Tag Archives: balanced literacy

Independent Reading

This Washington Post article features former school principal Joanne Yatvin’s thoughts on why it is important to provide students with the opportunity to self-select texts and to have designated time in the school day for independent reading. Yatvin notes that in many US schools the practice of independent reading “has been abandoned in favor of systematic programs that promise to raise student test scores.” Link to article: www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/09/08/why-kids-should-choose-their-own-books-to-read-in-school

What are your thoughts — do you consider independent reading to be an important part of a literacy program?

OliverJeffers

Attack on “Balanced Literacy” Is Attack on Professional Teachers, Research

I (Clare) read this article and felt it would add to the posts on this blog about teachers as decision-makers and the need for teachers to be seen professionals.

radical eyes for equity

The allusion in Robert Pondiscio’s Why Johnny won’t learn to read accomplishes something different than intended. Pondiscio’s uninformed swipe at balanced literacy actually reveals that, once again, ideology trumps teacher professionalism and literacy research.

The reading wars are about almost everything except reading, but the most important lesson from this newest version of the same old thing is that if we start with what balanced literacy is, we begin to see just what those who attack balanced literacy believe:

Spiegel 3

Spiegel’s definition shows that the term “balanced literacy” is about the professional autonomy of the teacher, the wide range of research on how children acquire literacy, and honoring individual student needs (those who need direct instruction and those who do not).

Like “whole language,” balanced literacy does not reject any practice that is needed or effective, and does not prescribe practices either.

When Pondiscio and others, then, reject balanced literacy, they reject…

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A call to adopt Balanced Literacy

An article in the New York Times caught my eye, it highlights New York schools chancellor Carmen Fariña’s proposal to adopt a balanced literacy approach in more New York City classrooms (link to article provided below). The article reports that, “during her almost six months as chancellor, Ms. Fariña, a veteran of the school system, has reduced the role of standardized tests, increased collaboration among schools and shepherded through a new contract for teachers that includes more training and more communication with parents. But her push for a revival of balanced literacy may have some of the most far-reaching implications in the classroom.” Proponents of the Common Core academic standards have however, voiced resistance to implementation of a balanced literacy approach, arguing that it is at odds with the learning goals emphasized in the core standards, which have been adopted by more than 40 states. What do you think are the pros and cons of a balanced literacy approach?

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/27/nyregion/new-york-schools-chancellor-carmen-farina-advocates-more-balanced-literacy.html