If you are new to teaching or a veteran teacher, hopefully at some point you have been introduced to Balance Literacy. It’s nothing new, an oldie but goodie that unfortunately is overlooked in many instructional approaches daily in classrooms. Sometimes it’s because of time constraints, overwhelmed with non-instructional tasks, tired and defeated or the passion and love is gone. A balanced literacy approach gives access to learning for all
students. It’s a form of differentiation in which we give multiple approaches for students to achieve the goal. Yet, for various reasons, not all classrooms are driven with various literacy instructional approaches.
It’s unfortunate because life is about balance, so why not literacy? As humans we balance everything, time, chores, family, friends, kids, pets, work, fitness, hobbies, sports, I mean everything! We do this for many reasons. So why would we only teach one way. Why wouldn’t we approach our instruction in different ways?
Currently at my school they are doing a FANTASTIC job! They hustle each day. But my eye for literacy has noticed here and there into the second 9 weeks that it was time for a refresher. Except I know my staff and they need not only to feel comfortable with their own instructional practices, but they needed to value it. We are all human, if we find no value in something we move in another direction.
So therefore I approached it from a few points of view to gain their attention:
- Balance Training! The Secret Powers of the Tightrope! If you don’t know anything about this google it. It’s fascinating. There are some great videos too.
- This led into the brain discussion, since everything starts there. I had teachers think about if they were left sided or right sided. Then their students. We began discussing if they were auditory and analytical or tactile and visual. Then their students.
- We discussed how we balance ourselves on a daily basis. Then we discussed how we balance our work life and personal life.
- Once we were thinking about balancing ourselves, the types of learners we were and our students were, it led into Balance Literacy. We need to value the instructional approaches to meet all of our students. We need to give all of our students equal opportunities in their learning style to achieve the same outcome.
- From here we reviewed the components of a balanced literacy, participated in a few activities to either learn something new or refresh us.
- We reviewed the shifts in the common core standards for literacy and discussed how important this was to Balanced Literacy.
- We always end with a positive note about teaching our students to love reading!
Calling all Lead Teachers, Coaches, Reading Specialist, Administrators or teachers wanting to improve their instruction!!!
So I have created 2 products that compliment each other. They can go together or they can be separate. It all depends what you have in mind for the use of them!
First I have created a Balanced Literacy pack that is geared towards reviewing the components for implementation. There are multiple pieces to this pack that include: balanced literacy display, balanced literacy flip book, balanced literacy pre and post reflection of your practice and analyzing the types of learners your students are. All of these components fit in to the presentation and are noted.
*REALLY IMPORTANT* As teachers we label students. They are this color and this level. They know this and not this. But we never stop to think of the types of learners they really are. This will help us realize that we can reach them so they can be successful.
Part 2: Continued Products
To get this click HERE or on any of the photos above!