Shifting the Balance

  • Title:Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom
  • Author:Jan Burkins, Kari Yates
  • Publication Date:February 2021
  • Grade Level:K-2
  • ISBN:9781625315106
  • Publisher:Stenhouse

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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