Leap Into Literacy Kindergarten

December/January

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SHARED READING

Shared Reading is an interactive reading experience that occurs when students join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by a teacher. The teacher explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, including reading with fluency and expression.

The History of Shared Reading

Shared Reading was introduced in 1979 by Don Holdaway who explains that shared reading connects students through shared feelings and experiences. The teacher is key to encourage and support student engagement and participation, while the students gather meaning and construct knowledge. Shared reading is usually instructionally dense because it is the step in the instructional continuum just before guided reading (Burkins & Croft, 2010).

Benefits of Shared Reading:

  • Rich, authentic, interesting literature can be used, even in the earliest phases of a reading program, with children whose word-identification skills would not otherwise allow them access to this quality literature.
  • Each reading of a selection provides opportunities for the teacher to model reading for the children.
  • Opportunities for concept and language expansion exist that would not be possible if instruction relied only on selections that students could read independently.
  • Awareness of the functions of print, familiarity with language patterns, and word-recognition skills grow as children interact several times with the same selection.
  • Individual needs of students can be more adequately met. Accelerated readers are challenged by the interesting, natural language of selections. Because of the support offered by the teacher, students who are more slowly acquiring reading skills experience success.

Repeated Readings


In the shared reading model there are multiple readings of the books over several days. Throughout, children are actively involved in the reading (Yaden, 1988). Because many of the books include predictable text, the children often chime in with a word or phrase. Groups of children or individual children might volunteer or be invited to read parts of the story. Through repeated readings and the predictable text, children become familiar with word forms and begin to recognize words and phrases (Bridge, Winograd, & Haley, 1983; Pikulski & Kellner, 1992).

Purposes for Rereading

The repeated readings of the same story serve various purposes.

  • first reading- for enjoyment
  • second reading - focus on building and extending comprehension
  • third reading- Concept About Print Skill (1-1, return sweep, directionality, etc)
  • fourth reading- decoding, using the words as a starting point for teaching word id skills
  • fifth- interesting language and vocabulary

Visit A Reading or Writing Lab Site

Please remember that we continue to support your visitation to your colleagues' classrooms through our reading and writing lab sites. If you would like to visit a colleague, just reach out to your building's RDT. Think about an area of focus for your visit in order to make your time in your colleague's classroom meaningful and purposeful.

Happy Visiting!