Goodhue Elementary practices balanced literacy through the American Reading Company curriculum. 

What is balanced literacy?

Balanced Literacy sets out to help all students to learn to read and write effectively. Through maintaining a balance between reading and writing, this framework allows students to receive the teaching necessary to reach grade-level status without requiring students to work at a level that is frustrating for them.

The model of Balanced Literacy fosters a student-centered classroom that provides opportunities for real-life reading and writing experiences. Based on the research of Richard Allington, Catherine Snow, Marie Clay, Irene Fountas, and Gay Su Pennell, this program insists on the premise that all students can learn to read and write. Following this model, children read and write each day independently and in small- and large-group settings.

Classrooms rooted in balanced literacy focus on a variety of reading experiences: reading aloud, shared reading, guided reading, reading conferences, and independent reading. Students also engage in a number of writing activities each day, including shared writing, interactive writing, guided writing, writing conferences, and independent writing. These reading and writing experiences emphasize listening and speaking as well as encourage students to engage in word study.

Teachers implementing this balanced approach toward literacy instruction utilize an integrated method of teaching language arts. The elements that make up this framework for literacy lessons provide substantial amounts of reading and writing on a daily basis. Each day, the workshop ends with an opportunity for students to share and reflect upon their learning (Sharing/Reflection).

These authentic opportunities for reading and writing are arranged on a continuum of gradually increasing responsibility. Reading and writing tasks are first modeled by the teachers, then completed with the support of the teachers, and later accomplished independently by the student.

Contact Information

Please contact us at Goodhue Schools if you have any questions.

Mark Opsahl

Carol Redmond
Reading Specialist and Instructional Coach

Courtney Bonnin 
Reading Specialist and Instructional Coach