Balanced Literacy Connection

PUSD Initiative - Vol 1 Issue 1 - March 21, 2016

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Dear Literacy Leaders:

Welcome to the first issue of our new Balanced Literacy newsletter for all school and district literacy leaders!


Below you will find Shout Outs that highlight just a snippet of the efforts we've made to shift towards Balanced Literacy. The smiles and energy in the photos below leap off the pages and demonstrate our commitment to building a culture of reading in Pasadena Unified. Please keep photos from your schools with us so we can make your efforts public.


We have also included some links you may find helpful, a list of blogs worth checking out, and some book trailers to share with teachers and students. PLUS, you will find the video Dr. Bird presented to the Board of Education to share the work that has already begun with Writing Workshop this year as a way to plant the seeds for our new Balanced Literacy initiative. We hope you enjoy!


Please let us know if there are other things you would like us to add to the newsletter in the future. Our intent is to share a new issue of this newsletter twice a month.


Wishing you a week filled with lots and lots of books!


~ Helen, Jamie, Alyson, Frances, Debra, Carmela, Ann & Jose

Keeping Our Promise: Every Child A Reader & Writer

March Balanced Literacy Goals

Let's IGNITE a Love and Culture of Reading By...

  • Supporting teachers as they plan and implement interactive read-alouds.
  • Implementing ongoing 'book talks' or 'book commercials' in classrooms and across the school.

Shout Outs

Check out how these literacy leaders are building a reading culture at their schools and across PUSD! Continue to add photos to our shared SMORE folder so we can spotlight your team's Balanced Literacy efforts.

Here's Hoping Your Read Across America Day Was Just As Exciting!!

Story : Teachers Parody of Sorry by Justin Bieber for Read Across America Day 2016

Online Food for Thought

Check out these great blogs for information and ideas to support Balanced Literacy!

Websites & Blogs Worth Following


Columbia University's Teachers College Reading & Writing Project has a collection of classroom videos on Vimeo that take you inside reading and writing workshops at various grade levels. Check them out here: https://vimeo.com/tcrwp/albums

Book Trailers: A Great Way to Share Book Commercials with Kids

Pink is for Blobfish - The Official Trailer
Space Dumplins Full Length Book Trailer
'Story Thieves' series trailer

Professional Books That Lay a Foundation for Balanced Literacy

Professional Books Coming Soon...

Important Dates

Thursday, March 31, 2016

  • District-wide PD Day


Tuesday, March 29 to Thursday, March 31 and Saturday, April 2, 2016
  • Spring Writing Institute - only for accepted Writing Workshop Project teachers - these teachers will attend this institute in the place of district-wide PD day and may sign up for either June or August Balanced Literacy Institute


Monday, June 6 to Thursday, June 9, 2016

  • Balanced Literacy Institute for All Elementary Teachers - training option 1 of 2


Monday, July 25 to Friday, July 29, 2016
  • Summer Reading Institute - only for accepted Reading Workshop Project teachers


Monday, August 1 - Thursday, August 4, 2016

  • Balanced Literacy Institute for All Elementary Teachers - training option 2 of 2


Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 5, 2016

  • Summer Writing Institute - only for accepted Writing Workshop Project teachers ~ these teachers must sign up for June Balanced Literacy Institute