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Balanced Literacy-Best Practices at Lemasters Elementary School
Posted On:
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
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Best Practices at Lemasters Elementary School 

Balanced Literacy

Essential Elements of Reading Instruction
The five essential elements of reading instruction are based on scientific reading research. The five components of effective reading instruction are: 

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

(derived from Missouri Reading Initiative Program materials and North Central Regional Educational Laboratory Web site)

All of the following contribute to producing literate citizens of the 21st Century.

Reading Aloud: Teacher reads selection aloud to students

  • Provides adult model of fluent reading
  • Develops sense of story/text
  • Develops vocabulary
  • Encourages prediction
  • Builds a community of readers
  • Develops active listening* 

Shared Reading: Teacher and students read 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 selection at student's instructional level

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

Independent Reading: Students read independently

  • 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 text
  • Provides opportunities to use mistakes as learning opportunities *

Modeled/Shared Writing: Teacher and students collaborate to write text; teacher acts as scribe

  • 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
  • Produces text that students can read independently
  • Necessitates communicating in a clear and specific manner* 

Interactive Writing: Teacher and students compose 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 write independently

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

*Personal Qualities: Collaborative Worker, Problem Solver, Quality Producer, Self Directed Learner, Responsible Citizen

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