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Balanced Literacy

How will English and Language Arts instruction be taught in Garnet Valley?

The Pennsylvania (PA) Core Standards, now known as the PA Standards, went into effect on March 1, 2014. Garnet Valley has been writing a new English Language Arts curriculum to meet these standards since their state approval. The new Garnet Valley curriculum was completed in the spring of 2016. It will be delivered through a Balanced Literacy Model. Over the next three years, Garnet Valley teachers and staff will participate in comprehensive training in balanced literacy.

What is Balanced Literacy?

Balanced Literacy is a research-based model for delivering a standards-based curriculum. The final Garnet Valley Balanced Literacy Model will be:

Grades 1-2

  • 1 block for Reading Workshop

    • Mini-lesson, reading independently, small group work, conferring, students talking about books

  • 1 block for Writing Workshop & Word Study

  • 1 block for Shared Reading & Interactive Read Aloud every other day

Grades 3-5

  • 1 block for Reading Workshop

    • Mini-lesson, reading independently, small group work, conferring, students talking about books

  • 1 block for Writing Workshop (every day) & Word Study/Interactive Read Aloud (alternating days)

Why use a Reading Workshop?

Reading Workshop is one component of Balanced Literacy. The guiding principles of Reading Workshop are:

  • Readers have time to read just-right books independently every day.

  • Readers select their own appropriate books.

  • Readers take care of books.

  • Readers respect each other’s reading time and reading lives.

  • Readers have daily opportunities to talk about their books in genuine ways.

  • Readers don’t just read the words but also understand the story.

  • Readers’ work in the independent reading workshop is replicable outside the classroom.

Compiled w/ resources from Ellen Ellis

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