Shifting the Balance: Literacy Share

 I recently read the book Shifting the Balance to support one of my development goals and I wanted to share one of my favorite takeaways from the text. In Shift 6: Reconsidering Text for Beginning Readers they focus a lot on what teacher-selected text should look like when planning out your small group instruction.  I wanted to share my takeaways from the book and what small but MIGHTY changes I have made in what text looks like for guided groups. 

Being purposeful in your choice and planning is a HUGE part of the selection.  What new and review skills are your beginning readers working on.  Are they reviewing shory a, but introducing short o?  Do you want to really hit some sight words they have been struggling with? Many times these decodable readers have those skills but they also have predictable patterns, which give students a false sense of success when they have simply just memorized the text. When you have the same skills but remove the predictable patterns it forces the students to use the skills you have taught them and put on their reading hats. 

This section talks about the problems with only using decodable texts and explores the three tensions (decodability versus predictability, novelty versus redundancy, and orthographic value versus sense-making value). 

Ultimately the best text for beginning readers offers a sweet spot between the competing demands of the three tensions.  We call these aligned texts because they align with the phonics instruction the child is receiving while still offering some level of contextual support. 

I searched through the grade-level book room and surprisingly it was hard to find exactly what I needed to fit the student's needs, so my literacy coach and I created some samples of what an aligned text reading lesson might look like. 
You can access them here

Another thing I loved about this book is that there is a whole website with TONS of free resources to help support you and your kiddos.  They have a podcast, downloadables, book study information, and ways to incorporate sight words. 
You can snag lots of great resources by clicking the image below! 
Following the link to find all the freebies! 

Share what or who inspires your literacy block or guided reading instruction time.  I would love to hear what is working for you ; )

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