Read About Best Practices in Shared reading
This session explores shared reading within the framework of whole-group reading in grades K-2. You will have an opportunity to study a description and purpose for shared reading, examine the components, plan for text selection, and try out model lessons.
Shared reading (Holdaway, 1979) is a collaborative reading experience in which the teacher and the students join in reading together. It is a widely used technique that allows students to engage in the reading process, regardless of ability. Shared reading builds experience with written text, makes challenging text accessible, and strengthens problem-solving abilities.
Both the teacher and student have a role in shared reading. The teacher has the job of identifying what to teach, selecting the text, providing the introduction, and guiding the questioning and response throughout the reading. The teacher is also responsible for reading the text and modeling through a think aloud with the students. The students should be following along and joining in with the teacher, participating in discussions, working to apply strategies learned during shared reading to their independent reading.
During the shared-reading process, the teacher is gradually releasing responsibility so that the students see themselves as co-readers. Although we want to differentiate their instruction through a small group focus, there are also many times during the day when it is developmentally appropriate and advantageous for our students to participate in whole-group instruction.
Looking at the chart above, you will notice that it is on a slant. When we think about our students as learners, we must think about the progression that all effective, active learning follows. You see something done, you have a chance to try it on your own with support, and then you are ready to try it by yourself.
Shared reading falls in the framework after read-alouds and think-alouds.
During the read-aloud, the teacher is the responsible party for reading and thinking her way through the text. As we move into shared reading, the balance of responsibility begins to shift. Students have had the opportunity to see how it is done and this is their first chance to try it out on their own. The teacher is artfully crafting the lesson to provide the necessary structure to make this a successful experience.
As students leave the comfort zone of shared reading, they are challenged in small-group settings. Students are working in their instructional zone and are continuing to receive strategy support from their teacher on an as-needed basis. Small-group instruction provides students with a greater amount of responsibility for reading and applying what they have learned.
The greatest amount of responsibility comes when students are reading independently. All of the quality instruction you have provided during the read-aloud, shared reading, and small-group instruction is tested in the realm of independent reading.
Shared reading provides the opportunity for the teacher to involve the students in the text and focus on a particular aspect of it. After the teacher has been modeling think-alouds with the students during the read-aloud time, the same process will continue during the shared-reading portion of instruction. The think-aloud will help the students focus on the text. The strategies taught during shared reading are the same strategies that you teach during read-alouds and think-alouds.
As a result of shared reading, students will improve their ability to choose appropriate, interesting books for independent reading as well as their abilities in the areas of spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, and word choice.
In your classroom layout, you will want to be sure to allot a space for whole-group instruction. A carpeted area of the floor is usually the whole-group setting in primary classrooms. The teacher will need a comfortable chair and a place to store instructional materials as well as display the books to be read.
You will also want to have a variety of instructional materials on hand. You will need a basket for pointers, highlighter tape, self-stick notes in a variety of sizes, wicki sticks, framing cards/paddles, and anything else you find you need for your lessons. You will also want to have a chart or big book stand so your hands can be free to point out things in the text. Depending on your stand, you might want to keep a few clothespins handy to hold the pages in some books.
As the content of the text draws the students in, they begin to take a more active role in the reading process. When we think about our students as developing readers, we must recognize that each student is developing on their own individual timeline. Although we want to differentiate their instruction through a small group focus, there are also many times during the day when it is developmentally appropriate and advantageous for our students to participate in whole group instruction.
When we think about our students as learners, we must think about the progression that all effective, active learning follows. You see something done, you have a chance to try it on your own with support, and then you are ready to try it by yourself. During your teacher preparation training, you followed this same model. You didnt take over the whole class on the first day. You watched your cooperating teacher, you tried a few things out while she was in the room and she provided timely, on-the-spot feedback. Finally, you were responsible for all of the instruction with the whole class. These are the same principles we apply to our students in learning.
Shared reading aids the teacher in reading instruction and in writing instruction because students are able to see firsthand what quality writing looks and sounds like.
The ultimate goal of any reading instruction is for students to become independent readers and thinkers. All teachers want their students to have the ability to read, analyze, and discuss the ideas presented in books. Shared reading is a means to that end. The ultimate goal is for students to take more responsibility for their reading. It is the teachers job to show them how to take more responsibility. The teacher does this through modeled practice and think-alouds with the class.
Shared reading is a powerful medium because it gives teachers the opportunity to:
When thinking about what to teach during a shared reading lesson, you should carefully consider your students and their strengths and weaknesses. Thinking about your students and your most recent assessment information will insure that you are supporting reading development over time.
In their book Reading and Learning to Read, Vacca, Vacca, and Gove explain the shared reading process very simply. Shared reading creates opportunities for students to learn what a book is, what an expert reader does with a book as it is read, and what makes a story a story. The process has three steps:
The introduction of the story is similar to any book introduction. You will want to examine the cover and title to predict the gist of the story. Students will have the opportunity to enjoy the story the first time through. When rereading the story, invite students to participate in some way. You might want to focus on repetitive elements or chants and have them join you in the reading. Participation is voluntary and the emphasis should remain on meaning and enjoyment.
Once several stories have been introduced, ask students which are their favorites and pick those for rereading. At this stage, you should hope to see increased participation because this is now very familiar text. This is the perfect time to work with book knowledge. You can demonstrate page turning, directionality (top to bottom and left to right), and book conventions such as the front and back cover, title and title page, pictures, and captions. This is also the perfect time to work with the written conventions of language. You should teach pages, spaces between words, uses of capital letters, punctuation marks, quotation marks, and many other conventions. As the students progress with the process, you can work on comprehension strategies in more depth.
As you work through a selected text for shared reading, you might find some prompts helpful. Use the chart below for a reference of strategies to teach and the questions to drive the strategies.
Finally, you will want to encourage independent reading. Ideally, you will develop a classroom library of books that are familiar readings. Encourage students to reread books on their own. Chances are, your students will be highly motivated to do this.
Shared reading is an excellent way of immersing readers in rich, expressive language without the concern of grade level or reading performance. For the youngest students, shared reading provides a wonderful opportunity for exposure to the language of storybooks and a framework for literature and language. Reluctant and struggling readers find shared reading a non-threatening environment where they can actually practice and apply reading strategies without the concern of being responsible for reading the text.
Text options for shared reading:
When you select a specific text for shared reading, you should consider the audience. What is the teaching point(s) you are intending to pull out of the selection? Look for evidence of that skill or strategy in the book you select.
Poetry can be used to model and demonstrate the following reading strategies:
Cloze procedure is an excellent technique for the teacher to demonstrate and assist students in applying prediction and cross-checking strategies. To implement cloze procedure, the teacher prepares the poetry chart by using a self-stick note or a self-adhesive strip to conceal words at various points on the poetry chart. The teacher and the students read the poem up to the hidden word; then the students are asked to make meaningful predictions. As the students make their predictions, the teacher uses a wipe-off board to record their responses. Before the response is written, the teacher asks what letters students expect to see at the beginning of their word. Next, the first letter(s) of the concealed word on the poem are uncovered. The teacher assists students in confirming or rejecting their predictions based on the revealed letter(s). If needed, students are asked to make new predictions using the first letters of the hidden word. This technique assists the teacher in helping students apply the following reading strategies: predicting, confirming, crosschecking, and searching.
The following example illustrates the use of cloze procedure:
Teacher and students: (reading together) Fine Family
Here is the family in my household.
Some are young,
And some are____.
Teacher: (validating) Those are good guesses. They both make sense. What letters would you expect to find at the beginning of the word grown-up?
Teacher:What letter would you expect to find at the beginning of the word old?
(The teacher writes the students predictions on a wipe-off board.)
Teacher:Lets check on ourselves by looking at the first letter of the word.
The teacher reveals the first letter of the concealed word. She then points to the word grown-up on the wipe-off board.
Teacher: (pointing back to chart) Could this word be grown-up?
All:Because it doesnt have a gr at the beginning. The teacher erases the word grown-up and points to the word old.
Teacher:Could this word be old?
All:Because it starts with the letter o.
Teacher:What other letters would you expect to find in the word old?
All:l and d.
Teacher: (uncovering the hidden word) Does this word look like old?
Teacher: (activating) Does old make sense in the poem?
Teacher:Good thinking! You found two ways to help yourself. Always ask yourself when you come to a tricky part, Does it look right and does it make sense?
Phonological awareness is related to efficient reading. It focuses on helping students understand and distinguish sounds in oral language. In order to facilitate students gaining control in this area, the following activities provide explicit instruction at different levels of phonological awareness.
Levels of Phonological Awareness
The Little Turtle
For example, say: Do box and but begin the same way?
Teacher: /m/ /e/
Sound Addition or Substitution
Teacher: Say the word in.
Teacher: Put the /f/ sound in front of the word in, and tell me the new
Students develop phonological awareness (awareness that language is made up of individual words, syllables, and sounds) as a result of being exposed to oral and written language. Using poems and chants in the supportive context of shared reading can improve students' development of attending to the sounds of the phonemes that they produce or listen to in speech. The following activities stimulate the development of phonological awareness during shared reading.
Recite the Poem
Help students learn the words of the poem by reading it or reciting it for them first. As you chant the poem, emphasize the rhythm and the rhyming words. Next, reread the poem line by line and have students repeat each line back to you in unison. The initial pace will be slow. Pick up the speed as students gain mastery until a fast, fluent pace is attained. Engage students in various activities in which they can recite the poem, sing the poem, clap to the poem, and act out the poem.
Once students know the poem by heart, it can be used to teach the concept of rhyme. The following activities can be used to enhance phonemic awareness and students' sense of rhyme.
Group One:Mother Nature took good …
Group One:Of the water, land, and …
Group One:Then, careless people everywhere, hurt the earth. That's just not…
Group Two: fair.
Group One:But it's not too late, and that's good news… so Reduce, recycle and …
Teacher: What word in the poem rhymes with the word sound?
Teacher: That's right. How are these words alike?
All: They both end with the - ound chunk.
Clapping syllables assists students in separating words into parts. The following activities can help students develop control of hearing and identifying the number of syllables in a word.
Shared reading can be used to design mini-lessons that help beginning readers learn about letters, sound, spelling patterns, and words. During these mini-lessons, the teacher uses explicit language to prompt students to categorize, associate, link, and generalize information.
In the following example, a teacher directs emergent readers after the shared reading of a poem. The poem is The Little Turtle".
Teacher: Lets look at our poem about the turtle. Lets reread these four lines. (She points as the students read the second stanza.)
All: He snapped at a mosquito. He snapped at a flea. He snapped at a minnow. And he snapped at me.
Teacher: (points to the words mosquito and minnow as she says them) What is it about these two words that is the same?
Several: They start the same.
Teacher: Good checking! Yes, they do begin with the same sound. (She uses the Focus Frame Card to highlight the m in the words mosquito and minnow.) These two words start with the letter m, just like one of the pictures on our alphabet chart. Who can find it?
Student: I can! Magnet!
Teacher: Yes! (hands a pointer to the student) Mosquito and minnow do start like magnet on the alphabet chart. Go and point to that box on the alphabet chart while we read it.
All: (chanting) M, m, magnet!
Teacher:Mosquito, minnow, and magnet all begin the same. Are there any other words in our poem that start like mosquito, minnow, and magnet?
Student:Me does! Mosquito, me!
Teacher: Thats super! Me does begin with the same sound and letter as mosquito, minnow, and magnet. Use this card (hands the student an appropriately-sized Focus Frame Card) to show me what letter in the word me makes the same sound as mosquito, minnow, and magnet.
(The student frames the m in me.)
Several: They start the same.
The teacher can also activate students knowledge of the first letters of words by having them locate words in the poem that start with a specific letter. These words are placed on a chart or in a pocket chart titled Words That Start the Same". Add new words to the chart as new poems are read. For example:
As emergent/early readers begin to attend to visual information, the teacher can use the poetry sentence strips to help them reconstruct a poem. This activity can be done several different ways depending on the abilities of the students. The teacher may scaffold the task in three ways:
The teacher cuts one set of poetry sentence strips into words. Students may then rebuild the poem with the word cards using the language of the poem to help confirm visual information. The students and the teacher reread the first line of the poem. Then, the teacher distributes the word cards for that line of text. The students reassemble the text in the pocket chart, rereading as each new word is added. For students who need additional support, the poetry sentence strip may be placed in the pocket chart and the word cards placed on top of the model sentence.
To extend students' awareness of experiences with analogy, use familiar poems to help students manipulate patterns in their heads.
Teacher: Lets look at the poem that we just read. Who can find two words that rhyme?
Several:Fed and red!
Teacher:Fed and red do rhyme! Lets all say them as Charlie goes and gets the word cards out of the pocket chart.
All: Fed, red.
Teacher: Charlie, lets put those two words in our empty pocket chart. Can you tell me how those words are alike?
Charlie: They both sound alike and have the -ed chunk.
Teacher: Thats right! You noticed that fed and red both have the -ed chunk. If I wanted to write the word bed, how could I use the words fed and red to help me?
Student:You could take off the f in fed and put a b on the front.
Teacher:Good job! I can keep the -ed chunk from fed and add a b to the beginning. (The teacher quickly writes the new word, bed, on the board.) Now, lets see if bed looks like fed and red. (She points to the word cards in the pocket chart.)
Teacher: (highlights the -ed chunk in bed with a focus frame card) Yes, they do look the same because they all have the -ed chunk. Write the new word, bed, on your practice board.
(They all write and check the word bed. The teacher writes led on an index card and places it in the pocket chart with fed and red.)
Teacher:What if I were reading a story and I came to this new word? (Writes led.) How could I figure it out?
Teacher: How do you know?
Katie: Because it has the -ed chunk just like fed and red. If you put an l on the -ed chunk you get led!
Teacher:Thats super! We can use fed and red to help us with the new word, led, because we know the -ed chunk.
As you can see, shared reading builds a listening and speaking vocabulary while providing many opportunities to build literacy knowledge. Additionally, shared reading may be used to assist English language learners with understanding word meanings in a whole group setting.