Click on the binder to view the Balanced Literacy Resources.

A Balanced literacy program strikes a balance between both reading and writing, a 50/50 model. The strongest elements of each are incorporated into a literacy program that aims to guide students toward proficient and lifelong reading and writing. There are ten different components of balanced literacy: The read aloud, guided reading, shared reading, independent reading, and Word study. These components fall within the framework for the Reading Workshop.  Then there are interactive writing, shared writing, independent writing, guided writing, and assessments. 

What does research say?
According to the Educational Research Service, a nonprofit foundation servicing the research and information needs of the nation's K-12 education leaders and the public, after time spent on research experts come to a Consensus that Balanced Instruction is the Best! So what does it include?
  • Children need direct, systematic instruction in phonics.
  • Children also need exposure to rich works of fiction and nonfiction literature.
  • In early reading development, a focus on meaning, comprehension strategies, language development, and writing is as essential as phonics instruction.
  • Developing children's interest and pleasure in reading much be as high a priority as developing their reading skills...click here to read more.
Choice and Volume Matter ??

Understanding the enormous impact that reading engagement has on academic success leads to the question of how to improve that engagement. Classroom libraries that offer a wide range of book choice can have a significant impact on improving reading motivation. As Richard Allington puts it, “students read more, understand more, and are more likely to continue reading when they have the opportunity to choose what they read” (2012a, 10). Allington points to a meta-analysis by Guthrie and Humenick, which found that the two most powerful factors for “increasing reading motivation and comprehension were (1) student access to many books and (2) personal choice of what to read” (Allington 2012a; Guthrie and Humenick 2004). Another recent study has shown that children’s favorite books are the ones they choose on their own. The kids (ages six to seventeen) in this study tended to finish reading the books they chose through to the end (Kids & Family Reading Report by Scholastic Inc. and YouGov [2014]). When you look at the books included in these classroom libraries, you’ll see a strong emphasis on engagement and quality. Teaching readers strategies isn’t going to be effective unless they actually choose to read. As the National Reading Panel puts it, “the importance of reading as an avenue to improved reading has been stressed by theorists, researchers, and practitioners alike, no matter what their perspectives. There are few ideas more widely accepted than that reading is learned through reading” (2000).  

March 2012 | Volume 69 | Number 6 
Reading: The Core Skill Pages 10-15

Richard L. Allington and Rachael E. Gabriel

Every child, every day