Sunday, November 8, 2015

Shared Reading

The school year has begun, assessments are completed, and you have already set up your classroom structures and routines. Hopefully, you have had plenty of time to foster relationships with your students and build a classroom community.

Now you’re ready to think about the needs of your students. You may find you have many students with (many different) various academic needs. Some students may know a few letters, some the whole alphabet, and some may even be reading! You many think, “ How am I going to reach all of these kids, and where do I begin?

I would suggest we start with two things; shared reading and interactive writing.  For this post, I am going to share with you a five-day format to use during shared reading time.

What is shared reading?

When thinking of shared reading, you may think of “big books” that you share with your classroom and students can read. Shared reading is an interactive read aloud that supports students in their reading development. The teacher reads big books to model fluent, expressive reading and the use of effective reading strategies with a text that is slightly above their independent level.If you have a way to enlarge a book on a screen in your classroom that would work too. 

An easy way to think about shared reading is:
I do
We do
You do

Students gather on the carpet to read a big book together.  Each day of the week something different happens with that book that teaches students something important about the process of reading. Implementing shared reading on a regular basis is a great way to meet the diverse needs of students in your classroom. Students are successful during this time due to the high level of scaffolding the teacher provides.  When teachers revisit the text each day, the scaffold should lessen with students doing more of the work.

Below is a suggested five-day format to use. I think it is important for you to decide on the needs of your students and grade level.  I first learned about this format last spring when I attended a Teacher College Reunion workshop called Shared Reading, Shared Writing, and Interactive Writing Make a World of Difference: Maximize these Components of Balanced Literacy by Lindsay Barton.  The newly published units of study from TCRWP have a fantastic layout for kindergarten, first and second-grade classrooms.

Shared Reading- Weekly Structure

Begin with an anchor chart that connects to the teaching you will do that week. Here are some examples of some anchor chart:
Jen Serravallos book  Reading Strategies  is an excellent resource to have!  

Day 1- Word solving and comprehension

cover 4/5 words 

Day 2- Cross-checking
You want to model checking your reading when you’ve made an error and also when you have solved a word correctly.

Day 3- Word Study
Snap words (word wall words)
• Study phonics
• Grow new vocabulary
• Connect what we know about words
to our reading.

Day 4- Fluency
Reread texts with words automaticity and fluency. Reading not too fast and not too slow. Make the words flow in BIG scoops, not one word at a time. Use your smoothest voice to read together. I’ll listen and help only if you need it. Ready? Go!

Day 5- Interactive writing- write about the text, grand conversation, readers theater, write letters recommending the book, add speech bubbles to the book.

We think Super Mouse is thinking...

I think shared reading develops a sense of “togetherness” in a classroom community. The choral reading of the text is powerful. You can hear confident readers. From many conversations,  I have had with primary teachers they feel that this five-day format is revitalizing their shared reading time and giving them a stronger structure to their teaching.  I hope you try it in your classroom too! Let me know what you think!

What to learn more about shared reading?
Read It Again! by Brenda Parks


  1. I've been using shared reading in first grade for 20 years. I like your five-day format. I'll definitely look at that and see how to improve upon what I already do. Thanks!

  2. Great Post! I love the template...thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing ... I love when my Bloglovin' has a post from you!

  4. Thank you for all of your positive comments! Melissa

  5. This template looks perfect! It makes it should make it easy to remember what to do each day so that I'm not guessing when I go to start my reading!

  6. Melissa,
    I am glad you can use it! Happy weekend! Melissa

  7. Melissa,

    On Monday do you just take guesses on the post it note? Do you uncover then or do you wait until Tuesday when you do the cross checking?


  8. Tracey,
    We take them off on Monday. When students give you suggestions on words you can write them on a post-it, when you look under the covered word I usually do it letter by letter. The students will quickly yell out if the worded they guessed is correct or not. When you cross-check on Tuesday, that is almost like a teacher think aloud...let's cross check and see if that word is dog. I hope that makes sense. Happy tuesday. Melissa

  9. Melissa,

    Thanks so much for responding. Are you still using the same book though? Because if we have already read the book then they would know that, right? I did day one today and surprisingly they came up with most of the right answers! I just wrote them down on the post it since I wasn't sure about day 2.

    Thank you so much sharing this series! I love it and it's really helping me in my classroom. I also love, love the transitional words to the schedule. We read our schedule every morning and I loved adding them to it.

  10. Hi Traci,
    Make sure you use the same book every day for the whole week. It is okay if they get the word right but encourage them to give you lots of words that it could be. Try to write them down on a Post-it...this is a teaching time because you are teaching them words that could make sense in the spot and then you are cross-checking to see if you got it right. On the second day I think of that as a think aloud...your modeling the things that you want them to be doing when they read. I am not sure what grade but think about what level the majority of your kids are, and try to go up one level. I will do a post soon that will break down a whole book with just one week. Happy Wednesday! Melissa

  11. I meant to say grade you teach!

  12. Love the book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", the book is big, colorful, repeated words and have the alphabets.


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