Balanced Literacy Program

Balanced Literacy Program

My plans for the balanced literacy program include six indispensable components to develop student’s reading success. My reading program is called “Reading Adventure Prodigies” RAP for short, and the grade level is for Kindergarten. The components are 1) phonemic awareness, 2) phonics, 3) reading aloud, 4) fluency, 5) vocabulary and 6) comprehension. The National Reading Panel has acknowledged that the components mentioned above will give the students an opportunity to acquire and develop their reading and writing skills (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD], 2000).

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One of the strategies that we will use in my program will be phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness deals with segmentations of sounds; it differentiates the facility to manipulate the sounds of oral speech (Calfee, Share and Yopp 1995, 1988). When phonemic awareness is used there is substantiation that students comprehend that a printed symbol represents a sound, a sound represents letters and letters represent words.

Subsequently, the reasons stated are that the sounds for any given phoneme can vary considerably from word to word and speaker to speaker, therefore, students will need to be exposed to a variety of sounds in order to acquire phonemic awareness. In the classroom, students will engage in activities to acquire specific skills to reinforce phonemic awareness. The program will start from simple games and will gradually progress to challenge the students motivating them to excel.

One strategy used in the RAP program is a simple game which involves clapping your name into syllables. Students will start clapping their names and their peers’ names to get acquainted and feel at ease as they start to develop phonemic awareness skills. Another strategy that will be used in phonemic awareness is the recording of different sounds (i. e. , water running and closing a door), the students are to distinguish and guess the sounds. Once they are acquainted with the sounds they will be able to recall the sounds in sequence.

As they attune to the sounds, more sounds will be added to challenge the students. To further the comprehension attained for phonemic awareness, the students will learn to identify “no-nonsense” poetry and the students will arrange the poem accordingly, (i. e. the weensy spider itsy), the students will hear the poem and then rearrange the poem appropriately. The few strategies mentioned here will help the students to recognize and distinguish different sounds. It also prepares them to recognize how to separate the sounds of phonemes.

Once the students acquire this skill, practical knowledge of the alphabetic principle usually precedes with significant ease. Ultimately, it is awareness of phonemes that allows students to understand how the alphabetic principle works which is essential in learning how to write and read. References Calfee, R. C. , (in press). Psychological perspectives on the early reading wars. the case of phonological awareness. Teachers College Record. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000).

Teaching children to read: An evidence –based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instructions: Reports of subgroups (Report of the National Reading Panel, NIH Publication No. 00- 4754). Washington, DC: U. S. government Printing Office. Share, D. L. , (1995). Phonological recording and self-teaching: Sine qua non of reading acquisition. Cognition, 55, 151-218. Yopp, H. K. (1988). The validity and reliability of phonemic awareness tests. Reading Research Quarterly, 23, 159-177.


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