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I love to have my students read with a partner but there is a fine line between the students staying on task and wasting 30 minutes of the day.
There are many ways to do partner reading but explicit directions and roles for the students are necessary in order for the students to stay on task. I couple my students with a higher student to “coach” a more struggling reader. They take turns reading- one student reads an odd page and the other student will read the even page. I let them choose a place in the classroom to lay on the ground- which they love, and I monitor each couple as they read. Before they are allowed to turn the page I have sentence stems on the board for the students to use to make predictions, connections and ask questions.
Using these ensures that they are actively engaging with the story they are reading. As they are reading I walk around with a clipboard and aware points to the students who I hear using the sentence stems correctly.
An additional thing that I do to get the students excited about partner reading AND lets me make sure that they are following along as their partner reads are Witch Fingers. I got a class set of Witch Fingers from a teacher who retired and was giving away all of her school things but these can be found on Amazon ($4 for 12!) or any party supply store. I pass them out once I see the students ready with their books open and in a comfortable place in the room that isn’t too close to another couple. They LOVE the witch fingers- especially since we are inching closer and closer to Halloween.
I hope you liked these simple ways to make partner reading more useful for your classroom. I would love to hear what you do to make partner reading a useful activity.
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