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Readers make leaders!
Laura McClellan

Shared Reading in First Grade at Mt. Horeb Elementary School

First-grade students at Mt. Horeb Elementary are working hard to become readers! One example of this work can be seen in Mrs. Denise Walker’s class. Mrs. Walker is using an instructional strategy called shared reading to create strong, independent readers.

Shared reading is a particularly effective instructional practice for several reasons. During a shared reading, the teacher and students read the text together. This collaborative reading provides all students the opportunity to practice fluent, oral reading. Jefferson County’s adoption and purchase of Benchmark Education provides each student with consumable copies of shared reading texts. This means not only can students complete repeated readings of a high-quality text, but they can annotate the text. Mrs. Walker’s students have circled words with inflected endings (e.g. -ed, -ing). The learning is extended when Mrs. Walker draws attention to other phonetic skills that have been explored in small groups. Teaching phonics through an authentic text, like the one Mrs. Walker used during her shared reading, gives students the opportunity to apply phonics in a meaningful way.

Today Mrs. Walker’s students are ready to read independently and she is having students set a goal for themselves. Before students read, Mrs. Walker gives examples of goal setting for reading ranging from decoding unfamiliar words to reading with expression and excitement. It was thrilling to see every child in the classwork to read the text independently. Mrs. Walker creates an environment where readers and their work of reading is treasured. One of Mrs. Walker’s students exclaimed after completing the independent reading, “I did it - I read all of it by myself and I made it sound just like the characters were talking to each other!”

 Students work on reading independently.
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