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by Beth Poss
This article was originally published by Beth Poss at Lessonpix.com 2021.
Shared Reading is much more than just a read aloud. This evidence-based strategy focuses on the interactions between adults and learners as they read with the purpose of building language and literacy skills. During shared reading, adults explicitly model reading behaviors and engage learners in discussions about the text, including features of the print, illustrations, and the content being read.
Interactions between adults and learners are a critical part of shared reading, including opportunities for questioning, responding, and discussing before, during and after the read aloud. Research on shared reading indicates that it is an effective component of reading instruction supporting the development of emergent literacy and language skills. (Erickson and Koppenhaver, 2021) Shared reading has a positive outcome on vocabulary, language, and phonemic awareness with students with and without disabilities (Davie and Kemp, 2002), (Fisher, Lamp, Frey 2008). This powerful strategy involves reading with (not to) students and connecting content to their personal knowledge and experiences.
But what kind of questions should educators ask? How do we engage learners with significant disabilities or complex communication needs in a meaningful discussion about a text?
To know where to begin, let’s learn how to “Follow the CAR” and “Put the CROWD in the CAR”. These two approaches structure shared reading for dialogic interactions with open-ended questions and comments that promote discussion and participation. (Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium, 2016)
Readtopia, the comprehensive curriculum program from Don Johnston, Inc, provides high-interest leveled chapter books for emergent through conventional readers. Readtopia supports learners at all levels in developing the language skills needed to support comprehension. The Story of Dr. Dolittle, a text from the Upper Elementary Thematic Unit Birds, Mammals and Reptiles, is well suited to using both Follow the CAR and Put the CROWD in the CAR strategies during shared reading of the text.
To help engage learners consistently in strategies such as Follow the CAR and Put the CROWD in the CAR in a manner that is meaningful, educators can utilize a set of open-ended, predictable questions that can be asked and accessed in a fun and game-like manner, using custom printed dice or a digital spinner from LessonPix.
Beth Poss M.A., CCC/SLP, M.S Education, is the Director of Educational Programs at LessonPix. She is an educational and technology consultant and former assistant principal. Areas of special interest include the Use of Technology in Early Childhood, Designing Inclusive Learning Environments, Supporting Social-Emotional Learning to Promote Academic Success and Culturally Responsive Teaching.
Join us for a webinar with Beth Poss and Jeanmarie Jacoby