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Balanced Literacy Presentation. Erica Bettcher EDRDG 610 Dec. 11, 2010 . My Philosophy of Reading is that….

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Balanced literacy presentation

Balanced Literacy Presentation

Erica Bettcher EDRDG 610 Dec. 11, 2010

My philosophy of reading is that
My Philosophy of Reading is that…

Students should be immersed in high quality literature through a reading and writing workshop approach. Children need to spend large blocks of time engaged in reading, so that they can develop accurate and fluent reading as well as comprehension. During reading and writing workshop students are actively participating in modeling and crafting mini-lessons directed by the teacher and are then able to apply these skills independently to their own self-selected texts. Reading and writing should also go hand in hand, where students are engaged in both activities throughout their workshop times.

What is balanced literacy

What is Balanced Literacy?

Balanced Literacy is a framework designed to help all students learn to read and write effectively.  The program stands firmly on the premise that all students can learn to read and write. This balance between reading and writing allows students to receive the teaching needed in order to reach grade level status, while allowing students to work at a level that is not frustrating for them.

Reading components in detail
Reading Components in Detail:

Read-Aloud: The teacher reads aloud various types of text. Teacher models thinking as she reads. The students participate by listening to the text and the teacher’s thinking strategies. Students focus on meaning and structure.

Shared Reading: The teacher reads an picture book text aloud. The students participate by reading along, using strategies when they encounter difficulty. The teacher builds the meaning and structure up, so that students can bring in the visual sources of information as they compose meaning from a text.

Guided Reading: Small group instruction with 4-8 students grouped according to their instructional reading levels. The groups are flexible and change frequently based on growth. Teacher activates prior knowledge and introduces the text. Students read the text. Teacher modeling, shared, partner, silent, reading strategies are incorporated throughout session. Graphic organizers, journal, and writing activities are often used.

Reading components in detail1
Reading Components in Detail:

Mini Lessons: The teacher models and thinks aloud planned lessons on specific reading comprehension strategies and/or skills. Charts and artifacts are kept around the room for students to refer to.

Self-Selected Independent Reading:Students are taught how to select “just right” books on their independent level and spend at least 20 minutes a day reading from this book without teacher support or instruction. Students apply learned strategies throughout their reading.

Literature Circles: Book discussion groups are where several students read the same text--a novel, story, poem, or content piece--selected by teacher or student choice, and take active roles in the discussion by preparing to lead specific sections of it. Students choose or are assigned given roles or jobs such as passage picker, discussion director, word wizard, character sketcher, connector. All students in the group have a role they are responsible for preparing before coming to the discussion group.

Assessments cnt
Assessments Cnt.:

Focused Class Observations

  • Depth of comments/discussions, Participation, level of engagement with work and time on task

    Student Self Evaluations and Peer Evaluations

  • Journals entries, Self and Peer evaluation rubrics and exit slips

    Performance Based Assessment

  • Project and performance rubrics, Writing assignments and writing in response to a text


  • Documented growth and progress throughout each semester

Writing components in detail
Writing Components in Detail:

Mini-Lessons: The teacher begins each writing session with modeled or interactive writing, where the teacher writes in front of students and models what they will be doing during independent writing time. Teacher also models conventions, spelling, and word choice.

Shared Writing: Teacher and students compose writing pieces together, while teacher records and models proper form.

Guided Writing: The teacher conferences and discusses the writing process with small groups of students. Facilitates the student in what he/she wants to say.

Independent Writing: Students write for an extended amount of time independently without teacher intervention or evaluation. Students have daily time to do this.

Writing components cnt
Writing Components Cnt.:

Word Study and Spelling: Students are actively engaged during the reading and writing process with using their taught strategies for word study and spelling. Word Walls, student-created vocabulary journals, and Spellex dictionaries area also utilized during writing time.

Teacher and Peer Conferences: During the stages of writingStudents are paired with writing buddies, where they can ask questions and get ideas. Teacher also meets with individual students to provide support, feedback, and evaluate.

Author’s Share and Reflection: Students have the opportunity to share their writing from the day, while classmates ask questions and provide feedback. Exit slips may also be used for reflection.

Writing assessments

Writing Assessments:

Portfolio Assessment Rubric

Flexible grouping and differentiation
Flexible Grouping and Differentiation:

  • Students are constantly shifting in the classroom from whole group instruction, independent work, partner work, and small group work.

  • Groups are both homogeneous and heterogeneous

  • Guided Reading groups are constantly changing based on need and growth. Students who need more support with reading and writing will meet more often in small group and individual conferences throughout the week.

  • AIG students will have learning contracts and independent projects to challenge and engage them.


  • Resources:

  • Keene, E. & Zimmerman, S. (2007). Mosaic of Thought (2nd edition). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

  • Calkins, L. (2008). Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3-5. Heinemann

  • Fountas, C. & Pinnell, G. (2005) Guiding Readers and Writers. Hinemann




  • Picture resources: