Teaching Reading

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I use a balanced literacy approach to teach reading and writing in my classroom. After doing research and reading several books on using balanced literacy, I found The Four Blocks Literacy Model and started using it in my classroom. Below are some questions and answers about balanced literacy and the Four Blocks model.

What is balanced literacy?

Balanced literacy is an approach to teaching reading and writing that includes many different types of instruction. Reading and writing is taught through whole group instruction, small groups and independent work. Each component of a balanced literacy program works together to help the child understand language as well as how to read text.

What are the reading components from a balanced literacy approach?

The basic components of a balanced literacy model for teaching reading are:

  • Modeled Reading
  • Shared Reading
  • Guided Reading
  • Independent Reading

In addition to the balanced literacy approach, I also include elements of the Four Blocks Literacy Model into my reading and writing instruction.

What is The Four Blocks Literacy Model?

The Four Blocks Literacy Model is actually the name of program used for grades one and up. A special modified program for kindergarten was formed and named the "Building Blocks". Building Blocks has the same philosophy as balanced literacy in that students will learn how to read and write through a variety of activities and instructional practices. Building Blocks encourages literacy with specific activies designed to give children practice using skills at multiple levels. Here are some elements of a Building Blocks classroom:

  • Reading to, with, and by Children
  • Writing for, with, and by Children
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics (Letters and Sounds)
  • Interesting Words

If you are not already familiar with the Building Blocks literacy model, I highly recommend looking into it. The activities and ideas are very developmentally appropriate and provide a strong foundation for building literacy.

Below you will find information for teaching reading. I hope you find the information helpful in your teaching practice.


Parent Note: Choosing Books for Your Child (.pdf format) - from Scholastic

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