A Balanced Literacy Program…
for the upper elementary grades

Components of a Balanced Literacy Program:

Modeled Reading
Shared Reading
Guided Reading
Independent Reading

Writing:     What is a successful writing program?
Modeled and Shared Writing
Interactive Writing
Guided Writing
Independent Writing

Modeled Reading:

Teacher reads aloud selections to students

-  Provides an adult model of fluent reading
-  Develops a sense of story
-  Enriches concept and vocabulary development
-  Encourages prediction
-  Fosters a love and enthusiasm for reading

Shared Reading: 

Teacher and students read text together

-  Develops a sense of story or content
-  Promotes reading strategies
-  Increases comprehension
-  Develops fluency
-  Expands students’ vocabulary

What it looks like:
Teacher decides on the focus
-  Read a predictable story
-  Introduce a new or specific author or illustrator
-  Introduce a new topic or theme
-  Explore a new genre
-  Demonstrate specific reading strategies or skills that students need to practice

What the teacher does:
Selects an appropriate book
        *  Does it support the focus?
    Is it interesting?
    Does it provide a sufficient challenge for the students?
-  Discusses the text
        *  Talk about the title, author, illustrator, and front and back covers
     *  Prompt students to predict the theme
-  Reads the text with few interruptions. 

-  Encourages participation and prediction, but not to the detriment of the story line
-  Rereads the text
Has students participate in reading. Invites them to recall vocabulary, ideas, and information and observe and demonstrate reading strategies and language convections

What the students do:
Respond to the text
            *  Have students respond through discussion, writing, retelling, drama, role 
            play, arts and crafts, and student-made books
            *  Responding to the text samples:
                    Story Octagon
                    Chain of Events
                    Characterization House
-  Share responses
            *  Sharing provides the chance for students to develop oral-language and
            listening skills

Guided Reading:

Teacher works with a group of students similar in strengths and needs and provides instruction through mini-lessons

-  Promotes reading strategies
-  Increases comprehension
-  Encourages independent reading
-  Strengthens students’ thinking skills
-  Allows the teacher to work with individual groups of students on specific reading

What the teacher does:
Introduces the book
     *  Introduce the title of the book. Discuss the cover illustrations with the group
        *  Discuss unfamiliar concepts. Determine the students’ prior knowledge 
            and what they need to know to successfully read the book. Introduce any 
            new information
Students read the book
     *  Ask questions to encourage students to make predictions
     *  Guide students to silently read a selection to find and confirm the literary 
-  Students reread the book
     *  Have students read the story independently and silently
Students respond in response journals. 
Initiate group discussion
     *  Invite students to share their response journal entries, discuss literary elements, 
        discuss thoughts and feelings about the story, or retell the story
Present a mini-lesson
     *  Discuss the literary elements, language structures, or reading strategies.     
     Introduce or review concepts that occur in or relate to the story
-  Assign an extension activity
     *Lead a group discussion based on reactions to response journals. Have 
        students do a literature-related activity
Prepare for the next session
     *  Introduce a new chapter or story for the next day’s reading

Independent Reading: 

Students read independently

Supports writing development
Extends experiences with a variety of written texts
Promotes reading for enjoyment and information
Develops fluency
Fosters self-confidence as students read familiar and new text

Successful writing program:
Write for a purpose
Practice all stages of the writing process
Display and share their work with other students, teachers, parents
Write for communication purposes
Perform peer editing
Have ample materials and resources to assist them with their writing
Engage in a variety of writing activities
Meet with the teacher for writing conferences
Use different writing styles

Modeled and Shared Writing:

Writing that the teacher does in front of the class

What the teacher does:
While writing, talk about the writing and discuss the process and the decisions that a writer makes.
Model writing techniques such as how to choose a topic or when to include punctuation marks.
Examples of Modeled and Shared Writing:
         Class News
         Hot Words

Interactive Writing: 

A teacher-guided group or one-on-one activity designed to teach students about the writing process and about how written language works.

-  Example of Interactive Writing:
    *  Teach paragraph writing

Guided Writing: 

The teacher acts as a facilitator and guides a student or a small group of students

What the teacher does:
The teacher helps students express what they want to say in their writing
The writing will often be linked to reading and be an extension of work done in a whole-class shared writing session
Guided writing also gives the teacher time to present mini-lessons on specific writing skills

Independent Writing:

Students write independently.

What the teacher does:
Generated by the students and requires little teacher support

?'s for me:     jthelen@edenpr.k12.mn.us