Balanced Literacy Approach
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Balanced Literacy Framework

Balanced Literacy Framework

Balanced Literacy

In Minneapolis Public Schools, elementary literacy is implemented through a balanced literacy framework in grades K-5.

What is Balanced Literacy?

Balanced Literacy provides a structure and support that will enable all students to acquire the knowledge, skills, habits and dispositions needed to meet or exceed standards in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
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)
  • Independent reading and writing (“by” students)

Research Basis for Balanced Literacy

Balanced Literacy is a philosophical orientation that assumes that reading and writing achievement are developed through instruction and support in multiple environments using various approaches that differ by level of teacher support and child control (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). Balanced Literacy programs include community, home and library involvement as well as structured classroom plans and the use of activities, such as read alouds, guided reading, shared reading and independent reading and writing (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996).

Tools used in K-5 Classrooms

Since Balanced Literacy encompasses several practices and a new literacy curriculum was rolled out in 2017-18 across PK-5. The comprehensive Benchmark Advance/Adelante program is used in grades K-5.