833 BALANCED LITERACY OVERVIEW



welcome to South Washington County Schools I'm Jane Andrus meeting specialist and I'm an when –is– also a reading specialist this class is designed for new teachers in our district who will be working in our elementary schools the purpose of this class is to give teachers a general picture of literacy instruction in district 833 in this class we will explore five broad topics that include instructional framework gradual release of responsibility learning targets and standards management and assessment let's begin by defining what we mean by balanced literacy in South Washington County we define balanced literacy as the ability to use language to read write listen and speak in order to successfully participate in social economic family and community life in order to achieve this South Washington County elementary schools use a balanced literacy framework for instructional planning and implementation observation and assessment data are used on a daily basis to make instructional decisions it's through the daily delivery of each component of balanced literacy that allows teachers to personalize instruction to meet the needs of all students the balance literacy framework consists of two larger instructional blacks writing workshop and reading workshop along with a smaller word study black and for grades two through five a grammar black let's look at each component in greater detail beginning with Writers Workshop in a balanced literacy classroom writers workshop takes place every day from 25 minutes in a half-day kindergarten classroom up to 60 minutes and other grades there are four main components that comprise the daily writers workshop black a larger group focus lesson tracking the process student writing time and sharing the focus lesson is done with the whole class it is 5 to 15 minutes in length one objective guides the lesson this objective becomes the student listening target for the day all objectives derive from the Minnesota State Standards the gradual release of responsibility instructional model is used in the focused lessons through modeling the teacher shows the students how to incorporate the desired writing skill we will look at listening targets in the gradual release model more closely later know that all focus lessons have three common elements the listening target which is often phrased in the form of a question student engagement giving students a chance to turn and talk about what they are seeing and hearing a debriefing where students are given a chance to discuss and answer the listening target question tracking the process follows the focus lesson this is a quick check-in of the status of the class used in grades 2 through 5 each student reports what part of the writing process prewriting drafting editing or revising that they will be working on during the writing workshop time in one to two minutes the teacher records each student status on a form it's a great way to hold students accountable once tracking the process is done students now have an opportunity to apply the skills learn for approximately 20 minutes during a student writing time 15 minutes of writing time is appropriate for kindergarten students all students will write in the genre of study but they will be at various points in the writing process during this time the teacher is actively meeting with a small group of students giving students instruction in areas of need this provides for valuable differentiation one-on-one conferencing can also be done during this time providing specific feedback to students to help them advance their writing skills at the end of the writing block allowing students to share something they have written provides motivation for students to write sharing can also be used as a teaching opportunity by highlighting a writing skill celebrating breakthroughs or modeling peer conferencing the sharing can take several forms whole group or one student can sit in author's chair to take center stage or small group or even partner sharing there are a few resources available to assist you the grade level rating workshop binders include suggested timelines lesson plans resources assessments and grouping information resources are also found on SharePoint in the balanced literacy folder now you've seen a quick overview of writing workshop let's move to the other large block of balanced literacy instruction reading workshop there are four organizational patterns for reading instructions read aloud shared reading guided reading or small group instructions and independent meeting each of these requires a different level of teacher support it's important to provide solid scaffolding in the first two and then decrease teacher support by increasing student responsibility let's look at the roll each piece plays in reading instruction beginning with read aloud the purpose of the read aloud is to model fluent expressive readings show a love of reading expose students to new vocabulary and to variety of genres and authors text read during a read aloud is usually at a higher level than the students would be able to read on their own interactive read aloud allow for deep thinking of our child the teacher may stop two to three times during the reading demonstrating thinking through a think aloud during these pauses teachers may pose a question for students to discuss with a peer the time allotment for a read aloud is 10 to 15 minutes daily at least once however there could be more than one read aloud time in one school day although the read aloud piece is a very important part of her reading workshop in elementary classrooms this often happens outside the reading workshop black due to scheduling prime time for read aloud is just after lunch or at the end of the day reading workshop often begins with shared reading shared reading is a whole class instruction teaching a gray level standard using short focus lessons the teacher uses an enlarged text such as big books or projected text so all students can see the teacher is the one reading the text if we compare reading workshop with writing workshop shared reading is equivalent to the focus lesson that begins each writing workshop session 10 to 20 minutes are allocated to the shared reading piece during reading workshop new skills and strategies are first introduced in shared reading teachers first show the students how by sharing their clinking through a think aloud later students are invited to participate by thinking together as they work through attacks shared reading is highly supported by the teacher because the teacher is the one doing the reading and demonstrating how to apply the skill or strategy then the students try it out with a partner with the teachers guidance kindergarten and first grade teachers use a variety of Facebook's both fiction and nonfiction most elementary buildings have developed lesson plans for using these resources check with your grade-level colleagues second-grade teachers begin the year using big books and transition to short text later in the year all second-grade teachers should have the primary comprehension toolkit as a resource for shared reading grades three through five have the mando's shared reading materials and the comprehension toolkit as resources for the shared reading materials may be added or changes may be made as we constantly refine our resources and new materials become available be sure you check with your reading specialist to find out what you should have available to you at your building regarding your specific grade level guided reading or small group instruction is the heart of the reading workshop during guided reading students practice and apply the skills and strategies that were initially taught in shared reading during the guided reading piece of the workshop instruction is differentiated students are flexibly grouped according to needs and text is read by students at the most appropriate level of difficulty the time spent in guided reading varies but this is the largest piece of the reading workshop by far 40 to 60 minutes or more should be spent and guided reading or small group instruction in classrooms daily it's depending on need small group instruction may take take different forms in different rooms depending on grade levels and needs of students to use this piece may take the form of a transitional guided reading group or a small group with a specific instructional focus such as comprehension strategies or it may be a guided literature circle that guided reading or small group instruction is based on student needs which have been determined to regular formative assessments such as running records and through periodic formal assessment such as the bath or math small set of leveled pets are used for guided reading small group instruction these materials are available in a central book room in all Elementary sites books are leveled using the fountas and pinnell guided reading text gradient scale from A to Z Lexile information is also available for many texts especially at the intermediate reading levels in order to teach small groups a purposeful management system must be in place for students to follow when they are not meeting with the teacher there are options for teachers to use during this time one option for both primary and intermediate teachers is something called the daily 5 by gail Boucher and John Moser also known as the sisters the five components of this management system include read to self which allows children to read just write books independently allowing them to become better readers the second component is reading to someone which helps students work on fluency and expression check for understanding and hear their own voices while sharing in the learning community the third piece is working on writing which gives students the opportunity to write freely and practice valuable writing skills the fourth part offers students a chance to listen to reading and a listening station expanding their literary vocabulary the final component is word work because correct spelling allows for more fluent writing this is an essential foundation for writers and readers general literacy centers like those suggested by such gurus as Debbie Diller can also be integrated into a teacher's management system poetry big book message and library centers are additional types of centers that could be used during the readers workshop walk particularly in the intermediate grades an additional foundation needs to be laid that helps students choose just write books identify genres respond to their reading and use strategies to work through all types of tasks one option for teachers to follow is a set of lessons called the first 20 days by Irene scientists engage supa know independent reading is also an essential piece of reading workshops the purpose of independent reading is for students to read for pleasure as well as have an opportunity for students to practice skills learned through shared reading and guided reading with texts that they can read without teachers support choice is important for building motivation to these classroom libraries may be organized by genre theme author etc for students to select books they are interested in reading independent reading is an important part of the management system used for small group instruction students are expected to be able to read independently for part of the time they are not used even direct instruction by the teacher additional independent meeting might also be required as homework outside of the reading workshop there are creative ways to build a classroom library many books can be obtained to book clubs such as closed elastic garage sales donations from families or checking out a stack from the media center regularly in summary we see that reading workshop includes read aloud and shared readings done as whole group guided reading done in small groups and independent readings the various organizational patterns of reading workshop illustrate the gradual release of responsibility model we'd aloud I do it you watching shared reading I do it you help me guided reading you do it I'll help you independent reading you do it by yourself a word study black is appropriate for all grades it is a time to focus on phonics spelling or vocabulary it runs for a small period of time about 15 minutes the goal is for students to learn the skill and then transfer it by applying these skills in reading and writing all grades have resources for word study in 1st to 5th grade the main resources Hooten if one spelling so let's recap the two largest balanced literacy blocks are reading and writing workshops each has time devoted to direct instruction in both whole group and small group studies each also allows time for independent and student practice opportunities for student choice in addition to two workshops a short time is devoted to direct instruction in phonics word study in all grades another short time is devoted to direct instruction of grammar skills directly linking this instruction to application in writing once the skill is learned all of these blacks use the instructional model of gradual release which is the idea of providing heavy scaffolds for learners who are just being introduced to a new concept or behavior and then gradually reducing the scaffold as learners become more proficient another important component of balance literacy lessons are learning targets they are the learning objectives that you have for your students for a given lesson written as precisely as possible and possibly posted in a clearly visible location basically tell students what they are going to learn and be able to do by the end of the lesson or sometime in the near future South Washington County has a curriculum framework outlined for K through 12 teachers the standards benchmarks and learning targets are infused into each of the grade-level frameworks state standards and benchmarks guide all of our instructional work in South Washington County Schools the following principles guide our work when working with assessment you will find these guiding principles posted in a variety of areas of your building literacy assessments in South Washington County Schools are administered by teachers for several specific reasons in order to universally assess all students to evaluate student learning and growth over time diagnosed needs that will guide teacher instruction identify possible interventions and monitor progress of growth over time assessments that are used in South Washington County Schools include MCA MCA stands for Minnesota comprehensive assessment it's given each year to measure student performance on the Minnesota academic standards in grades three through five math the measures of academic progress are computerized assessments that are adaptive the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions as students answer questions correctly questions become more difficult the final score is an estimate of the students achievement level we use this assessment to measure growth guide instruction and classrooms create district averages and to compare percentile rank to that of a norm group it is also used to estimate MCA proficiency fast the benchmark assessment system is a diagnostic assessment that allows teachers to determine reading levels for students identify strengths and weaknesses and students reading bloop students for instruction select appropriate text and identify students that may need extra intervention the bass also has assessments that assist teachers in identifying students early literacy behaviors and letter name and sound knowledge or or oral reading fluency assessments are passages that measure fluency they are used regularly to monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills these assessments can be found in the form of letters sound fluency or grade-level passage fluency they are indicators of a general outcome is the student learning and making progress toward the long term goal they are given more frequently to students at risk once a week less often to students not at risk running records are a diagnostic assessment administered by the teacher in order to gain evidence of how well students are directing their knowledge of letters sounds and words to understand the messages in the text teachers can judge what the reader knows what the reader attended to and what the reader overlooked they also allow the teacher to prompt support and challenge individual learners writing samples are gathered and assessed several times per year to inform writing instruction and to evaluate growth over time remember South Washington County assessments are meant to help measure the growth of students and to inform instruction we hope you have found the district 833 balanced literacy video helpful if you have questions contact a member of your grade-level team or reading professional in your building thank you for providing best practice literacy instruction to the students in South Washington County you

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