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Making Balanced Literacy Work for YOU Part 4

Hello! If you are just now joining me for this little series on Balanced Literacy, you can get caught up on the other posts here:
Post 1- Overveiw 

Post 2- Shared Reading & Interactive Read Alouds with Accountable Talk 

Post 3- Shared and Interactive Writing 

After all of that information, you’re probably thinking I am a crazy woman with a 10 hour school day…but there are a few tricks that I do employ in order to get it all in! 
Out of all of the components, I make sure that I do certain ones everyday no matter what- depending on the grade level. As I am a 2nd grade teacher, we do an interactive read aloud with accountable talk EVERY DAY. When I taught kindergarten, I was sure to do more than one component everyday (shared reading and writing and interactive writing) because those are SO important when modeling reading and writing habits that kinderbabies need to pick up quickly. 
Generally, I plan to do an interactive read aloud with accountable talk every morning. During community circle, I’ll pick one reading and one writing component. So on any given day, I’ve got a read aloud ready, and a shared or interactive activity planned. Some days I will move my IRAWAC to the middle or end of the day to make room for a shared reading lesson. This doesn’t happen as much in 2nd grade as it does in K1. The rest of the components get to take turns on any given day. The goal is always to get a reading and writing component in…but there is never a day where every component is taught.  My advice would be to consider what your students need to see the most and then figure out which component it would be easiest to model in.

So…how do I schedule all of this? 

Being a visual person, I need to be able to map out a week at a time when it comes to balanced literacy. I use a planner to jot down my ideas. I like this one because I can be intentional about a lot of things. I can select which components that I’d like to plan and I can vary with the genre. I am able to think about the needs of my students and plan accordingly.  
Below, is an example of a planning sheet that has been completed- along with a blank copy that you can download if you’d like to! Just click the blank one below.

 So, in essence, that’s what I do! I think about the current reading and writing units that I am in and I consider if my students need to brush up on certain things. Since they always do, I am able to find places in my schedule to address those needs naturally. Most of the time, the students just think we are doing a big book or writing a story together. They don’t always realize that they are taking in a lot of things that I am saying as I think aloud. I have found that this is what I need in order to get these skills to transfer into my independent reading and writing time.

Thank you so much for reading along! Happy New School Year! 

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LaNesha Tabb

LaNesha Tabb

Wife, Mama of 2, and apron wearing primary educator from Indianapolis.

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