Every week we do a lot of shared reading in our kindergarten classroom. I typically choose two new songs or poems and one or two new mini-books each week, in addition to a big book or two. The purpose of shared reading is to make texts accessible to all children, allowing them to experience what it feels like to be a proficient reader. It is a time for us to teach about the reading process and serves as a gateway to guided reading and independent reading. A focus for a shared reading lesson at this time of the year, could include, but is not limited to the following:
*concepts about print such as voice-to-print match, left-to-right reading with return sweep, reading the left page before the right, and punctuation and what it means for the reader
*using meaning, structure and visual information to solve words and comprehend
*searching and gathering information to support word solving or comprehension
*word work and word study analogies
I feel that it’s important for families to see the shared reading we do each week and to give their child a chance to read the poem, song or book to them at home. One way that works quite well is to send home a weekly Poetry and Song Notebook. This is a 3-ring binder where children keep copies of all the poems, songs and mini-books we read each week. Every Friday we pass out copies of our shared reading and give the children a few minutes to illustrate them. They are then put in the binder and sent home for the weekend. We stress the importance of bringing these binders back to school on Monday, since they are kept in the child’s individual book box and are familiar texts that children can read independently during our reader’s workshop. I take photos of the actual charts, (thanks to a great suggestion by my teammate Sam), and put those in the binders. Here are a few examples.