The Balanced Reading Approach includes the components of Read Aloud, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Literacy Work Stations, and Independent Reading. In grades K-2, this is introduced and structured using the Daily 5 model. In grades 3-5, it is typically structured into a three block framework of Language/Word Study, Reading Workshop, and Writing Workshop.
Read Aloud – a balanced reading program which includes daily read aloud selections. Reading aloud to children expands a child’s imagination and knowledge-base, increases students’ language acquisition, demonstrates expression and dramatic flair, and influences the child to become a better reader.
Shared Reading – an interactive reading experience that occurs when children join in the reading of a big book or other enlarged text as guided by a teacher. It is through shared reading that the reading process and reading strategies that readers use are demonstrated. Shared reading provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to model the integrated use of the cueing system and strategies for reading that can be applied to unfamiliar reading. New concepts and strategies of any type are best introduced during shared reading before guided practice is given in the small group setting.
Guided Reading – an essential part of the literacy program where the teacher meets with small groups of students to support them in reading materials that they cannot read totally independently. It is the context in which the teachers supports each reader’s development of effective strategies for processing text at increasing levels of difficulty. The goal of guided reading is for students to become fluent readers who can problem solve strategically and read independently and silently. When the teacher is working with a small group of students in Guided Reading, other students are engaged in literacy work stations.
Literacy Work Stations – differing activities that reinforce what is being taught or extends learning. Examples include, but are not limited to, partner read, writing, ABC/word study, poetry, listening, science/social studies, and handwriting.