Balanced Literacy

The goal of Balanced Literacy is to help children become readers and writers who enjoy and value literacy. It is a framework designed to help all students learn to read and write effectively. This balance between reading and writing allows students to receive the teaching needed in order to succeed, while allowing students to work at a level that is 'just right' for them.

Chinook teachers are implementing Balanced Literacy at all levels since Sept. 08. The framework consists of a number of elements that provide massive amounts of reading and writing on a daily basis. These authentic opportunities are arranged on a continumm based on teacher support. Some tasks are modelled by the teacher and others are accomplished with the support of the teacher, leading to a few that are done independantly by the child. Balanced Literacy classrooms focus on four different types of reading experiences:

Additionally, children are taught about letters, sounds, words and how they work. Listening and speaking are also emphasized in this integrated language approach.

At Vanguard Community School, we use a triangulation of assessment data in order to determine our focus areas within the umbrella of Balanced Literacy.  This assessment data is generated from the following:

1.  Fountas and Pinnell Reading Assessments (K-5).  These assessments are administered in October and May of each school year.
2.  RAD  (Reading Assessment District) (Grades 6-9).  These assessments are also administered in October and May of each school year.
3.  GRADE (Group Reading and Assessment Diagnostic Evaluation) (Grades 3-12).  These group administered assessments are administered in September and June of each school year.
4.  Success Maker (On Going K-8)   Our Success Maker program is a computerized learning platform and database that generates diagnostic information on student reading each time they complete a session.