Walter L. Newberry Math & Science Academy
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English Language Arts

Newberry Math and Science Academy

Our Literacy Program is based on the Balanced Literacy Philosophy.  Balanced Literacy is a curricular methodology that integrates various modalities of literacy instruction-Interactive Read Aloud, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Independent Reading, Shared Writing, Interactive Writing, Guided Writing, and Independent Writing. Assessment- based planning is at the core of this model. The balanced literacy approach is characterized by explicit skill instruction and the use of authentic texts in the Reading and Writing Workshop Model. The teacher implements a well-planned comprehensive literacy program that reflects a gradual release of control, whereby responsibility is gradually shifted from the teacher to the students.

 

Adapted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_Literacy

 

The Components of Balanced Literacy

 

Shared Writing Read-Aloud
The teacher composes a variety of texts with her students. She often models her thinking as she writes. The students participate by listening to the teacher’s thought process and then trying some strategies in order to help compose the text. The teacher writes the text, therefore taking away the visual sources of information, so that students can focus on using meaning and structure as they compose meaning into the text that is being written. The teacher reads aloud various types of text. He often models his thinking aloud as he reads. The students participate by listening to the text and the teacher’s thinking strategies, and then trying some of them out by talking with partners. The teacher reads the text, therefore taking away the visual sources of information, so that students can focus on meaning and structure.

 

Interactive Writing Shared Reading
The teacher composes an enlarged text with the students. The students participate by writing parts of the text. The teacher writes what is too easy or too difficult for the students. The teacher builds the meaning and the structure up, so that students can bring in the visual sources of information as they compose meaning into a text. The teacher reads an enlarged 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.

ela-1

 

Writing Workshop Reading Workshop
·         Minilesson

·         Work time

Students are working independently or in partnerships.

Teachers are working one on one, and with small groups, teaching them strategies that will improve the quality of their writing.

·         Share

·         Minilesson

·         Work time

Students are working independently or in partnerships.

Teachers are working one on one, and with small groups, teaching them strategies that will improve the quality of their reading.

·         Share

 

 

The components of a ‘balanced literacy’ approach are as follows: The read aloud, guided reading, shared reading, interactive writing, shared writing, Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop and Word study.

In Reading Workshops, skills are explicitly modeled during mini lessons. The teacher chooses a skill and strategy that she believes her class needs based on assessments she has conducted in her classroom. During the connection she connects prior learning to the current skill she is teaching that day. She then states the teaching point or the skill and strategy she is going to teach. She then shows kids how to do the skill by modeling the strategy in a book the students are familiar with. She often uses a “think aloud” to show students what she is thinking. Students then try that work out in their own books or in her book during the active engagement. During the link she reminds students of all the strategies they can do while they are independently reading.

Writing Workshop follows the same flow. Students are explicitly taught skills and strategies for writing during a mini lesson. Then they go off and write independently. They choose the skills they are trying out that day. The teacher comes around and confers with students to help them with their goals.

Shared reading is when the students read from a shared text. Often this is a big book, a book on screen using ela-2a website or documents camera. If possible students should have their own copies also. Students and the teacher read aloud and share their thinking about the text. During mini lessons, interactive read alouds and shared reading the class will create anchor charts. These anchor charts remind students how and when to use different skills and strategies.

Guided reading is a small group activity where more of the responsibility belongs to the student. Students read from leveled text. They use the skills directly taught during mini lessons, interactive read alouds and shared reading to increase their comprehension and fluency. During guided reading time the other students are engaged in reading workstations that reinforce various skills.

Independent reading is exactly what it sounds like: students reading self-selected text independently. Students choose books based on interest and independent reading level.

balanced literacy