Shifting the Balance : 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom

Shifting the Balance : 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom


These days, it seems that everyone has a strong opinion about how to teach young children to read. Some may brush off the current tension as nothing more than one more round of ""the reading wars."" Others may avoid the clash altogether due to the uncivilized discourse that sometimes results. Certainly, sorting the signal from the noise is no easy task.In this leading-edge book, authors Jan Burkins and Kari Yates address this tension as a critical opportunity to look closely at the research, reevaluate current practices, and embrace new possibilities for an even stronger enactment of balanced literacy.

From phonological processing to brain research to orthographic mapping to self-teaching hypothesis, Shifting the Balance cuts through the rhetoric (and the sciencey science) to offer readers a practical guide to decision-making about beginning reading instruction. The authors honor the balanced literacy perspective while highlighting common practices to reconsider and revise - all through a lens of what's best for the students sitting in front of us.

Across six shifts, each chapter

identifies a common instructional practice to reconsider
explores various misunderstandings that establish and keep that practice in play
shares scientific research to support its reconsideration
proposes an instructional shift to apply a new perspective, and
details several high-leverage instructional routines to support implementation of that shift.

By pinpointing gaps and overlaps - as well as common misunderstandings and missed opportunities between the competing lines of thought - Jan and Kari offer busy educators direction and clarification for integrating science and balance into their daily instruction, while keeping meaningful experiences with text a priority.

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