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Balanced Literacy

Reading Aloud: Teacher reads a variety of texts aloud to students

  • Provides adult model of fluent reading
  • Develops sense of story/text
  • Develops vocabulary
  • Encourages prediction, questioning, and inference skills
  • Builds a community of readers
  • Develops active listening

Shared Reading: Teacher and students read a shared text together

  • Demonstrates awareness of text
  • Develops sense of story or content
  • Promotes reading strategies
  • Develops fluency and phrasing
  • Increases comprehension
  • Encourages politeness and respect


Guided Reading: Teacher introduces a text selection at student's instructional level and provides small group instruction with students who have similar learning needs

  • Promotes reading strategies
  • Increases comprehension
  • Encourages independent reading
  • Expands belief in own ability   


Independent Reading: Students have extended time for independently reading texts at their appropriate level as well as exploring high interest texts that align with their passions

  • Encourages strategic reading
  • Increases comprehension
  • Supports writing development
  • Extends experiences with a variety of written texts
  • Promotes reading for enjoyment and information
  • Develops fluency
  • Fosters self-confidence by reading familiar and new texts
  • Provides opportunities to use mistakes as learning opportunities  


Modeled/Shared Writing: Teacher and students collaborate to write text; teacher acts as the scribe while everyone in the class contributes ideas

  • Develops concepts of print
  • Develops writing strategies
  • Supports reading development
  • Provides model for a variety of writing styles
  • Models the connection among and between sounds, letters, and words
  • Models correct writing conventions
  • Produces text that students can read independently
  • Necessitates communicating in a clear and specific manner
  • Interactive Writing: Teacher and students compose a text together using a "shared pen" technique in which students do some of the writing
  • Provides opportunities to plan and construct texts
  • Increases spelling knowledge
  • Produces written language resources in the classroom
  • Creates opportunities to apply what has been learned


Independent Writing: Students have extended time to write independently across different genres.  This time also allows the teacher opportunities to confer one-on-one with students to provide feedback and coaching to help students move their writing forward and improve learning.

  • Strengthens text sequence
  • Develops understanding of multiple uses of writing
  • Supports reading development
  • Develops writing strategies
  • Develops active independence


While these components will look different from grade to grade, we believe they are essential in developing a strong foundation of literacy competencies and conceptual understandings that lay the groundwork for children’s continued success in their learning journey.