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Components of a Balanced Literacy Block K-2


Literacy can and should be integrated into all subject areas – it doesn’t have to be restricted to a few hours in the morning!

Here are the components of a balanced block:


Possible Schedule for ELA block


(This is a flexible, working document)


2 -1/2 hours


Whole Group Instruction:



 (I do, we do)


Using the CCSS and Journeys materials cover foundational skills, decoding, word study, comprehension,  vocabulary, genres, text structures, read aloud, writing about reading (integrate writing when possible), etc


**2 selections/week need to be read and the “close reading” activities of digging deeper demand that both selections are read.


Integrate science/ social studies-several selections are connected to science and social studies standards. 

Small group instruction/

Independent  reading


(ARC/Journeys materials)

(we do, you do)


Teacher meets with groups daily on word study (phonemic awareness, phonics, patterns and vocabulary), comprehension, fluency, and individual ARC conferencing. As you confer with students (small group/individual) the class should be;


In literacy centers including reading, writing, words study, vocabulary, fluency, research, etc. that review skills. You may choose to use the centers provided by Journeys, your own, or both.


Reading ARC steps if you do not have a separate time scheduled for ARC


*BSI rooms forgo a center to meet twice for LLI in addition to regular instruction. Students receive 2 ARC steps for LLI

*All reading counts as steps

Centers/Word Study Groups

Skills introduction done in whole group or you can keep it separate if you are differentiating-depending on your class

Writers Workshop/Grammar

(45-1 hour)


10-20 min:

Introduce writing genre, read mentor text, mini-lessons

15-30 minute independent writing with conferring

 5 minute closure/share (important component)