Students of mine are now reading to learn, not just learning to read. They need to be taught the keys to reading to learn. The strategies taught during all parts of the school day will aid in their comprehension of “fun” reading and content reading. I need to find what works for each student as each child is unique and has different needs.
In a balanced-literacy approach, students will have authentic opportunities to use strategies and skills in reading and writing.
A balanced-literacy program is like a puzzle. All the pieces are needed in order for the puzzle to be complete. The pieces have to fit together perfectly and not be forced.
The 5-step process of writing include pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Our spelling program follows our basal’s spelling. I will add in bonus words from our content area vocabulary in order to have individual spelling lists.
I will use different groupings throughout the day in order to meet the students’ needs.
This is just a model of what a normal day may look like. However, when doing a class novel, the timing may change.
I will assess the students every day either formally or informally. I will use the formal assessments for grading purposes. We will use the Acuity scores to help determine if students are in need of interventions.
I will provide the students with the grading rubric at the introduction of the project or assignment. This will be a great way for students and parents to know what is expected and how they can earn their grade.
Philosophy of Reading<br />I believe that all students have the ability to become successful readers and writers. It is my responsibility as a teacher to provide instruction for each child’s individual needs. By using a balanced-literacy approach within my classroom, I can differentiate the learning going on in my classroom so all students will grow and blossom into successful readers and writers.<br />
What is a Balanced-Literacy Program?<br />A Balanced-Literacy Program “combines explicit instruction, guided practice, collaborative learning, and independent reading and writing” (Tompkins, 2010) on a daily basis.<br />Teachers differentiate instruction based on student needs.<br />
Components of a Balanced-Literacy Program<br />Reading<br />Phonics and other literacy skills<br />Reading and writing strategies<br />Vocabulary<br />Comprehension<br />Literature<br />Content-area study<br />Oral language<br />Writing<br />Spelling<br />
Reading Experiences<br />Shared Reading<br />The teacher reads with the students when a book may be at a too difficult reading level or comprehension level.<br />Independent Reading<br />Students will have a chance to read books at their comfort level during this time.<br />Read-Alouds<br />Read-alouds are a great means to model good reading—fluency and use of strategies. Grand conversations can occur during this time.<br />Guided Reading<br />The teacher will guide small groups of students using leveled readers during this time. Specific strategies and skills will be taught.<br />
Phonics and other Literacy Skills<br />Teachers teach phonics skills to aid struggling readers or in reading grade-level/ multi-syallabic words and during the writing process.<br />Reading and Writing Strategies<br />Students will learn strategies such as predicting, drawing inferences, summarizing, monitoring, and much more.<br />
Vocabulary<br />We will work on weekly vocabulary words from our basal story. The students will also be introduced to other vocabulary words using our Elements of Reading program.<br />Comprehension<br />Students will be working on higher-level thinking skills in order to help aid in their understanding of what they read.<br />
Literature<br />The students will be involved in various types of literature activities from the basal and during literature circles.<br />Content-Area Study<br />I am excited to use our new science program this year. We will focus on learning how to read non-fiction readings and the vocabulary needed to understand what they are learning. <br />
Oral Language<br />Students will participate in grand conversations about what they read.<br />Writing<br />Students will write using the 5-step process.<br />Spelling<br />The students will have a weekly spelling test that includes words that follow a phonics rule. Students will be expected to edit their own writing for spelling errors using the word wall, dictionary, and other resources.<br />
Assessments<br />Formal<br />Your child will take Acuity four times this year. <br />Content area/basal tests<br />Spelling tests<br />Writing prompts<br />I-STEP<br />Projects<br />Informal<br />Daily observations<br />Quick-writes<br />Center activities<br />
Assessment continued . . .<br />Progress reports every four weeks<br />Rubrics<br />One way I will assess your child is by using a rubric. To see an example rubric, follow these steps:1. Go to http://rubistar.4teachers.org and click find a rubric.2. Click on author name and type in malia.3. Find the rubric titled Reading-Analyzing Information--Any Non-Fiction book.<br />You can always check on your child’s grades using PowerSchool.<br />
Parent Involvement<br />As a parent you have a huge impact on your child’s learning. <br />Check your child’s agenda/homework/backpack each night.<br />Encourage your child to read 15-20 minutes every night.<br />Involve your child in everyday reading and writing at home.<br />Talk to your child about his/her day at school.<br />Become involved at school—attend school events, be a part of the PTO, ask questions!<br />Websites to help you at home:<br />www.internet4classrooms.com/parents.htm<br />www.readingrockets.org<br />
References<br />Tompkins, G. (2010), Literacy for the 21st Century: A Balanced Approach, 5th edition, NY: Allyn & Bacon.<br />Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read.Armbruster, B.A., Lehr, F. & Osborn, J. (2001) Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). <br />The Red Book Series,Texas Education Agency, Texas Reading Initiative. <br />www.internet4classrooms.org/parents.htm<br />www.readingrockets.org<br />
Student Impact Statement<br />This class has given me many ideas to implement within my classroom this year and years to come. My students will benefit from a balanced-literacy classroom that encompasses the 10 components. My students will benefit from the various strategies and skills from this course. My students will be involved literacy activities that are effective and meaningful.<br />“Knowledge is power.”<br />Sir Francis Bacon<br />
Professional Impact Statement <br />I have learned so much professionally during this course. I feel like I know how to teach my students more effectively and efficiently using a balanced-literacy program. I am excited to put into place more sincerely what I have known but now know is imperative to implement within my classroom. The strategies and skills learned in the past few weeks will enable my students to become successful readers and writers.<br />“I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”<br />Albert Einstein<br />
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