Spotlight on Balanced Literacy

The foundation of our literacy program is the Reading and Writing Workshop, modeled after the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project from Columbia University. This approach to teaching literacy allows us to teach to students’ individual needs as well as to the class as a whole. Many of our reading and writing units will overlap. For example, we will be reading poetry while we are writing our own. Our literacy program also includes reading and writing in the science and social studies content areas.

In reading, we focus on “just right” books, independent reading, reading fluently, building vocabulary, phonics and reading comprehension strategies. In writing, we focus on ideas, organization, craft, voice, revision, editing, handwriting and spelling. In grammar, we focus on punctuation and capitalization, parts of speech, and sentence structure.

What you will see:

  • Students reading independently, with partners, or in groups.
  • Students reading a variety of different books, levels and genres.
  • Teachers conferring one on one, leading small group instruction, and assessing students.
  • Teachers modeling and teaching to the habits of good readers and writers.

What you will not see:

  • A basal textbook program.
  • Extensive use of workbooks or worksheets.
  • Every child reading and writing the same thing.

Balanced Literacy Curriculum Map