What is Tar Heel Shared Reader?

Tar Heel Shared Reader combines two resources:


Tar Heel Reader’s library of age and ability appropriate books


A new shared reading interface that supports adults in engaging students more actively and in constructing meaning from texts

What is Shared Reading?

Shared reading is an evidence-based intervention that can help improve language, communication, and interaction skills while building understanding of print concepts. During shared reading, adults focus on maximizing interact page-by-page while working toward helping students lead the interaction.

Instructional Practices

Follow the CAR

Follow the CAR is a way adults can remember how to support student interactions during shared reading. Adults Comment, Ask for participation, and Respond to students in a way that will encourage their participation. The goal is for students to lead the shared reading interaction by making comments and initiations on their own.

Putting the CROWD in the CAR

After students begin to make their own comments and connections, the CROWD helps adults remember to Ask for more participation during shared reading. The CROWD stands for five different ways you can Ask students to participate and interact. They are: Completion, Recall, Open-ended, Wh- questions and Distancing.

student holding a tablet and pointing at a symbol

Professional Development

A comprehensive set of free professional development modules provide training and examples of Tar Heel Shared Reader teaching practices. Each module requires between 45-60 minutes to complete. Various formats allow for flexibility in order to best meet scheduling needs.

student and teacher choosing a book on tar heel reader

Teaching and Implementation Supports

Everything you need to start using the Tar Heel Shared Reader approach with your students. Here you will find school guidance documentation, implementation supports, and self-reflection and observation forms to support learning, discussion, and feedback.

student sitting at a table with a book in front of him

Shared Reading Bibliography

An annotated bibliography of the research used to create the Tar Heel Shared Reader approach.

ideas that work logo

This site was produced under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H327S160016. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or polices of the Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. This product is public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted.