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Balanced Literacy

Many balanced literacy models are composed of three major components: Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Word Work. Reading A-Z provides a wealth of leveled Pre K-6 resources that can be used in a balanced literacy setting — from whole-class and small-group instruction to individual practice.

1Reading Workshop includes opportunities for Shared Reading, Guided Reading, and Independent Reading.

Reading A-Z provides a vast collection of resources and a variety of ways to match resources to students' developmental levels and instructional needs.

Shared Reading

  • During shared reading, teachers provide explicit comprehension instruction.
  • Reading A-Z's collection of projectable Big Books supports developmentally appropriate skills, such as concepts of print, as well as reinforces specific reading skills and strategies.

Guided Reading

  • The Guided Reading lesson plans for every Leveled Book provide a scaffolded approach to instruction. See the Books by Skills Chart for a list of major skills covered in each lesson.
  • Reading A-Z's collection of leveled readers spanning levels of difficulty represents a variety of text types and genres and includes a balance of fiction and nonfiction.
  • Use Benchmark Books or Benchmark Passages to determine where to start students within the levels and to monitor their progress as their reading improves.

Independent Reading

  • Independent reading provides students the opportunity to apply reading strategies and skills in a text of personal interest.
  • Print Reading A-Z's leveled books for students to select for daily independent reading.
  • A membership to Raz-Plus provides students with the opportunity to select eBook versions of the Leveled Books to read online.

2 Writing Workshop includes opportunities for Shared Writing, Guided Writing, and Independent Writing.

Reading A-Z's sister website Writing A-Z provides key resources for the Writing Workshop. During Writing Workshop, teachers provide instruction on the various forms of writing, and students learn the basics of Process Writing.

Process Writing

  • Writing Workshop begins with teacher-directed lessons followed by time for students to write.
  • Teachers confer with students and guide their writing development.
  • Members of Writing A-Z gain access to complete process writing lessons for a variety of text types or genres.

Shared and Independent Writing opportunities are found in several places on Reading A-Z.

  • Day 4 in each Shared Reading Book's 5-Day Lesson Plan contains a shared writing activity, allowing students structured practice with specific skills. Find the 5-Day Shared Reading Lesson on each book's homepage.
  • Selected Leveled Books provide a Writer's Response activity for independent practice. Simply click on "With Writer's Response" in the filter options.
  • Poetry Writing Lessons provide a lesson plan, examples, and scaffolded writing worksheets for 11 types of poetry.

3 Word Work

The goal of working with words is to guide students to become more fluent readers and writers.

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics

  • Phonemic awareness and phonics help the youngest students learn letter-sound relationships.
  • Reading A-Z's Phonological Awareness Lessons and Decodable Books & Phonics Lessons along with flash cards, activity sheets, Sound/Symbol Books and Read-Aloud Books provide practice with words, phrases, sentences, and continuous text to build vocabulary and fluency.

High-Frequency Words and Vocabulary

  • Students build on a foundation of word knowledge by emphasizing word structure and vocabulary.
  • Students extend their vocabulary in order to apply it in the context of reading.
  • Reading A-Z's High-Frequency Words and Vocabulary resources provide practice with the most common sight words and familiar content vocabulary to quickly build students' reading vocabulary.
  • Additional 5-Day lesson plans for the vocabulary for each leveled book and access to customizable lessons for Academic Vocabulary are available on Vocabulary A-Z.