Tag Archives: Close Reading

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

We get a “Literacy” DO-OVER : Shared Reading

And a FREE Balanced Literacy resource to help you get STARTED

2023 is the Year of LITERACY!

 Because 2022 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Keep reading to the bottom of this post for a FREEBIE

Freebie for Followers

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

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)

Fountas & Pinnell have been the guiding resource for Balanced Literacy. Today we listen.

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 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 collaboration.

A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. 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. Start 2022 with the plans to implement BALANCED LITERACY!

This week:   Shared  Reading.

Last week we discussed Read Alouds. This week is about  Shared Reading.

How is shared reading different from a read-aloud?

Shared reading, involves quite a bit of pausing to teach or engage kids in practicing a skill. When doing a read-aloud,  go through the book a bit more quickly, stopping less frequently.

The other most important difference between shared reading and a read-aloud is that during shared reading, kids have their eyes on the print. During a read-aloud, 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.

Learning At the Primary Pond  

Shared reading is a part of the balanced reading model (read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading).

It 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 crucial.  It’s time for the teacher and students to practice together.

Mrs. Richardson’s Class

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.

Shared Reading vs Read Aloud


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.

What is Shared Reading?

Learning at the Primary Pond

Shared Reading

The Teaching Texan

Shared Reading

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

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, 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-question 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.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

These resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.

Shared Reading with Big Books

Shared Reading with Big Books

Shared Reading

Shared Reading

Kids with Capes


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.

Leave me a comment…How do YOU use Shared Reading in YOUR classroom?


Freebie for Followers






Close Reading 101


What exactly is CLOSE READING??

You mean I need to “scoot forward” and put my glasses ON?

You mean I should put my glasses ON?

NO, silly!  It’s a reading strategy for gaining information from a reading source.

Here are some helpful resources:

Some blogger friends have great information, also.

We Are Teachers has a great blog post

 “What Exactly Do We Mean By CLOSE READING Anyway?

My friend, Susan Jones, explains how to do

Close Reading on First Grade

And, 1stgradefireworks can help with

Reading is the 1 Predictor of Academic Success

When doing research…

when I  need more reading information,

just ask  PINTEREST!

From HANNAH @ The Classroom Key



From Jen @ Teacher Karma


and from

Kristine @  Young Teacher Love

She has a GREAT blog post about


Gotta know YOUR standards!


Susan Jones SAYS…

What is Close Reading? by Susan Jones

It’s a chance for students to ask/answer questions by returning to the text for answers.

We want them to INTERACT with the text.

Reread, highlight, use sticky notes, etc.

and then use the text for answers.

Close Reading is not about the PHYSICAL PROXIMITY to the text!
It’s about diving INTO the text for answers to prominent questions ABOUT the text!

WOW!  Finding out their own answers to questions AND being able to “PROVE IT?”


Just imagine the writing that can be created from a CLOSE READING lesson?

Writer’s Workshop in…FIRST GRADE???? Breathe…YES, YOU CAN!

What a prominent strategy to use in a BALANCED LITERACY CLASSROOM!

What is a BALANCED LITERACY Classroom? This resource will show YOU!


Balanced Literacy in First Grade! Let’s start with READ ALOUDS!

Here is a little FREEBIE

from ME  to  YOU!



 Have YOU tried CLOSE READING? Leave me a comment and let me know how it went! 🙂
Wendy   1stgradefireworks