Literacy Reform Essay

1029 words - 5 pages

Literacy Reform
In every school across America, effectively practices of reading instruction are being discussed. Calkins (2012) suggests that over 85% of students being tested on grade level literacy standards are non-proficient. Research suggests that students, who are unable to read proficiently by third grade, are not predicted to ever learn to read or have successful lives when they reach adulthood (Martinez, 2008). For these reasons, it is important that districts implement literacy models and instructional reforms that have been well researched and shown to be successful. The instructional reform method of Balanced Literacy is being used throughout the country to meet the ...view middle of the document...

The Common Core Standards have not given teachers and districts curriculum and guidelines to teach with. Student comprehensions skills are a main focus in their anchor standards from k-12 grade (NGA, 2010). For this reason, careful research and understanding of what the standards are asking educators to teach is required. Houck (2008) informs balanced literacy is a combination of teaching methods and strategies involving both whole language and skill development. Used correctly, balanced literacy has the potential to meet the needs of all students at their own individual level. All components of reading, including phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, speaking and listening, and writing are taught using this framework. Balanced literacy provides instruction by various methods. The use of read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, word study, and writing are all used to provide students with a release of responsibility model in which they go from guided to independent work (Frey, 2005). The need for all components of reading to work together in order for comprehension to take place makes balanced literacy an instructional reform plan worth implementing (Beringer & Abbott, 2010).

Upon completion of the research for this paper, I am able to see how comprehension is embedded throughout all of the ELA standards of Common Core. The importance of teaching students in a way in which they are exposed to all components of reading, and in a way which offers the potential to teach students at all present levels was made clearer. Through the reading of this week’s sources, I see now how the present reform initiatives relate to my chosen topic of developing reading comprehension skills. The Common Core Standard Imitative and balanced literacy both share a high concern and emphasis on student comprehension skills. My future research will involve how the component of reading comprehension is taught with balanced literacy. The implications from each source for my chosen topic of study will allow me to narrow down my topic and begin further research.
The outcomes from this week’s study has shown me how deeply comprehension skills are embedded in the Common Core Standards and how a balanced literacy approach to teaching literacy could possibly affect the reading...

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