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

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

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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

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?

What is Shared Reading?

Learning at the Primary Pond

Shared Reading

Shared Reading

The Teaching Texan

Shared Reading

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 with Big Books

Shared Reading

Shared Reading

Shared Reading

Kids with Capes

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?


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

  1. Penny Christensen

    Wendy, this is such an important series. To share it as we are starting back to school will help both novice and experienced teachers. I love the “we do” comparison and differentiating it from the Read Aloud.

  2. Purposeful Plans

    I am always looking for ways to improve language arts in my classroom. Your explanation of shared reading is perfect! I look forward to more posts on Balanced Literacy!

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