Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shared Reading or Read Aloud?

I received and awesome question about shared reading and read alouds.  While I definitely do not consider myself an expert, here's my answer!

Read Aloud-to me a read aloud is just that, a time to read aloud.  I try to read aloud several times throughout the day.  I keep a book basket under my chair filled with theme books and other books that I think my class might enjoy.  Sometimes I choose the book and sometime the kids choose the book.  After reading the story the book is placed in the classroom library for students to enjoy during centers, free time or (coming soon) daily five!

Shared Reading - to me is a time when students and the teacher share the book.  I usually use a big book but I also use poems in a pocket chart or on a poster.  Since I now have an awesome smart board I also use books or poems that I project onto the smart board.  I feel that the most important thing is that the print is large enough for students to see.  If there is a book that you really want to use for shared reading that just isn't "big", you can always put the repeated text on sentence strips and put them in your pocket chart.  For example if you are using Pete the Cat your pocket chart can have I love my white shoes, I love my red, shoes, etc. *Also, I make these books available for students to read in the big book center.

My weekly shared reading format is flexible.  I don't always do everything on the same days.  It depends on the, story, the time of year, and where my students are as far as behavior and academics. Anyway, here is my flexible format!

Day 1:  Introduce Book-Identify parts of book, title, author, illustrator.  Discuss picture on the cover.  I usually only do a picture walk if the book is non-fiction.  We do make predictions based on the cover and the title.  Read the book, point to the words with a pointer, make predictions about what might happen next as we turn the pages.  After reading we discuss the book-favorite part, characters, main idea, etc.

Day 2: Question for recall.  What happened at the beginning? middle? end?  Re-read, pointing to the words,  with participation.  After reading we might do a thinking map (bubble map a character, flow map beginning-middle-end),

Day 3: Question for recall.  Choral read with students.  Choose students to come up and find words or letters that we are working on.  I have them cover the words with highlighter tape (I don't like wikki sticks in my big books, I save them for other activities).  Thinking map response to big book (sometimes we do more than one type of map for a book, it just depends on time and the skills we are focusing on.  Some weeks I don't do any thinking map responses to the book).

Day 4: Questions regarding book.  I try to ask more higher level questions rather than just recall.  Why do you think that happened?  What would you have done?  Etc.  Choral read.  On this day I choose students to point to the words on each page while the class choral reads.  It takes a while, but I ask my student of the day to point to the words on the first page, then he chooses a friend to point on the next page and so on through the end of the book.  I ask boys to choose girls and girls to choose boys.  I also ask students not to raise their hand after they have a turn.  MOST of them are very cooperative!  Sometimes we do day four on day three, especially if we are doing day four as a class book day.

Day 4 Create a class book:  Sometimes we use day 4 to create a class book.  I actually prefer to do this but sometimes, I confess, time gets the best of me.  Anyhow, I just move day 3 to 2 and day 4 to 3.  Also, we might not do a thinking map. We start the day by choral reading the book.  Then I introduce the class book.
Class book ideas:
-change the words somehow:  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Look Who's in Our Room?
Black Witch, Black Witch, Who do use see (use pictures of kids in Halloween Costumes)
-Change the pictures-re-type the text but have students illustrate the pictures (this is what we did for Brown Bear, Brown Bear last week).

Day 5:  Activities vary based on what we have done so far:
Read Class Book, if made.
Re-read book and create a thinking map whole group or in small groups
Read similar book and compare
Art project response to book

Other Ideas:
Mask words and use reading strategies to figure out the words you are reading
Read the sentence without saying the last word, allowing children to fill in when choral reading

Ok...All this typed without my glasses, please excuse any typos!  I'm sure they are there :)  Also, I know that I forgot stuff.  Somebody should start a shared reading linky party.  I would but I don't know how!  Anyhow, I hope this helps somebody!

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  1. Those are great ideas. I do a lot of that stuff too or at least I know to do it. I think blogging helps me so much because I see what other people are doing and a light goes on for me. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Forgot To ask - what are some of the thinking maps you use. I'm in need of some variety in that area.

  3. Hi!

    I awarded you with a versatile blogger award!


  4. Thanks Clair!

    Kerri, I know what you mean, keeps me from getting stuck in a rut! We do a lot of flow maps for beginning-middle-end, tree maps for characters, setting, and beginning-middle-end. Bubble map for describing characters. Also, when I'm doing a non-fiction shared reading we always start with a circle map to brain storm what we know about the topic.

  5. I love the idea to mask words in the story, I will have to try that one out! I just gave you the "I Heart Your Blog" award, come check it out!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten


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