April Mickelson is a remedial specialist at Jackson Enterprise in Oklahoma City Public Schools. She started out as a kindergarten teacher (which is my favorite grade too) and now as a remedial specialist she serves her school as a reading interventions, lead professional development facilitator and a literacy coach.
The Balanced Literacy approach has 8 components: read aloud, guided reading, shared reading, interactive writing, shared writing, Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop and Word study. Balanced Literacy combines the ideas behind whole language and phonics programs. This approach to literacy allows the ELA teacher to look at the big picture of teaching reading and language arts.
Below are the questions I prepared to ask April (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):
- Share about your education background/experience.
- What is the Balanced Literacy approach?
- What are the main components of Balanced Literacy?
- Why is the Balanced Literacy approach superior to other literacy programs?
- Describe a Balanced Literacy lesson.
- What would the lesson plan need to have in it? i.e., what would need to be different about lesson planning for a Balanced Literacy approach has opposed to other lesson plans?
- What are mini-lessons? What should be included in a mini-lesson?
- When you enter into a classroom, what do you look for in a classroom using a Balanced Literacy approach?
- What are the practical steps for teachers who need to being implementing a Balanced Literacy approach?
- What advice would you give teachers who are on the fence about implementing a Balanced Literacy approach?
- What are your go to resources for Balanced Literacy?