Balanced literacy has been defined as “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)
Fountas & Pinnell have been the guiding resource for Balanced Literacy. Today we listen.
It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.
Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or “pieces” of literacy instruction.
This 8-week series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaboration.
A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.
The 8 components we will focus on are:
Modeled / Interactive Writing
Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences, teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire. Start 2019 with the plans to implement BALANCED LITERACY!
This week: Shared Reading.
Last week we discussed Read Alouds. Week 2 is about Shared Reading.
How is shared reading different from a read-aloud?
Shared reading, involves quite a bit of pausing to teach or engage kids in practicing a skill. When doing a read-aloud, go through the book a bit more quickly, stopping less frequently.
The other most important difference between shared reading and a read-aloud is that during shared reading, kids have their eyes on the print. During a read-aloud, you may show the pictures to students, but they are not usually able to see the words clearly. Since students can see the text during shared reading, you are able to teach things like decoding more easily.
Shared reading is a part of the balanced reading model (read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading).
It is a 15ish minute block of time within that model that should be practiced daily. Simply stated it’s the “We do.” part of the gradual release model. This element is crucial. It’s time for the teacher and students to practice together.
It is important to teach what “really matters” connected to a shared text. “We always want students to leave each reading experience enriched by the language and the text because of the shared approach, so we shouldn’t find hundreds of vocabulary words and instructional opportunities in a single text.
Some of the many benefits of shared reading
developing understandings of story structure
demonstrating reading strategies
entire class reads a common text
all read the large text
There are many types of print for Shared Reading. Big books, charts, and poetry are some resources for teachers to read WITH students.
The main goal of shared reading is to engage students with the text. It is to share a reading experience. Everyone can read together and then participate in a rich discussion, writing, or response to the text.
In summary, a Shared Reading is a reading experience where both teacher and students read a large text, together. A chart, a poem on a smartboard, or any other BIG text, where the teacher reads WITH the students using self-question and think aloud reading strategies. The goal is to model fluent and expressive reading. The students INTERACT with the text while reading WITH the teacher and then through discussions, writing, and/or thinking for themselves.
These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.