Sunday, September 10, 2017

A New Perspective on Shared Reading

I recently completed a 6-week online course that gave me a new and updated perspective on shared reading.

Here are a few of the important points I took away from the study:

1) Read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading share equal roles and hold equal importance in the teaching context because they offer students experiences with different levels of text. When you leave one context out, then students miss out on the experience at that particular level. This does not just apply to kindergarten. It matters for upper grades too.

2) Shared reading acts as a bridge between read-aloud and guided reading. It serves as a scaffold for the students as they work out the process of reading for themselves.

3) Moving from read-aloud (the model) to guided reading with little to no shared reading creates too big of a jump to the next reading level because students lack exposure to texts they are growing.

4) A new generation of shared reading exists. Rather than simply reading a big book together in a singsong fashion the teacher stops at strategic points to draw students into conversation, to assist students in working through tricky parts, to reflect with them on strategies used, and to discuss how they figured out challenging words.

5) Shared reading can prime students for guided reading. It can be used to present upcoming vocabulary and text features for guided reading lessons. It can also save small group instruction time by building background knowledge for upcoming guided reading lessons.

Shared reading is an instructional context that helps you get the most "bang for your buck." It tends to be eliminated from the curriculum too early and is far to underused in classrooms. 

For more on next generation shared reading, what it looks like, and all of its benefits check out Who's Doing the Work? How to Say Less so Readers Can Do More by Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris.

I also highly recommend their 6-week online book study. It was a great tool for working through the book. Learn more about the course here.

I also recommend this book to help you in revitalizing shared reading in your classroom. Check it out here.