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What is Shared Reading?

Shared Reading is a great opportunity to come together as a class. It helps to promote fluency, and brings the reading and writing components together. Let's look closely at the mechanics of Shared Reading.
What is Shared Reading?

Shared Reading is an important part of your comprehensive literacy block and the gradual release of responsibility. It is to be done daily for about 10 - 15 minutes a day. It is called “Shared Reading” because it is visible for the whole class, and the teacher reads it aloud as the students follow along. This helps students to see and hear what good reading looks and sounds like, while following along.

What do I do during Shared Reading?

As the teacher, you are in control of the lesson. You focus the lesson and may still do some modelling of what good reading looks and sounds like.

What do students do during Shared Reading?

Students are not as passive in Shared Reading as they are in Read Alouds. They will read with you, answer questions, take part in accountable talk, and may even do responses based on what was read.

How do I know what to teach during Shared Reading?

At the beginning of each week, you introduce a new text to examine with your class. On the first day, PREVIEW the text. Ask questions that will spark students thinking and have them predict what they think the text will be about.
The next 3 days of Shared Reading, you focus on introducing a Word Work Concept and Comprehension Questions.  This is a time for students to spend discussing with their classmates about the text.  Focus on those higher level thinking questions: Inferring (1.5), Connecting (1.6), Responding to and Evaluating Texts (1.8).
Routine is key in Shared Reading.  Remember - you are building upon concepts. You don’t want to just do it all in one shot, and then have students answer questions. You want to build over the course of a week.

How do I assess Shared Reading?

Shared Reading is not something that students are reading independently.  It is considered an ORAL TEXT, because it is something that is read aloud to them.  
For example, if you look at The Oral Communication Expectations 1.4: Demonstrate Understanding “demonstrate an understanding of the information and ideas in ORAL TEXTS by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of important ideas and supporting details.” Oral Texts are Shared Reading and Read Aloud texts.
However, the Read Aloud Texts and Shared Reading Texts are essential components to the gradual release of responsibility. You work with your students about what good reading looks and sounds like. You also focus on an area of comprehension, (ie inferring) and you introduce it as your learning goal. Through your Shared Reading and Read Aloud texts, model HOW to answer questions on your area of focus, and build your success criteria.  Then, thread it throughout your literacy block.  Ask students open ended questions around this comprehension strategy in both Guided and Independent Reading.  These, you can assess as Reading, because it is something that the students are ACTUALLY reading.

So remember, when you are assessing Shared Reading, you are assessing Oral Communication, NOT Reading.
For great Shared Reading products that align with Grade 4, 5, and 6 Ontario curriculum, click HERE!

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