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Balanced Reading Instruction

Balanced Writing Instruction
 The
ultimate goal of all writing instruction
is the development of writers able to
 To achieve this goal five scaffolded steps
of instructional techniques need to be
explicitly used.
 The act of using these steps creates the
“balance” to the instruction.
Step 1: Modeled Writing
Modeled writing is an instructional
strategy where the teacher WRITES and
THINKS ALOUD to the students to
demonstrate the metacognitive process
that is required to be successful.
Advantages of Modeling:
Students are attentive and engaged.
A fluent, expressive style is being
demonstrated which promotes
motivation for students to mimic.
Teacher controls the text/genre form and
can integrate it with instruction in
vocabulary, concepts of print,
comprehension strategies, and writing
 Teacher
controls the pace of the lesson
and can create the lesson based on
prior observation and assessment. of
student needs.
 Modeled teaching is a perfect way to
create background knowledge, increase
vocabulary and concepts and zero in on
one aspect of written communication.
It can introduce the students to the
formal language used in writing, author’s
craft, and even text structure.
It provides opportunities for the teacher
to model and scaffold writing strategies.
Instructional activity ideas
If you use the suggested, you are
Thinking aloud or “Think Alouds”
Modeling writing on a chart
Direct instruction
Step 2: Shared Writing
Shared Writing is where the children join
in orally composing the writing under the
guidance of the teacher. The teacher
uses this time to SHARE,
DEMONSTRATE and ask students to
PARTICIPATE with her in strategies of
the writing process. The key is the
teacher holds the pen and writes.
Advantages of Shared Writing:
All students can participate in a
purposeful writing experience that
explicitly demonstrates early writing
strategies. Everyone is a WRITER in
shared writing.
 Provides
experience with the structures
of language like rhyme, rhythm and
alliteration and provides opportunity to
show how words work in writing and
word study.
 Provides a scaffold between oral
language and printed language.
The teacher is still in charge but the
children are participating in a meaningful,
way. (While Modeled Writing provided a
motivation to mimic, Shared Writing lets the
child mimic. This is a social instructional
The teacher can model and scaffold writing
Instructional activity ideas
 If
you use the suggested, you are using
shared writing.
Writing aloud in choral reading, chants,
songs, language experience stories
Direct, explicit instruction
Step 3: Interactive Writing
 This
is a highly oral process where the
teacher and student(s) share the pen.
The students come to a chart and write
what they can while the teacher
interacts and picks up only when they
cannot go further.
 There is shared re-reading and
correcting in the composition process.
 The
teacher helps the student construct
the writing, one word at a time.
 Often words are sounded out as they
are written.
 Key here is the use of high frequency
words and the conscious connections
between how words sound and how
they are created and connected to make
meaningful sentences.
Instructional activity ideas
If you use the suggested, you are doing
interactive writing.
 have young writers participate in small
or large groups at a large chart where
the composition is orally and collectively
 Write, with several students physically
contributing , and then read back the
progress for meaning.
Step 4: Guided Writing
Guided Writing is where the teacher
works with selected students (based on
observation and assessment) in SMALL
GROUPS. The groups are FLEXIBLE
and grouped by a targeted need.
The purpose is to GUIDE the group to
apply and practice needed strategies
with teacher support.
Guided Writing is NOT the teacher
writing for the students.
Advantages of Guided Writing:
The students are getting customized
instruction in an area where they have a
need with teacher support.
Teacher controls the the teaching points
and bases them on the student need.
 Groups
are usually 4-6 in number.
Students in the group have similar
 Students are writing at their instructional
Students are supported in the practices
of instructional strategies that have been
giving them trouble.
Provides teachers with another, more
personalized, opportunity to observe
and assess students using the new skill
to plan for further instruction.
Instructional activity ideas
If you use the suggested, you are doing
guided writing.
Assessment and observation drive
guided writing groups.
Small group instruction is based on the
needs that have been observed, not on
a generic “one size for all” lesson plan.
Step 5: Collaborative Writing
Collaborative Reading involves
opportunities for students to WORK
TOGETHER to decide on the meaning
and composition of a text. Students
read and create the text together using
comprehension, proof reading/editing
and discussion strategies.
Advantages of Collaborative Writing:
Student gets to APPLY the learning.
Collaborative Writing is highly social.
Problem Solving, teaching others, selfmonitoring and self-correcting are major
 Teacher
only teaches if necessary. The
bulk of the time is spent scaffolding,
coaching and conferring with groups,
observing, evaluating, clarifying and
MONITORING. This is not “at desk
time” or to be working on computer.
Collaborative Writing is a natural bridge
to total independent reading.
It allows the student to refine their
mastery of writing techniques.
It promotes listening, clarifying and
social interaction on the part of the
Instructional activity ideas
 If you use the suggested, you are doing
collaborative writing.
Partner writing
Peer Editing
Literature Circles
Reciprocal Teaching
Step 6: Independent Writing
Independent writing is a time for
students to APPLY the skills and
strategies taught during the previous
instructional strategies. It is authentic
It requires the students to initiate,
monitor and direct their writing. They
are able to apply their learning to self
selected pieces or content area
The teacher ROLE SHIFTS to affirmer,
assister and acknowledger. The teacher is
there to help the student set goals and
evaluate if there are further needs that could
be addressed with other instructional
Independent Writing increases stamina in
writing, along with promoting a love for
Students love the freedom to choose the
subjects to write about and have
opportunity to rework favorite pieces.
Self-selected independent writing
promotes the building of background
knowledge and allows unlimited practice
in writing strategies and techniques.
Instructional activity ideas
 If
you use the suggested, you are doing
independent writing.
Writers Workshop time
Informal conferences
Homework and research assignments
Why bother to distinguish the steps?
 American
education systems are
spending the bulk of teaching time on
DECLARATIVE knowledge (the WHAT)
instead of assisting students to practice
the HOW (PROCEDURAL knowledge).
 Balanced
Writing Instruction end the
view of all school writing needing to be
formalized assignments written to final,
published form graded by the teacher in
red ink.
 And….creates the view that writing is a
joyful process to communicate thoughts
and emotions.
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