Balanced Literacy – TJL has been immersed in the Balanced Literacy philosophy since 2005. Through the implementation of this philosophy, along with alignment to the Common Core Standards, teachers have been changing their teaching practices to reflect new knowledge about learning and teaching. The focus has been upon improving students’ literacy achievement while creating a culture of active teacher participation in their learning. TJL students are reading and writing through a balanced literacy approach which emphasizes reading aloud, modeled writing, shared reading and writing sessions, guided reading and writing groups as well as independent reading and writing blocks of time. In conjunction with the Journeys program, these components are taught through a variety of strategies that encompass direct instructional techniques, classroom management, and assessment.