Balanced Reading Approach

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The first component of a balanced literacy approach is reading. Learning to read is one of the most important skills children develop through their many years of schooling. According to Tompkins, to meet this component of a balanced approach, ELA curriculum needs to incorporate “modeled, shared, interactive, guided, and independent” reading experiences for students. (Tompkins 20) All of these aspects, and methods, of teaching reading are used in my placement.
Each afternoon in my placement class, we have readers’ workshop. This block generally begins with a short minilesson. Some of the minilessons we have had so far include: connecting and empathizing with characters, how readers can make predictions, a genre study of realistic fiction, how to become active readers, and how to find ‘just right books’. The students then listen to a read aloud, or engage in guided reading. The class particularly enjoys this portion of the day, as they get a chance to listen to new stories. Lately, we have been reading many
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The lessons come from the Guided Spelling program, as mentioned above. The program, which provides teachers with a detailed script, seeks to teach students patterns and conventions of spelling in the English language. Many of the words they learn are familiar to them, and thus are relatively easy for them to commit to memory after some practice. At the end of each week, they have a spelling test to see how they are progressing with the lessons. The following week, we review the most commonly misspelled words from the previous week and also introduce some new words. This program is really easy to follow, and has proven to be useful to the students. According to Tompkins, spelling instruction should allow students to have the spelling of words become automatic gradually over time. This program succeeds in this goal. The students are generally able to spell all the words they have been studying, without much

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