How do you schedule a literacy block? It’s the key question to planning effective reading instruction. We all know there’s not enough time in the day to teach every strand of reading skills each day. The solution is streamlining the balanced literacy block (here are a few literacy block schedules to help and a sample 120-minute literacy block schedule here).
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about scheduling literacy block.
Plus, we’re sharing sample literacy block schedules for you to download (see below)!
We invite you to browse the literacy block ideas in the FAQs, and then take a moment to add to the discussion in the comment.
FAQ About Literacy Block:
1. Make time for spiral review
2. Plan for Ready Alouds / shared reading
3. Whole Group Mini-Lesson
4. Small Group Instruction
It’s a balance of language and literacy skills: foundational reading skills, engaging with complex texts, learning comprehension/thinking strategies, and writing.
Usually, when this question is asked, we’re really asking about differentiated practice time. That’s an important part of the overall literacy block, and it can include:
A. Arranging student desks in groups of four to six.
B. Set up a classroom library.
C. Designate a reading area for silent reading.
D. Set up a writing center with writing tools, computers, and resources.
E. Create a research center, which could also be in the class library or writing center.
F. Setup a listening center. For many students, literacy requires building background knowledge and listening comprehension skills.
There are many components of a balanced literacy lesson (or reading workshop), but some programs summarize them into four. They are the connection, the teach (demonstration), the active engagement, and the link. (Source: Massachusetts Dept of Education)
It creates a structure in the reading classroom, so the most important skills, strategies, and activities can be practiced within a daily routine. A literacy block should provide a balanced program of literacy instruction including a variety of teaching/learning approaches to support reading and writing. (Source: Research Gate, 2021)
1. Read to Self
2. Work on Writing
3. Read to Someone
4. Listen to Reading
5. Word Work
Two More Things
- Don’t forget to grab the free literacy block sample schedules below!
- If you have an idea to share or we missed a question that you have about literacy blocks, drop it in the comments below.