What one strategy would you use to increase reading levels? Would you choose guided reading, reading mini-lessons, read-alouds, or test prep?
Well, okay… I know you wouldn’t choose test prep, but what about:
I’m willing to bet that the most single most effective instructional activity for reading is none other than the good old-fashioned shared reading. Actually, not “old-fashioned”. Next gen shared reading.
In this post, I’m going to show you the 6 reasons why shared reading will give you better reading results faster!
Here are the six reasons why shared reading should receive more of your instructional time in class:
But first, I want to know what you already think about shared reading. Take this 5 question quiz and see how your ideas about shared reading compare to other teachers.
Context-rich reading practice is the key to increasing reading levels. A worksheet doesn’t cut it. Neither does direct instruction. These have their place (direct instruction especially), but shared reading is a merge between direct instruction and the actual application of the reading process.
In shared reading, students are using the reading process within two contexts: instruction and text. The instructional context is when the teacher supports students, questions students, and challenges students. Using a text for instruction is when students are applying just-learned skills in an actual text.Reading is comprehension. Shared reading just simply focuses on that! #elachatClick To Tweet
Shared reading gets the most results when students are reading text beyond their independent level. You can even push shared reading slightly beyond students’ instructional reading levels. This is when shared reading promotes the quickest growths in fluency, vocabulary development, and reading comprehension.
Quick learning results occur when students are provided with scaffolding in challenging texts. What types of scaffolding are provided in shared reading that allows access to difficult texts?
Just remember, students won’t increase reading levels in shared reading if the texts are too simple. Students will increase reading levels if the texts are significantly challenging and the scaffolding is in place.
We all know that reading comprehension is impacted, for good or worse, by students’ background knowledge. Background knowledge shows up in their vocabulary knowledge, their academic knowledge, and a variety of life experiences. Shared reading results in massive increases in background knowledge.
Here’s how this happens:
In our article on What is Student Visible Learning? we discussed five ways to help students monitor their own learning during the process of learning. Shared reading also helps to make learning visible through instant and frequent feedback.
Essentially, students need to know when they make mistakes, how to correct those mistakes, and try again. Shared reading is perfect for this type of instant and frequent feedback. I can think of four types of feedback that students receive in shared reading:
In shared reading, students are reading higher levels of text. Of course, the teacher is carrying the load of print, but this can gradually be released to students. Their fluency and comprehension will increase much faster than in read-alouds or in silent reading. The results are amazing if shared reading is used frequently or daily!
Reading is comprehension. All of the activities we do in class are geared towards reading comprehension. Shared reading is effective for comprehension because is takes away the burden of decoding from the students. It allows them to focus on comprehension. Why does shared reading build comprehension?
It allows students to focus on comprehending more complex text structures and plot structures. Complex syntax and sentence structures become easier with shared reading. And the increase in fluency and vocabulary also increases comprehension.
With the right questions and scaffolded questions, shared reading can make the biggest impact on reading comprehension! Take a look at TeamTom’s drawing conclusions task cards that can be used for shared reading. They have embedded scaffolded questions to build comprehension skills.
So what do you think? How do you use shared reading? Do you think there is a better single strategy? I’d love to hear!
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