Free Technology for Teachers

Helping Teachers Understand..What is Balanced Literacy?

At the beginning of the school year, my consulting focus was on
Balanced Literacy.  My tasks were to train and assist elementary teachers with their understanding the five components and organizing their classroom environment for effective literacy instruction.

Some beginning teachers and a few veteran teachers asked, 
"What is Balanced Literacy?" and ..................
"How is that different from what I am doing at this time in reading?"

I began my answer by saying...
 "For some of you, this will not be that different...........

1.  All of you are reading stories to your children.
--- That is the beginning of the Read Aloud component.

2.  Some of you are displaying/projecting the text you are reading on your whiteboard/smartboard.
--- That is the beginning action of the Shared Reading component.

3.  All of you are meeting with students in small homogeneous groups for reading instruction.
--- That is the perfect approach to begin the Guided and the Differentiated Reading components.

4.  All of you provide regular writing instruction in your whole and/or  small groups, then expand the writing opportunity within your literacy stations.
--- That is of the beginning of the Guided and Shared Writing component.

5.  All of you have your students select books from your classroom and/or school library to read alone at their desk for SSR or DEAR time for 15-20 min.
--- That is the beginning of the Independent Reading component.
Special Note:  This can be one of the most challenging components of this literacy model.

My answers launched a plethora of great questions and comments regarding their current work and what is needed to have a "balanced" reading implementation in their classroom.

THEN....."How do we need develop a "balanced" program?"

Now....the coaching door has been open.

I began introducing the "Balanced Literacy Model" with a comprehensive resource PowerPoint (above) I found on Authorstream by a student named, Emily Addleman at Ball State University.

This resource had great results in helping the teachers understand what to plan for within each of the literacy components.  See the presentation above....
I hope Emily received an "A" for her assignment.


  1. You are more than welcome. I hope you will continue to follow my blog and get more ideas for your balanced literacy program.