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Reader’s Workshop MiniSeries: Episode 4: Shared Reading *Freebie!

It’s Episode 4 of my Reader’s Workshop miniseries! Today is an important piece of Reader’s Workshop: Shared Reading.

Shared reading is a valuable tool! During a shared reading experience, each person in the room has access to the text you’re reading. This means that each student can have a copy, such as in a classroom set of books, copies of an article, or a text from the textbook, or the text (if short and font-sized large enough) can be projected or on a chart. This works especially well when it’s a poem.
I use my scope & sequence to choose the genre of the text and I make sure that the specific skills or strategies we are going to practice are included in the text. I include the following components in a shared reading lesson:

Text Introduction
Introduce your shared reading text. This is a good time to activate background knowledge and make predictions based on the features of the text. Prompting students about the features of the text genre is valuable too. Anchor charts help support student’s recollection of these features.

The more pre-reading you do with students, the more they are invested in reading the text.
Introduce/Model Strategy

Strategy instruction is the heart of Reader’s Workshop. Of course, we have to integrate this with our standards and make sure that those are explicitly taught as well. Focusing on one thing at a time can help. Then you can teach students to use these things together to create an in-depth understanding of the text. 

Purpose Question
I find that a great way to align instruction with standards and to hold students accountable is to establish a purpose question before reading. I chart the question and, as we read, we are looking for evidence to respond to the question. I try to align the question with the strategy we are practicing. For example, if we were using the chart above about making inferences about Ruby Bridges, my question would be something requiring students to make an inference about her character. For example:
– What word best describes Ruby and why?
– How did Ruby change from the beginning of the story to the end?
– Which characters supported Ruby and how?
– How can you describe the relationship between Ruby and her teacher?

Questioning to support the strategy

As you’re reading, model the strategy, but also provide opportunities for students to think about their reading. One great way to do this is by providing some open-ended questions for students to respond to. They think and share their thinking, gradually coming to a deeper understanding about the text.
Student Response Methods

We want students to respond in different ways: verbally, written, or even dramatically! Carefully choose a response method for your students to address the strategy and the purpose question you created. This could end up in their reader’s notebooks as an assignment you evaluate.

We want students to practice their strategy in their independent reading text. This means we set a purpose for reading aligned to a strategy we need them to practice. This could take the form of a question, a foldable to create, a handout to fill in about their book, or a notebook response about their reading for that day.
To help you get your Reader’s Workshop ready & rolling, here’s a seven-page Reader’s Workshop Freebie Sampler from my Rolling Out Reader’s Workshop!

Check out the other “episodes” in the Reader’s Workshop MiniSeries:

For my complete Reader’s Workshop Pack, visit my TPT store!

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One Comment

  1. You are awesome on sharing this idea of "Shared Reading" to us educators. Reading was one of the hardest parts on my career 4 years ago, cause not all my students love to read. To encourage them to read, I introduced them to different pictures and asked them what the picture was. From then, my students started to read books…

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