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Teaching Tip: Shared Reading in Kindergarten

Shared reading provides a wonderful opportunity to guide and support students as they read aloud together from a large version of text. Our kindergarten students enter school with a wide variety of experiences with books and print. Some may already be readers, while others may have only a little knowledge of letters, sounds, words, and/or early concepts of print. As we bring them together to share a book, there will be different learning opportunities, but it is important that all students are engaged.

Here are some tips to ensure an engaging shared reading experience for all your students.

  • As you read the book and point to each word, keep your pace natural but slow enough for all readers to read with you.
  • Echo read passages students find more challenging, and choral read less challenging sections.
  • Stop several times during the reading and use the questions provided to engage students and allow them to share their thinking.

Rather than giving separate lessons in phonics and phonological awareness, shared reading can be the perfect place to integrate this instruction and ensure students apply their new learning. For example, we love using large letter cards for learning new sight words and making words. Watch Jan Richardson work with a group learning to manipulate sounds to make new words.

Are you looking to add more decodable texts into your teaching? I prefer to call them controlled texts, since at its core, all text is decodable. Shared reading is the perfect time to use controlled text! Make your own by writing some simple sentences using the phonics skill you have been teaching, along with the sight words your students know! Once you have your story, you can project it onto the screen for shared reading. Here is a link to a controlled text for short o words from our new Stepping Together Shared Reading Kindergarten kit.

Through the shared reading experience, all students have an opportunity to gain confidence and motivation for reading and writing.

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