Balanced literacy is a “teaching methodology whereby the tutor integrates various instructional methods” (Carver 348). The teaching approach uses different strategies to achieve the goals of the learning process. The tutor should use multiple strategies in order to ensure every learner achieves his or her objectives. Balanced literacy is a process “containing many components to ensure every student achieves his or her learning goals” (Carver 351).
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Balanced literacy promotes both code-emphasis and meaning-emphasis approaches (Carver 351). In meaning-emphasis approach, the teacher combines skill instructions with different authentic stories and texts. The teacher will achieve a balanced literacy by modeling the best literacy behaviors for every child. Every teacher should read aloud to every child. The teacher should also demonstrate the best writing skills about the text. The teacher can use guided reading in order to make the approach successful. The teacher will also “observe the student write and read independently” (Carver 351). The child should be willing to share his or her work with the whole class. The meaning-emphasis approach also allows the learners to revise their projects with the teacher.
The other approach is code-emphasis. This strategy encourages every learner to apply the best decoding skills. It also encourages the learner to practice letter-sound mappings (Carver 351). The approach relies on decoding and phonemic awareness. This plan will also support the best word-attack competencies (Carver 352). The teacher should combine these two methods in order to have a balanced literacy approach. The process will ensure the teacher provides the best learning activities. Such activities will support the reading skills of every learner. The teacher should encourage the use of discussion groups in order to achieve the targeted learning objectives.
The national reading panel gives the best guidelines for the best strategies and skills to teach in a balanced literacy program. Modeled writing is the first skill to teach in a balanced literacy program. This approach teaches the leaders how phonics and conventional spellings work. The second step is to write with the learners. The next skill is reading to children. This skill will help the learners internalize every sentence and motivate them to learn how to read fluently. These skills will ensure the learners can write, spell, and read fluently. This practice will ensure the balanced literacy program is successful. This approach will ensure every learner develops new writing, writing, and mathematics skills.
The teacher should use the best tasks, activities, and structures in order to have a successful balanced literacy program. The first task is reading aloud to the learners. Experts call this practice modeled reading. The next step is “promoting shared reading” (Carver 357). It is necessary to promote guided reading. The practice will ensure the learners become confident and motivated. The approach will ensure every learner can read independently. It is appropriate to use modeled writing to guide the children. This approach will ensure every learner writes efficiently. Shared writing is the next step. Guided writing follows this stage. The teacher helps the learner throughout this process.
The practice will ensure every learner can write independently. Every teacher should equip his or her students with instructional and reading experiences. The practice will ensure the learners become independent writers and readers. The best activity is to maintain a balance between skill emphasis and meaning emphasis (Carver 359). The teacher should consider the progress and academic needs of every learner.
Carver, Ronald. The Causes of High and Low Reading Achievement. New York: Routledge, 2000. Print.
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