And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!
2019 is the Year of BALANCED LITERACY!
But wait! THIS IS 2020!
Did I miss it??? NO!
2020 is a new decade!
We get a BALANCED LITERACY “do-Over”!
Ready to UPDATE your literacy block?
Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR PLAN!
Why? What? and How?
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 collaboration.
A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.
The 8 components we will focus on are:
- Read Alouds
- Shared Reading
- Guided Reading
- Independent Reading
- Modeled / Interactive Writing
- Shared Writing
- Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
- Word Work
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.
This week: Shared Writing.
Week 1: We discussed Read Alouds.
Week 2: We discussed Shared Reading.
Week 3: We discussed Guided Reading.
Week 4: We discussed Independent Reading.
Week 5: We discussed Interactive Writing.
This week we jump into
Let’s talk about Shared Writing.
Before we write, we read, discuss, preview new vocabulary, and make connections about our thoughts and ideas.
Shared writing is an instructional approach to teach writing to students by writing with them. The idea is to teach writing through writing. The process of writing is demonstrated by the teacher through a ‘write aloud’ process. The teacher acts as a scribe while the students contribute ideas.
Effective literacy teachers present the demonstration, explanation, and models needed by naïve writers in order for them to understand how and why to incorporate genre and text structures (and such transcription skills as punctuation and spelling) into their own writing behavior. ReadWriteThink.org
During shared writing, the teacher transcribes the entire text while engaging students in a rich discussion about how the text should be composed.
- Shared writing is taught to small groups or a whole class in briskly paced, 5- to 20-minute lessons.
- Plan lessons for types of writing that present particular challenges to your students.
- First, develop and extend children’s background and language knowledge on a topic or experience of interest.
- Establish a purpose for the writing and an intellectually engaging opportunity for students to apply new learning.
- Write the entire text yourself in front of students (using chart paper or document viewer) while requesting input from students regarding aspects of the writing where they most need to expand their expertise.
Stop for a moment and VISUALIZE what you have read.
- During the writing, model processes needed by your students. Have a small whiteboard available, for example, to demonstrate to students how to say a word slowly and write sounds heard into “sound boxes” (Clay, 2006) before writing a phonetically regular word into the text for them.
- Demonstrate in-the-moment revision during shared writing as necessary to construct a strong draft. Reread the text to students from time to time to discuss what needs to be written next or to monitor whether or not the text conveys information clearly.
- Do not deliberately make errors during shared writing. Model the immediate construction of a high-quality draft.
- Read the completed text to students.
- Post the text in an accessible spot in the classroom, and provide opportunities for students to read or use the text multiple times over the next several days or weeks.
Some tips to keep in mind for shared writing:
- I use large paper that looks just like the paper the children use during writing workshop. I write on chart paper or perhaps a SmartBoard so the whole group can easily read it.
- The children are engaged and involved in telling the story (or essay, song, poem, or other kinds of text).
- I restate/scaffold children’s language by modeling rich language and coach them when they are the storyteller.
- Over time, children see each step of the writing process modeled:
- Coming up with ideas
- Planning across the pages, rehearsing how the text will go
- Drafting words and sentences
- Over time, children see qualities of good writing modeled:
Tools that may be helpful for shared writing:
Teacher Books that may help with Shared Writing:
These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.
So…Leave me a comment… What does Shared Writing look like in YOUR classroom?