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From Crystal Springs Books, a terrific resource for parents and teachers of our smallest students:  a booklet titled “Shared Reading Coaching Tool: 3 Days, 1 Book, 3 Times Through.”

This flip-book can be used in grades K-8 by teachers, classroom volunteers and parents and in both large and small groups.     It also includes a reproducible checklist for identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses.

Marsha Spears, the author, has the following scripted suggestions for  “Day 1” to address issues of 

  1. directionality 
  2. conventions of text
  3. comprehension
  4.  predicting
  5. picture clues
  6. self-to text, world-to-text, and text-to-text connections
  7. letter connections
  8. phonemic awareness
  9. fluency.


  • Hold Up the Book:  What can you tell about this book by just looking at the cover?  Does the cover remind you of any other book that you have read?  What do you think the story will be about?  What can you predict about the characters in the story?
  • Read the Title: Where is the title of this book?  What does the title tell us?
  • Read the Names of the Author and Illustrator:  Where is the author’s name on this book?  Where is the illustrator’s name?  What does the illustrator do in a book?  Do we have illustrations in our room?  Where?
  • Open the Book:  Where is the top / bottom of the page?  Where does the print start / stop on this page?


Read the story.  Read  slowly enough that students can use the pictures to make meaning.  Give them time to form images in their minds.  Every so often, stop to ask students to predict what might happen next.  Use picture clues to find meaning in the text.  For example…

  • Comprehension:  Close your eyes as I read this page, and see if you can picture in your mind what is happening in the story.
  • Picture Clues:  What can you see in this picture that helps you understand our story?
  • Predicting:  From what you have heard/read before, can you predict what will happen next in the story?


  • Self-to-Text Connections:  Now that you have heard the story, does it remind you of anything that has happened to you or someone you know?  How does this book make you feel?
  • Picture Clues:  Let’s go back to look at the pictures on page ___ and think about what is happening in the story.  What did you see in the picture? (Use this once or several times.) 
  • Text-to-Text Connections:  This book makes me think of ____ (another book).  What about you? 
  •  Self-to Text Connections (again):  Were you right about your predictions based on the cover of the book?
  • Phonemic Awareness:  Which two words in this line of print start with the same sound?  Can you find two words that sound alike on this page? 
  • Phonemic Awareness: Look at this word (hold up a word card, say the word and ask the class repeat it) — as I read, raise your hand when you hear a word that rhymes with it. 
  • Phonemic Awareness:  Clap the different syllables with me  in this word (e.g. “drag-on-fly”).  How many syllables do you hear in this word?
  • Phonemic Awareness:  What is the beginning sound in the word ______?  What is the middle sound in the word ______?  What is the final sound in the word ______?
  • Letter Activities:  (Point to a letter) What is this letter?  Can you find the same letter somewhere else in the room?  What sound does this letter make? 
  • Letter Activities: This word is ______.  If I cover the letter with this Post-it note and write the letter ____ on it, what is the word now (Mail turns into Sail).  
  • Letter Activities: When I say ____, what letter makes that sound?
  • Fluency:  Let’s read this sentence together aloud.  Who can read the next sentence aloud?

Locate the book, “Shared Reading Coaching Tool: 3 Days 1 Book 3 Times Through” by Marsha Spears to learn the rest of her suggestions for Days 2 and 3.  

ISBN 13:978-1-884548-67-3.  Price: $8.95.

Marsha Spears is a 30-year career teacher and administrator who has worked at elementary, middle and high school levels.  She has received many awards, including the State of Ohio Community Education Leadership Award and the South-Western City Schools Certificate of Excellence Award.  She lives in Dublin, Ohio.

Crystal Springs Books is a division of SDE, Staff Development for Educators  Visit http://www.crystalsprings.com .

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email  aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com  


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