The Why? The What? and The How?
Balanced literacy has been defined as “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)
It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.
Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or “pieces” of literacy instruction.
This 8-week series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaborations. A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.
The 8 components we will focus on are:
- Read Alouds
- Shared Reading
- Guided Reading
- Independent Reading
- Modeled / Interactive Writing
- Shared Writing
- Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
- Word Work
Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences, teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire.
This week: Shared Reading.
Last week we discussed Read Alouds. Week 2 is about Shared Reading.
How is shared reading different from a readaloud?
Shared reading, involves quite a bit of pausing to teach or engage kids in practicing a skill. When doing a readaloud, go through the book a bit more quickly, stopping less frequently.
The other most important difference between shared reading and a readaloud is that during shared reading, kids have their eyes on the print. During a readaloud, you may show the pictures to students, but they are not usually able to see the words clearly. Since students can see the text during shared reading, you are able to teach things like decoding more easily.
Shared reading is a part of the balanced reading model (read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading).
This is a 15ish minute block of time within that model that should be practiced daily. Simply stated it’s the “We do.” part of the gradual release model. This element is a crucial. It’s time for the teacher and students to practice together.
The READ ALOUD is done BY the teacher FOR the students.
Shared Reading is done WITH the students.
A Poem, a Big Book, A chart. Any text where the teacher and the students can see the text, and read it together.
It is important to teach what “really matters” connected to a shared text. “We always want students to leave each reading experience enriched by the language and the text because of the shared approach, so we shouldn’t find hundreds of vocabulary words and instructional opportunities in a single text.
Some of the many benefits of shared reading
- building vocabulary
- developing understandings of story structure
- demonstrating reading strategies
- entire class reads a common text
- all read the large text
- high engagement
There are many types of print for Shared Reading. Big books, charts, and poetry are some resources for teachers to read WITH students.
Here some great educators share their resources.
The main goal of shared reading is to engage students with the text. It is to share a reading experience. Everyone can read together and then participate in a rich discussion, writing, or response to the text.
In summary, a Shared Reading is a reading experience where both teacher and students read a large text, together. A chart, a poem on a smartboard, or any other BIG text, where the teacher reads WITH the students using self-questions and think aloud reading strategies. The goal is to model fluent and expressive reading. The students INTERACT with the text while reading WITH the teacher and then through discussions, writing, and/or thinking for themselves.
These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.
These resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.
I hope YOU are prepared to practice DAILY Shared Reading in YOUR classroom!
Stay tuned for next week… Week 2 Guided Reading.
Please share with friends.