Shared Reading & Independent Writing


Today I wanted to share how I run my shared reading and independent writing block. Now I'm going to explain how I run it at this point in the year.  I don't add independent writing in usually until January.

We do Shared Reading period 2.
(To see my timetable click here for a peek at my week!)
We clean-up centres and meet at the carpet.
We introduce the special helper (we just go in attendance order) and the helper leads the class with the songs.  We sing two songs everyday "Do You Know Your Alphabet?" by Harry Kindergarten and "Do You Know These Letter Sounds?" by Barbra Milne.

You can click on the pictures below to view them on YouTube!

While the special helper leads the songs I pull the students who will be working on independent writing to a table.  This is a group of students who have already mastered letter names, letter sounds and most pre-primer sight words.  I pick this group based on their reading level and independent writing skills. This year I have 6 students working at this level.  

We have a routine we follow so that some of the writing is predictable and they can be as independent as possible.

It goes like this:

Monday: What did you do on the weekend?
Tuesday: A reading response from the week's close read.
Wednesday: A reading response from the week's close read.
Thursday: Comprehension check or  reading response from the week's close read.
Friday: Free Choice

I get my close reading texts and reading response questions from Deanna Jump and DeeDee Wills' Reader's Workshop units, "Guiding Readers". You can see the April version on TpT by clicking on the image below.

I quickly go over today's writing task with the group. I have them orally respond to the question so that I know they have an idea and help those who need it get started.

Usually by this time the songs are ending and I need to scoot back to the carpet to teach Shared Reading. We do a sight word poem a week. I get my poem from this resource:

The Kindergarten teacher I volunteered for my first year out of teacher's college used these poems and I have used them ever since! I have the digital version which I have converted into a SMARTNotebook file so that we can read and fill in the poem on the SMARTBoard.
This has saved me so much time because I don't have to write out the poems on chart paper every week!

We also have a schedule we follow with these poems.

Monday: Introduce the new poem/sight word.  Sing the sight word song. Learn the path of motion for the letters in the sight word.  Fill in the sight words in the poem.  Add the sight word to the word wall.

Tuesday: I read the poem pointing to each word.  Then I read a line and the students repeat.  We continue until the whole poem is read.  Then we read choral read the whole poem together.

Wednesday:  We choral read the poem again and focus on a phonics skill.

Thursday: We add actions to the words as a class and practice reading the poem with the actions.

Friday: We practice by reading girls only, boys only, JKs only, SKs only or voices like read it in your best sad voice, mad voice, happy voice, pirate voice, grandma/grandpa voice, silly voice, sleepy voice, robot voice, whisper voice, scared voice, underwater voice etc! I have cards that have these prompts and the special helper comes and picks 2 and we do those groups or voices :)

When Shared Reading is done I ask my friends working at the table to put their writing books away.  If they finish early they come and join us on the carpet for Shared Reading.  If they are not quite done they have the choice of finishing it at centre time or finishing it at independent writing time the next day.

And there you have it!
Lots of differentiated learning crammed into a short 25 minute block!

How do you teach "whole group" language?

Have a great week!


  1. You mentioned that you have a SMARTnotebook file of the weekly poems. Is this something you could share? DO you have it available somewhere?

    1. I bought the pdf version and converted it to a SMARTNotebook file on my laptop. You can google tutorials on how to do this!