You are on page 1of 4

Help! I Don’t Know How to Teach Literacy (to my elementary-aged students)!

Justin Smith (NYC), Nicole Foster (NYC), Katie Pollom (St. Louis), Meg Lembo (NYC)

1. Balanced Literacy Block Cheat Sheet Overview

2. Institute Elementary Literacy Text:
Location: TFANet (Teaching and Learning Center, “Building Knowledge” Section, Elementary Literacy Text)
a. Pages 148–166* – Detailed Descriptions of Blocks
b. Pages 147-148* – Comparison of Lower to Upper Elementary Literacy Blocks

3. Put Reading First – The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read
(National Research and Rationale; National, in-depth explanations of each
component of reading instruction ):

4. Lower and Upper Elementary Video Examples of Each Literacy Component

* Page number based on top of PDF screen, not the page numbers listed at the bottom of each page of text
Balanced Literacy “Cheat Sheet”

Reading Writing

More Teacher Support More Student Independence Shared and
Interactive Independe
Read Aloud Word Study Shared Reading Guided Writing nt Writing
Reading Independent Reading (click for (click for
video) video)
(click for video) (click for video) (click for video) (click for
video) (click for video)
Text is above the Children are Text is slightly Text is at the Text is at or As a class, Children are
students’ making visual above the level students’ below the teacher and developing
instructional and meaningful of most students’ instructional student’s students and writing
reading level; sense of text instructional reading level; instructional share in various
“Regular’-sized reading level; Small, leveled reading level; demonstrati texts on
text Enlarged text books with Small, leveled ng the their own
• Helps children multiple copies books writing
• Lets children understand how • Provides a (1/child) process • Models
hear and enjoy letters and meaningful, • Promotes choice • Models revision
literature above words work whole-class • Small groups, of reading early strategies
their reading • Provides ways reading organized by materials writing • Provides
levels to use word- experience students’ • Provides the strategies assessme
• Models solving • Teaches basic particular needs opportunity to • Introduces nts that
discussions strategies concepts about • Provides apply learned various inform
about literature throughout the print individual strategies and materials planning
• Promotes literacy • Models instruction for skills for writing and
responses to program strategies and each child’s independently • Promotes instruction
literature • Uses known skills for level • Assesses creation • Supports
• Exposes information to independent • Assesses skill individual and the
children to new build new reading levels reading compositio creation of
genres of knowledge • Promotes use of • Informs lesson- behaviors n of meaningfu
literature • Integrates word-study planning • Informs planning meaningful l text
• Excellent for reading and skills • Provides for and instruction text • Provides
comprehension writing • Introduces individual • Exposes experienc
strategies and instruction various genres prompting children to e with
skills different writing in
writing different
genres genres

Great for: Great for: Great for: Great for: Great for: Great for: Great for:
• Comprehension • Text features • Skill work • Assessing • Fluency/Stamina • Brainstorm • Mechanics
strategies • Word work • Response • Fluency/Stamin • Fostering a love ing story (capitaliza
• Accountable • Practice for activity a for reading and ideas tion and
talk fluency and • Reading • Reading literature • Understan punctuatio
• Think Aloud expression behavior work stamina • Building ding and n)
• Vocabulary • Conventions of • Grapho=phonic • Behaviors confidence maneuveri • Spelling
• Listening Skills text and print strategies • Noticings • Concepts of ng through (inventive
• Word work print new and
• Text-to-Self writing proper)
Connections genres

Read Aloud –
Lower Elementary: (Reader’s Workshop into Conferences)
Lower Elementary:
Upper Elementary (4th Grade):

Word Study –
Lower Elementary:
Lower Elementary:
Upper Elementary:

Shared Reading –
~~Lower Elementary:
~~Upper Elementary:

Guided Reading –
Lower Elementary:
Upper Elementary (4th Grade):
Upper Elementary (4/5th Grade):

Independent Writing –
*Awesome* Upper and Lower Elementary:
Lower Elementary:

Interactive and Shared Writing –
Lower Elementary: (Interactive)
Upper Elementary: (Shared)

Independent Reading –
General Elementary: (Conferences)