prep courses, I was told, “Used shared reading and revisit the same text each day during the week.” So when I went to put it into practice, I nearly lost my mind reading those big books. By Wednesday I was bored out of my mind! SO, I switched to poems. I love to use poems for my shared reading time. My students love them and they are addictively fun!
You can read a post on how I take a poem and use it over the course of 5 days to build fluency. You can see that post HERE.
You can see my Poems HERE.
You can see my Poem VIDEOS and MUSIC HERE.
Balanced Literacy: Guided Reading
This is a HUGE subject. I recently completed a webinar on Guided Reading (It is FREE). You can find more information on guided reading and the webinar by looking at THIS post. HINT: There is a free resource in that post.
Guided reading is also when we can differentiate our word work and we work on sight words.
You can see all of our Leveled Text resources HERE.
Balanced Literacy: Independent Reading
As yes, we love looking and reading books. At the beginning of the year, we read the pictures. As the year progresses, so does our reading!
Balanced Literacy: Modeled Writing
99% of the modeled writing takes place in our writing workshop. I have written many times about writers workshop. Here are just a few posts that will give you more information it:
Here is an anchor chart we used to talk about the difference between a narrative (whole pie) and a small moment (slide of pie).
In an unrelated piece, I modeled getting rid of those CRAZY cAPiTAls! Since we were writing in books at this point of the year, I model book writing and share it via the document camera.
You can see our writing curriculum HERE.
Balanced Literacy: Shared Writing
Again, most of my shared writing takes place during writers workshop time.
Balanced Literacy: Interactive Writing
Interactive writing can take place during writers workshop time.
or during our interactive read aloud time (Guiding Readers).
HINT: Deanna Jump and I are working on an Interactive Writing unit that should be out by early June. Stay tuned!
Balanced Literacy: Guided Writing
Guided writing usually takes place during our guided reading time. You can go back to THIS post to read more on that.
These are also included in our Leveled Text units.
Balanced Literacy: Independent Writing
Honestly, students are writing all day long, but we set aside time for them to write on a subject of their own choice during writers workshop.
This is the time to confer with students. Remember, the point of conferring is to change the writer, not the writing! You can see the writing blog links I listed above to learn more about this.
Again, HERE is where you will find our writing curriculum for kindergarten and first grade.
How do you fit it all in?
I had a few people ask me about the timing of these activities. I wrote a blog post did at the beginning of the year that talks about my schedule. You can read that HERE.
Also, each week I post my lesson plans. That will include a downloadable schedule. Just look for the blog posts under “Lesson Plans” or “Peek at my Week.”
I sure hope this answers your questions, but please, leave a comment if you have more questions!