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    Balanced Literacy

    What is Balanced Literacy?

    As educators, we are constantly changing practices to reflect new understandings of how children learn best, and which instructional strategies are most effective in helping children improve their skills.  Over the years, the literacy pendulum, in particular, has swung back and forth between phonics based instruction and whole language.  Both movements have their benefits, but just focusing on one leaves many holes in student learning.  In reality, few teachers follow just one approach.  Most find themselves somewhere in between, balancing important understandings from both approaches. Hence the term Balanced Literacy.


    In a balanced literacy approach, we have learned that children learn best when we scaffold their understandings, and allow time for guided instruction as well as independent practice.  Balanced literacy includes Read AloudsShared ReadingGuided Reading, Independent Reading and Phonics/Word Study.  Within the subject of Writing, teachers balance instruction between Shared Writing, Interactive Writing, Independent Writing and Writer's Workshop.  It is within quality first instruction of each component that quality literacy learning occurs for children.

    Click the links to the left to see the many aspects of Balanced Literacy in more detail.