What is shared reading?

Girls and boys enter our early elementary classrooms eager to engage with books and to become readers themselves. When implemented effectively as part of a balanced approach to literacy, Shared Reading is an extremely powerful instructional strategy that can help our students to achieve that critical goal!

Shared Reading is a powerful strategy.

Credited with creating the Shared Reading approach is principal Don Holdaway of Auckland, New Zealand. After a series of tsunamis that devastated outlying islands drove children and their families who had become displaced to his school, Mr. Holdaway, and his teaching staff were faced with the opportunity to teach boys and girls whose spoken language had no written alphabet and who were not readers in their own home language, let alone the new language that they were being instructed in!

Challenged, they reflected on how they helped their own sons and daughters to understand print and books. From there, they determined that the ‘bedtime story’ experience needed to be recreated as the perfect starting point, and Shared Reading was born!

What is shared reading?

Using big books and poems with text large enough for everyone to easily see, Shared Reading is the perfect instructional strategy for children to be supported in developing a love of reading, as well as knowledge of Concepts About Print (CAP), phonics & phonemic awareness, confidence in reading and so much more.

To learn much more about Shared Reading, how to balance Meaning, Visual and Structure within every Shared Reading experience in your classroom, and how to develop a practical, immediately useful Shared Reading plan, watch our webinar “Shared Reading: Use ‘Big Books’ and ‘Poems’ to Build the Bridge to Independent Reading by Jodie Shell.

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Get practical insights and ideas as a superintendent, principal, teacher or parent into helping our children overcome language barriers.