Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Balanced Approach

After reading the article, “Balanced Literacy Instruction”, I now understand that literacy instruction is most beneficial when it is taught by combining the essential skills based lessons AND a very holistic approach in which students are immersed in an environment of authentic reading and writing experiences.

The central aim of this article is to help literacy instructors understand the important of balance. Offering students a wide variety of eclectic experiences and practices with reading and writing and also offering frequent instruction in basic skills is the best way to promote a positive literacy learning environment.

There is also an emphasis on the fact struggling readers and writers should not be taught in a different way from the rest of their peers. Obviously, the skills instruction will be more extensive in comparison to readers who are excelling, but the students who are struggling will still be immersed in a large amount of authentic, holistic reading and writing instruction.

An obvious point the article also makes is how important it is for literacy (reading and writing) to be a part of EVERY aspect of the school day. Students who are constantly reading and writing will excel in their literacy development in comparison to students who are only doing reading and writing for an hour or two a day. Scaffolding is also emphasized as an important element of literacy instruction.

Basically, all in all…the article talks about how important it is to immerse your students in literacy instruction ALL the TIME. The article does a great job of providing evidence through the discussion of case studies. Balancing literacy instruction with skill based learning and holistic reading and writing experiences, with a WIDE array of activities and experiences, is the best way to ensure students succeed.


  1. I think you made a lot of great points in this post about balanced reading instruction. So many times I think it is so easy for teachers to look over the fact that it is important to provide students with an opportunity to have holistic approaches to literacy and authentic experiences. Giving students something that they can relate to on a personal level is vital to their understanding and development as a literate individual. Literacy needs to be a part of every aspect of school, whether that be during math, science, or social studies, because reading and writing can be incorporated into each of these subjects. I talked about this point in my new literacy project, as I am focusing on environmental literacy, which combines literacy and science topics.

  2. I really relate to the idea of giving students literacy that they can relate to or are interested. When I was in elementary school I felt as though reading was a task and we were always reading what our teachers told us not what we wanted too. I think that I would enjoy reading more today if I would have been able to make choices for reading throughout my elementary career.
    I can also agree with always having an emphasis on literacy because my classroom does not have that and you can see that students do not enjoy reading when the times come. When I get my own classroom I was to have a small library in a corner with a rug and comfortable pillows for my students to use to relax and then read!