In the 70’s Don Holdaway developed the ‘Shared Reading’ strategies, which combined the powerfully positive context of bedtime/lap story reading with literacy instructions designed to promote active problem solving. According to Holdaway, in a shared reading experience, there is a bonding between the expert and novice readers.
Shared reading is an important component of any primary classroom. It involves:
- Read-along reading
- Whole group activity – text seen by all
- Consolidating emerging reading strategies
- Re-reading independently
The benefits of ‘Shared Reading and Writing’:
- Experiencing the joy of reading
- Drawing attention to the details of the text
- Providing systematic and explicit instruction
- Children see themselves as readers and writers
Lillah and I thought it was time to rejuvenate the ‘Shared Reading and Writing’ practices of the past. We used ‘big books’ and pocket charts all the time with our students. They are excellent tools to develop early literacy skills, engage students in meaningful text and explore language in playful ways. The journey from a ‘big book’, to a pocket chart, to independent writing is one that will help many children learn to read and write. Check out your libraries to find the shared reading materials and bring them into your classrooms. Enjoy and have fun together with your students.
‘Even the most generous lap cannot hold 20 children, so big books were created.’