And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!
2019 is the Year of BALANCED LITERACY!
Are YOU READY to update your literacy block?
Balanced Literacy: Here is your PLAN for the New Year!
The Why? The What? and The How?
This Week: Writer’s Workshop
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)
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 collaborations. 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.
During the writing workshop, students are invited to live, work and learn as writers. They observe their lives and the world around them while collecting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing well-crafted narrative and expository texts. Students receive direct instruction in a minilesson, during which the teacher explicitly names a skill proficient writers use that is within reach for most of the class, then demonstrates the skill and provides students with a brief interval of guided practice using it. Students then have time to write, applying the repertoire of skills and strategies they’ve learned, while receiving feedback through one-to-one conferences and small group instruction designed to move them along trajectories of development.
The mini-lessons are short, focused, direct. They typically fall into the categories of classroom procedures, the writer’s process, the qualities of good writing, and editing skills. The lesson is 5-10 minutes of directed instruction. Start off your writing lessons by brainstorming ideas. This lesson will help set the stage for a year of writing by giving students a place to find ideas to put in their future writing pieces. If you use interactive notebooks or writing folders, each student needs a place to put ideas, writing pieces in process, and finished works.
My students are placed into 4 groups. 10-15 minutes before we dismiss, we ask the 6 team members if they would like to READ or PASS. If they choose to READ, they get their journal and come to the big “TEACHER CHAIR”. They choose 1 story to share with us. Our emergent readers can tell us the story and then they show us their picture.
Later in the year, we will give one compliment and ask one question to the “AUTHOR”. They LOVE this! It is important to discuss “beginning writer’s” and “advanced writers”, ahead of time.
No hurt feelings and EVERYONE’S work is appreciated!
Writer’s Workshop is a planned time during the day when students can create writing of their own.
During this time, guided writing small groups may be meeting with the teacher or individual conferences may be happening. Whatever your choice, embrace the attempts. The successes and the failures will make them better readers and writers. We learn from our mistakes. Hold them accountable. Quality work is always our goal.
These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.