Do you use shared reading in your classroom? Shared reading is such a simple routine that you can work into your whole group time. It is one of my favorite ways to engage my students in reading.
“Shared reading enables all children, regardless of their reading levels, to have enjoyable literacy opportunities every day.” – Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell
This quote from Fountas and Pinnell sums up why I love this routine. Shared reading allows every student to be successful with reading a text at the same time. This is a powerful enough experience to make it worth it, but this isn’t the only benefit. Simple as it is, shared reading packs a big instructional punch!
So, what is shared reading?
Shared reading is a whole group teaching routine that is exactly what it sounds like: a teacher shares a brief text with students, and they all read it together.
Typically, the text is short (like a poem), and is a little too hard for students to read independently. There may be a few new vocabulary words or phonics patterns.. But, after hearing the teacher read aloud the text a few times, the students can join in and read along. Everyone is put on the same playing field. Everyone is reading at the same time (while also learning some new things along the way)!
This shared reading poem is from Little Readers January. It is too difficult for students to read on their own, but it’s highly engaging because it relates to our book for the week.
It also features multiple sight words we have learned and rhyming words; both skills we might highlight throughout the week.
What does shared reading look like in the classroom?
You can make this shared reading routine completely your own, but these are the steps I typically follow!
1.) First, introduce the text and read it aloud to your students. Point out tricky words or patterns you’re studying.
2.) Read the text together. You can do this in chunks before trying to read the entire thing at once to help students be successful with the text.
3.) Then, discuss the text. Review unknown vocabulary. Point out how this text ties in with your theme or focus for the week, etc.
4.) Read it again! You can read it again that day to wrap up the lesson, and then bring it back out throughout the week to continue to build fluency with the text.
We read our shared reading poem every day. Students will add the poem to their own poetry folders:
As we find sight words on our class poem, students can highlight them on their personal poems. They will work on comprehension by drawing what they visualize while reading the poem.
Toward the end of the week, students also get their own paper reader of the poem to add to their book boxes.
Students get to circle focus words and color their readers. They love to practice reading these to a friend during literacy centers or independent reading time! Book boxes are always an option during our literacy centers.
Why is shared reading so important?
Because these texts are often read more than once, they are the PERFECT fluency builder! Repeated readings are a highly effective way to improve student fluency. Save your texts in journals or binders. Your students can re-read them all year long!
When our students come to us in kindergarten, their levels of print awareness can really vary! For those students who may not fully grasp the way that a text is organized yet, shared reading gives them extra exposure to those skills. They can see where their voice must stop, that the text is grouped in a certain way, etc.
Model Fluent Reading
Unlike a read aloud of a full book, students know that they will soon to be asked to read a shared read with you. They will mimic the way that you read it: your inflection, your pace, your cadence. This gives you the opportunity to model what fluent reading sounds like so your students have the opportunity to sound the same way!
Support Readers of All Levels
This routine gives every student a successful reading opportunity, every day! The routine of shared reading is highly guided, so even students with vastly different reading levels are given the same chance to read the same text, the same way, at the same time. This boosts confidence and gives even your struggling readers a positive experience with reading that day.
Covers a Variety of Skills
Just like any read aloud, a shared reading text can hit on a variety of skills! Choose how many you want to review in a week, or focus on the same one each time you reread the text. Use your shared reading text as a phonics focus lesson, or to review something you’ve been learning in reading that week.
Are you looking to get started with shared reading, but aren’t sure how? My Little Readers Kindergarten Curriculum comes with poems and brief texts in each unit! Introduce the routine of shared reading to your kindergarteners, and watch their reading fluency improve!