Shared Reading is the second in a series of posts about Balanced Literacy elements in the classroom. In my last post, I wrote about Read Aloud with a Purpose, where the teacher reads aloud short pieces of text for a specific teaching purpose. Beside modeling reading behaviors, the teacher also thinks aloud about the text. Shared Reading is the next step; the teacher and class come together to read aloud and discuss text projected on a screen or chart paper. Shared reading is NOT the same as choral reading, which used to be common in classrooms, but now is most often used for fluency and expression practice.
In the gradual release of responsibility model, shared reading falls under “I do, you help” or “We do.” For struggling or reluctant readers, this is a powerful way to help them practice their reading skills without being singled out. The teacher’s voice leads the way, and the students join in. Depending on the text used, shared reading can be a powerful classroom community building opportunity.
The Nuts and Bolts of Shared Reading
- The text should be chosen in order to teach a specific reading strategy or lesson
- The text should be enlarged via chart paper, document camera or laptop/projector
- Students and teachers are reading together from the same piece of enlarged text; students should NOT have their own copy. Students can too easily drop out mentally from the lesson if looking at the text on their desks.
- The text should be tracked by the teacher or the student, using either a pointer (if text is on a screen or chart paper) or with a pencil or finger (if under a doc camera).
- The teacher’s voice support needs to be heard; this helps make the text accessible to all readers.
- During and/or after the shared reading, the teacher and students can discuss the text and/or the reading strategy being used.
Also, the same piece of text can be used all week long for different teaching purposes. For example, on the first day students can respond to the text; the second day, a specific comprehension strategy can be discussed, and on another day, unfamiliar vocabulary can be addressed. The text is read aloud each day by teacher and students to assist with fluency skills. Check out the sample week long plan below and click HERE for a blank copy!
Texts to use in Shared Reading
- Poems and song lyrics: These types of text are perfect for not only fluency practice, but for many lessons on theme, style, vocabulary and inferences. (Stay tuned for my next blog on shared reading lessons using song lyrics!)
- Content area text from textbooks, journal, articles: Avoid using the entire piece as a shared read; instead, use carefully chosen excerpts to make a teaching point or to focus on a comprehension strategy.
- Test and assignment directions: How many times do students start on something without bothering to read the directions? By doing a shared read, students cannot avoid these, and through discussion will have a good understanding of what they need to do.
- Cartoon strips: Depending on the cartoon, many comprehension strategies, such as inferring and context clues can be taught after a shared reading.
- Content area vocabulary words (each used in a sentence): This helps students understand how the words are actually pronounced and the meaning can be inferred via context clues.
Quotes: There are so many wonderful, meaningful quotes out there and they can foster some fantastic discussions! Using these as a shared read and discussion is a great way to start each day! Below are some of my favorites.
For students to become proficient readers, they need to participate in shared learning experiences with the teacher. Not all learning should be in isolation. Remember, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
In my next post, I will focus more on using song lyrics for shared reading, and all the fun, learning…and singing you and your students can do in your own classroom!
P.S. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a Teachers Pay Teachers freebie for you…a St. Patrick’s Day Roll-a-Math-Word Problem Story!
This is a sample from my full product, Year-Round Math Roll-a-Word Problem Stories! All you need is a pair of dice, and students can have fun rolling for their math operation, character, setting and problem. Students will use both math and writing skills by creating the word problem, solving it and then explaining their method for solving. Students can also create word problems, exchange with others and solve!
Click Here to Download!