MVE Literacy

Literacy

Balanced Literacy Framework


Balanced Literacy is a framework made up of instructional elements aimed to guide students toward proficient and lifelong reading and writing. Teachers combine all the elements of literacy, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, language and writing together supporting students learning to read and write while growing in their independence of learning. A balanced literacy framework encompasses reading, writing, communication and oral language in both print-based and digitized forms and recognizes that young children engage actively, to construct meaning and make sense of the world.” (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment). “Balanced literacy is more than a philosophy; it is holistic, inquiry-based approach to teaching literacy combining authentic, literature-rich activities with explicit reading and writing instruction.”


Mountain Views Elementary’s Balanced Literacy Framework (PreK-2)


Interactive Editing

Description: A method to manipulate text to increase comprehension and/or aid in the writing process.

Purpose: This is a teaching method where the teacher and students work together to edit familiar, error-free text (“edit” in this definition means to change, not to correct). It helps students in determining importance, finding key words, summarizing, editing to a shortened piece, paraphrasing text to write new products, or changing writing categories.

Read Aloud with Purpose/Modeled Reading

Description: Teacher chooses a read aloud based on a specific teaching purpose, then gives explicit instructions on that strategy and models the strategy during the read aloud.

Purpose: Teacher makes her thinking visible, demonstrates proficient reading, expands access to text beyond student’s ability and exposes students to a variety of genres. This element offers the highest level of teacher support.

Modeled Writing

Description: A time for the teacher to “think out loud” by making her/his thinking visible to students. The teacher composes a text by “thinking out loud”. The teacher decides on a specific teaching point for instruction based on children’s needs and then provides explicit instruction through modeling the process for students.

Purpose: Demonstrates proficient writing, expands access to writing beyond student’s ability, exposes students to a variety of genres, models writing strategies, teaches writing strategies, extends understanding of the writing process, teacher scribes.

Shared Reading

Description: This is a shared experience where students and teacher are reading together from a shared text. Teacher is taking the lead and students are following along and actively participating.

Purpose: Teacher voice support makes the text accessible to all readers. It is a time for collaborative practice of a strategy that was taught and modeled during read aloud.  It provides an expert model for fluency. Teacher encourages student to read when able.

Interactive Writing

Description: A process in which the teacher and students, negotiate text,  collaborate on the construction of the text, use conventions of print, reread for fluency and share the role of scribe.

Purpose: Provide direct and explicit instruction in phonology and word analysis, deeper understanding of how written text works, build stamina, promote writing genres, and teach connections between reading and writing.

Guided Reading

Description: Small group reading instruction based on formal and informal assessments. The teacher works with a Strategic Group of strategies for independent reading.  This group is made up of students who have the same instructional needs (not necessarily reading level). These small groups are flexible and are designed by the teacher after analysis of current student data and observations to achieve a pre-set instructional focus.

Purpose:Teachers match students with challenging books that are at their instructional level and support their next reading goal. Students become better readers by reading, self-monitoring, problem solving their way through text. Students increase fluency, increase reading and writing vocabulary, work on letter sound associations, and use reading strategies.

Program/Resources:

  • Jan Richardson- The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading- Framework for Supporting Every Reader

Independent Writing

Description: A time for students to assume responsibility and to practice what they have learned during modeled and interactive writing, student chooses the topic, practices at his/her independent level, demonstrates the value of writing.

Purpose: Students are given time to independently write text while the teacher supports students through conferencing, build writing stamina, promote writing a variety of genres and purposes,  focuses on individual strengths and challenges to assess students’ knowledge and skills as a writer

Independent Reading

Description: A time for students to practice reading books at their independent level.

Purpose: A time for students to practice applying strategies they have learned during read aloud, shared reading, and guided reading.  The teacher uses this time to listen to individual  students read, conferring with students and informally assessing student in order to determine next teaching/learning steps.


Book Clubs (Extended Learning for K-2)

Description: An instructional approach used to promote individual comprehension of text through application of literacy skills and strategies.

Purpose: Through explicit direct instruction, the teacher encourages students to talk to one another.  Thoughtful responses are modeled and the teacher facilitates students’ thinking towards significant, worthwhile issues in high quality texts


Letter and Word Study

Description: Teacher provides individualized instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, word study, morphology and enhances vocabulary development by allowing students to use vocabulary learning strategies within the context of authentic reading and writing.

Purpose: Engage students in direct study of spelling generalizations, promote automaticity with high frequency words, provides opportunity to practice phonics, grammar, word analysis skills, and directly teach vocabulary.

Programs/Resources:

  • Words Their Way (Word Study=Phonics+Spelling+Vocabulary Instruction)- Students learn how to examine words through active exploration using hands-on, manipulative approach.  Students also discover generalizations about spelling, instead of just spelling rules.  They learn the regularities, patterns, and conventions of English orthography (the part of language study concerned with letters and spelling) needed to read and spell.  Word study increases students’ specific knowledge of words.  Specific knowledge relates to the spelling and meaning of individual words. 1st and 2nd grade students will assess in the fall, winter and spring to find the most appropriate instructional level for them.  Each student will fall in one of the following five stages of spelling/vocabulary: Emergent, Letter Name, Within Word Pattern, Syllables and Affixes or Derivational Relations.

  • 95% Group (Continuum  of Skills for Phonological Awareness= Phonemic Awareness and Phonics)


Independent Literacy Activities/Centers

Description: Meaningful centers that allow independent work after the modeling phase and are related to the mini lessons and skills being taught.  Everyday, students choose from specific literacy centers.

Purpose: Students helps students develop the habits of reading, writing and working with peers. The goal is to foster good habits and develop lifelong skills of independent literacy.

Program/Resources:

  • Daily 5- This is a management strategy to track the independent or paired work students will do and to create routines in the classroom that allow students to gain meaningful learning at their pace and independent of teacher prompting. The Daily 5 includes: Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing and Word Work.


MVE has incredible teachers who are specialists in literacy instruction. They continue to deepen their understanding and to refine their literacy practices in order to be the very best teachers in front of our students. If you have any questions around our literacy practices, curriculum and programming, please don’t hesitate to ask! Email us!  MVE loves talking about reading and writing!