Shared writing is an inclusive approach that involves all students in common, rich, authentic literary experiences. An engaging piece of writing, a teaching focus and an appropriate skill or strategy are carefully selected by the teacher, based on the needs of the students. Shared writing is an instructional approach that provides an opportunity for precision teaching. It can be used with any size group, in any content area, using any text format. The amount of student writing depends on the teaching focus, and the competency and comfort level of the students.
Students are actively involved in shared writing as teachers encourage them to use skills and strategies to suggest words and sentences, to recognize words or phrases, and to examine interesting features in the writing. They talk about the traits and the process before, during and after writing and reading. Shared writing builds on students' experiences and teachers use shared writing to involve students in literacy activities that they might not be able to do independently yet, to create opportunities fro students to experience success in writing, and to provide practice before students practice independently.
The next step is that shared writing becomes interactive writing. Students and the teacher create or compose a text as a group and the teacher assists as students write the text. Everyone participates in creating the writing and they read and re-read the text over several days to experience and to model explicitly how the writing process works. Teachers and students share their literacy expertise with each other.
Teachers use shared reading during explicit teaching, literature focus units, and thematic units. When doing shared writing, use writing pieces on the Smart Board, big books, charts, etc. so that students can see the writing and are able to "share the pen."