Yacks Academics

What is Balanced Literacy?

What Does ‘To,’ ‘With’ and ‘By’ Mean?

From a child’s point of view:

  • ‘To’ means, “Show me how to do it.”
  • ‘With’ means, “Help me or join me in this.”
  • ‘By’ means, “Let me read or write by myself.”

Balanced Literacy allows the teacher to form flexible groups of students for guided (To) instruction, shared (With) instruction, and independent (By) practice.

Balanced Literacy In Action

At Yacks, Balanced Literacy isn’t just a catchy phrase, it’s a way of life. Each day students participate in Shared Book, Guided Reading, and other To, With, and By instructional models in reading and writing. Our school has a comprehensive Literacy Library that houses thousands of books that support students developmental stages of language acquisition and provide teachers with multiple resources for direct and guided instruction. 

Students have ready access to the Literacy Library and can often be found browsing through the various genres to select a title for their independent reading. There are also many professional books for staff as they plan effective literacy instruction. Balanced Literacy instruction values all children as they progress through the stages of development It celebrates reading and writing through purposeful, meaningful, and authentic instruction that models the everyday impact that literacy has on our lives.

belief statements

  • The partnership between home and school is an essential and vital link in promoting life-long learners.
  • Self-esteem evolves from self-guided and responsible student decision-making.
  • All students will have an equal opportunity to receive an education that will maximize their potential through developmentally appropriate practices.
  • Students need continual support and experiences in technology.
  • Children learn best in a safe, nurturing environment that supports their social and emotional development.
  • Learning is a life-long process that should be interesting, challenging, and enjoyable.
  • The staff at Yacks follows the "Fish Philosophy" - Be There...Make Their Day...Play...Choose Your Attitude.


Analysis of the student profile helped our staff to identify areas that need improvement. Three goals were developed to provide the direction for the next two years of school improvement.

  • Balanced Literacy: Students will participate in a balanced literacy program.
  • Assessment: Students will participate in a variety of assessments. Assessments will be linked to the balanced literacy program.
  • Technology: Students will participate in a technology-rich learning environment.