Classroom Freebies

Susan Berkowitz’s Free Shared Reading Handout and Ideas

  • Shared reading is usually done with beginning readers, as a way to instill a love of reading, develop language and literacy skills, and provide access to a wide variety of literature.

    • Studies recommend children should be read to at least 15 minutes per day.  Many students with special needs do not get even this minimum amount.  Start with brief reading then, as attention span grows, extend the time.
  • When teachers think out loud during shared reading, they model for students how to deal with unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts, text features and structures.  Teachers need to model strategies in order for students to learn to use them.
    • Prediction is especially important. Stop throughout the story to predict what might happen next. Prediction questions increase comprehension. 
  • For students in special education who are just developing - or have not developed any - literacy skills, it is an essential classroom tool for increasing background knowledge, providing access to texts, and increasing important language skills.
  • Shared reading is not about students learning to answer questions; it is about developing a love for reading and beginning to use emergent reading skills.
    • Recognize that students may also ask questions - often the same question repeatedly.  This is because they learn language a little bit at a time, and each time your answer may mean more to them.

Have fun snuggling up with a good book.  And…….Keep on Talking.