As an educator in today’s society, it is very important for me to be an important role model for all my students. It is also vital for me to stay up-to-date with the newest best practices and research-based methods to better equip my students with the correct reading skills and strategies they will use throughout their lifetime.
I am fortunate enough to work in a school district that adopted a reading program last school year that follows the gradual release of responsibility model. It certainly makes it a lot easier to implement balanced literacy when it is built into the adopted reading program of the school!
Our school’s reading program requires us to teach reading and its components for 125 minutes each day. On the pie chart, you will see that a large amount of our balanced literacy schedule is spent doing differentiated reading instruction. This 60-minute time block is set aside for me to work with my guided reading groups while the kids work quietly at their literacy work stations and/or independently read. We spend 20 minutes a day doing both word study and different reading activities. 25 minutes is spent on writing each day.
The 3-step routine that is used to teach vocabulary is the same week to week. It begins with the teacher explaining the words, then restating the words using both concrete and real-life examples. Showing the words by writing the definition and drawing a picture to represent each word is the final step.
This is just one example of the gradual release of responsibility (modeled, shared, and interactive) that this reading program follows.
To figure out the instructional reading levels of the students, I administer a DRA assessment to each one of my students individually. This test gives me a great idea as to where the child stands based on his/her comprehension and fluency levels. This assessment is given 3 times a year. I also use assessment data from the four different AimsWeb probes administered to our first graders throughout the school year. Of course, based on teacher observation, I am able to move a child in and out of group without administering the DRA or looking at AimsWeb results.
I have six reading groups this school year. I meet with four groups 3 times a week and the two highest groups twice a week. Each student attends three stations daily for 20 minutes each. Independent reading time is a daily station for everyone. “Independent Reading provides an opportunity to apply strategies that are introduced and taught during teacher read aloud, shared reading, and guided reading. When materials are appropriate and students can read independently, they become confident, motivated and enthusiastic about their ability to read” (Balanced Literacy website).Other stations are as follows: computer, word study, pocket chart, writing, listening, puzzles/games poetry, overhead, big book, creation, science, social studies, and math.
Either one step in the writing process or one of the writing traits is worked with during each two-week theme. My students like to practice what they learned by writing in small books too.
The scores from these assessments are recorded on a spreadsheet that I use for my Classroom Literacy Profile (CLP), and this helps me determine my students’ grades (Beginning, Developing, or Secure) each nine weeks for their report cards.
This is just one rubric that was used in my classroom to evaluate a good paragraph about American symbols.
It is vital for parents to carry over the knowledge that their children learn at school to a home setting. In my school, I am very fortunate to have the support of the parents for the majority of my kids. These students are thriving in the classroom because of the continued education that they are receiving at home and in school. The parents are creating an environment in which their child can enjoy reading. They express their high expectations at home and provide help to enhance their child’s achievement in the area of reading (Briggs & Danner, 2009).
The websites listed on this slide are of course not the only recommended sites for children and parents to view. There is an endless number of quality literacy sites on the web!
Balanced Literacy Presentation My Classroom Reading Program: Literacy By Design Jennifer Knox EDRDG 610
My Philosophy of Reading Reading is a necessary skill to be successful citizens in today’s society! The ability to read is a key factor to living healthy, happy, and productive lives (Reutzel & Cooter 2008) Reading opens new worlds within the lives of children in many different ways. In order for students to be successful in the area of reading, it is vital that they view reading as being fun and entertaining! As an educator, it is important for me to work with a variety of different genres when teaching my students. Providing a wide selection of genres and reading material at various reading levels helps ensure students’ success. (B. Graves, M. Graves, & Juel 2007)
Hmmm…. Balanced Literacy is a program that that was developed on the idea that all children can read and write. It follows the gradual release of responsibility model from the teacher to the students. Also, all elements of literacy and other content areas are integrated within this program. What is balanced literacy any way?
Literacy By Design:Program Overview “Educators asked for materials that engage children deeply, include content that motivates them, and lifts students to the highest possible levels of performance…And we listened.” -Quoted from the 6 authors of Literacy By Design This program includes the 5 elements of reading *Phonemic Awareness *Phonics *Vocabulary *Fluency *Comprehension This balanced literacy program provides the educator with the necessary resources to teach the important literacy skills and strategies to teach all five elements of reading. This program puts an emphasis of nonfiction texts!
Modeled Shared Interactive -Teacher models new skills. - Direct instruction is used -Alternate reading occurs between by the teacher to practice the students using the -All text in the big book is read the new skills. interactive versions of the big out loud to the students. book. -Students follow along and -Think alouds help model the read aloud if they like while -Comprehension organizer is filled comprehension strategies. the teacher reads the text. out in small collaborative groups. -Comprehension organizer is modeled while the students help with the think alouds. -Turn and talks occur between the students.
Literacy Work Stations The picture to the right shows the rotation board that is used in my classroom during work stations. Students are either grouped by reading levels or by specific skills that need to be practiced. They could also be grouped by interests or just heterogeneously. Work stations are differentiated to meet the needs of all students.
Assessment and Evaluation Spelling Tests (Each Friday) Comprehension Bridge Rubric Writing Bridge Rubric Ongoing Test Practice (Every other week) Theme Progress Tests (Every other week) -contain questions from all area of literacy that was taught throughout the time frame Vocabulary Journals Benchmark Book Assessment (when needed) AimsWeb testing (Every other week)
At-Home Activities and Websites ACTIVITIES Write letters and send emails to friends and family Have family game night with literacy board games Help Mom and Dad write grocery lists Play interactive games on the Internet Listen to books on CD at home Have your Mom and Dad read aloud to you Have a pen pal to write back and forth to WEBSITES For Children www.starfall.com www.literactive.com For Parents www.LiteracyByDesign.com www.succeedtoread.com