Shared Reading with TEAMS

Full STEAM Ahead
with all power or resources being used



TEAMS is what happens when you blend an almost to retire Teacher (Mrs. C) with a medically and mentally complex little boy named Mac. Mac has hidden brilliance and became Mrs. C’s ultimate challenge in her final years of teaching Kindergarten at the Little School that Could in the Little Town That Would.

Add a mother of 12 children experienced in complex medical, mental health and educational needs of children with differences, whose husband is a surgeon.

Then stir this up with a Tinkergarten leader who is also a book designer, curriculum developer, and dog trainer!

Together we believe in STEAM Powered Kids.

Furry is a true story about a real child.

The story reaches out to all ages and stages of readers. Furry – The Little Penguins That Could is designed to be a Shared Reading opportunity for children in schools, day programs, and homes. Children learn through play. Furry is playful, can be silly, and meant to be enjoyed. Shared reading creates a sense of togetherness in the classroom or at home. It empowers children to become peers and support partners.

Shared Reading is an interactive reading experience and it happens when students share reading a book while supported and guided by a teacher, friend, or caregiver. The “Reader” models reading with expression and fluency. The child connects as he or she communicates with the story.

As you will learn in Mac’s life, he connected through a stuffed penguin.

Shared reading supports and encourages emerging readers to participate while listening and understanding the story. The Furry -The Little Penguins That Could Shared Reading Curriculum is designed to enhance the love of
reading through listening, playing, and participating with others.

The thirty chapters in this 204-page book stand-alone or can be read together. Each chapter is between 4-15 minutes of reading. Written above the reading level of many 3 to 8-year-olds, shared reading of this 30
chapter, fully illustrated book allows children to participate in a challenging reading
experience regardless of ability. Children will get a sense of accomplishment. Main
Readers will discover each curriculum chapter is filled with ideas to create
a classroom that bridges friendships, promotes acceptance of differences, and
includes everyone.

Furry provides chapter videos and links to help the main readers develop skills. We offer creative learning ideas for art projects, listening, talking, singing, movement, and playing games to build a love of reading.

Furry curriculum is designed for children ages 3-8 in three developmental reading levels:

  1. Emergent readers.
  2. Beginning conventional readers.
  3. Conventional readers.

Emergent readers are individuals beginning to grasp the basic concepts of book and print. Shared reading of this book with emergent readers is engaging and multi-sensory. If a child is showing interest,
asking a question, or making a statement take the time to engage the child.

Emergent readers are encouraged to:
• Talk about the story.
• Look and talk about the picture.
• Enjoy the reading experience.

Emergent readers are learning the alphabet. Research has shown that learning the UPPERCASE letters first,
which have more variation leads to better understanding and allows for the transition to learning lowercase letters while developing many phonological awareness skills. These skills include recognizing phonemes (sounds that each letter makes), syllables, and rhyme. As they progress they begin to learn sound/symbol relationships starting with consonants and short vowels. This is why many emergent reader books contain CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, rhyming words and high-frequency words (Dolch/Fry words). When searching for books for early emergent readers look for concepts of interest to the person, large print with wider spacing, natural language and picture support of the story. Often these books have carefully controlled text, repetitive patterns, and limited text on a page.

Furry – The Little Penguins that Could is an introduction to a larger more robust reading experience to encourage children to develop the love of reading and listening to reading. Children move towards a more conventional understanding of literacy as they have the means to interact and communicate. Over time the student knows most of the letters much of the time and actively engages during shared reading.
We have also included empowerment sheets designed for children with lo-vision.

Beginning conventional readers have a grasp of the alphabet, phonemes, and early phonics. They also know
many high-frequency words. Books for emergent readers will have more lines per page, contain less repetition,
patterns, and pictures. Again focus on books that hold the child’s interest to make deeper discoveries and create
a love for reading.

Beginning conventional readers may share in some of the reading as they recognize a word, number, or symbol they already know. Recognizing and sharing is a time of celebration for accomplishments. Furry has created games to play to encourage enjoyment for beginning conventional readers.

Conventional readers are able to read, decode, and write. Furry’s wish for you is that he and all his
friends with their adventures and antics will bring you a joy-filled reading experience with TEAMS.

Ask yourself does the student:
Know most of the letters most of the time?
Engage actively during shared reading?
Have a means of communication and interaction?
Understand that writing involves letters and words?

If Yes, apply daily conventional interventions
• Guided Reading
• Word Identification and Decoding
• Writing
• Independent Reading
• Communication with symbols and spelling

If No, apply daily emergent interventions
• Shared Reading
• Predictable Chart Writing
• Alphabet & Phonological Awareness
• Independent Writing with access to the full alphabet
• Independent Reading
• Symbol-based Communication (with few exceptions)

If you have a class of students at both the Emergent and Conventional levels, use the combination of
interventions as described below:

Combined Emergent and Conventional Interventions:
• Shared Reading
• Alphabet & Phonological Awareness During Word Identification and Decoding
• Predictable Chart Writing
• Independent Reading
• Guided Reading (Conventional Only)
• Writing Instruction (Conventional Only)

For more information visit:

Our team of educators, parents, adults challenged with disabilities, and a curriculum designer have worked
tirelessly to bring you an exciting and fun curriculum to include all children.