Balanced Literacy Approach
The MPS K-5 Literacy Framework has identified a balanced literacy approach using Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop. This approach will provide schools with an integrated and comprehensive standards-based literacy program for all elementary students. A Language Skills Block allows a teacher the opportunity to target specific language skills.
How is Balanced Literacy delivered in the classroom?
The balanced literacy approach seeks to find an appropriate balance of all components and elements of literacy instruction. For the purposes of the MPS Literacy Framework, balanced literacy includes an articulation of grade level standards for reading, writing, speaking and listening that utilizes the instructional strategies below:
Modeled reading and writing (“to” students)
Shared reading and writing (“with” students)
Guided reading and writing (“with” students)
Teaching and Learning Through the Workshop Model
The workshop model supports learning as apprenticeship. It includes three broad components: opening meeting, work period, and closing meeting which are described below.
During the opening meeting, the teacher delivers explicit instruction based on students’ instructional needs, interests and academic standards. The lessons are focused on procedures, strategies and skills or literary analysis.
During the work period, students engage in opportunities for independent practice and learning. While students independently work, teachers provide focused instruction to small groups of students or confer with students through individualized instruction.
During the closing meeting, students share their work, learning from classmate and teacher feedback.
Reader’s Workshop is a daily one-hour workshop structure for language arts instruction. It is built on the interaction between reading and writing. To improve reading, students independently read, apply skills and strategies they were explicitly taught and record or share their thinking.
Writer’s Workshop is a daily one-hour writing structure. Students write daily for a variety of purposes and publish original pieces of writing using authentic models from published authors. The content of the writing may come from any curriculum area.
Word Study is a daily set of activities that integrate phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction. During word study, students examine words through active exploration using a hands-on, manipulative approach and make distinct connections to reading.