Summer Institute- Passionate about Reading!
Twenty-five teachers and administrators participated in the Summer Literacy Institute at Saluda County Schools, facilitated by Dr. Abbey Duggins, Director of Curriculum and Instruction.
The Literacy Institute focused on the components of balanced literacy, a teaching framework which includes: small-group guided reading, whole-class shared reading, word work, read alouds, literacy centers, and shared writing. “The components of balanced literacy work together to create a strong foundation of literacy skills for our students,” stated Dr. Duggins.
Just as the name implies, balanced literacy instruction strikes a balance between both whole language and phonics. The strongest elements of each are incorporated into a literacy program that aims to guide students toward proficient and lifelong reading. In a balanced literacy program, students see reading and writing modeled, share in the reading and writing with the teacher, are coached, practice independently, and are actively engaged in word study.
Balanced literacy is not a new instructional approach. One of the primary goals of the Summer Literacy Institute was to support teachers who are new to Saluda County Schools in developing their understanding of what literacy instruction looks like in our schools. Kristan Mitchell and Lori Koon, new second grade teachers at Saluda Primary School, along with Kim O’Dell, who will be teaching first grade, shared that while they were familiar with this teaching approach, the Literacy Institute provided them a chance to dig deeper into the district’s pacing guides and work with colleagues to determine ways to engage students and use literacy assessments to meet their students’ individual reading needs. The teachers were excited about the coming school year and said, “We just want our students to feel passionate about reading.”