I have been using partner reading in my classroom since my first year of teaching. I find that it is really motivating for my more reluctant readers, as well as highly engaging for all of my readers.
Today I want to share what I am currently doing for partner reading in my reading intervention classroom. These ideas are very low maintenance on the part of the teacher once you set them up, but really help promote some good discussion and authentic reading experiences.
Once you decide on what you expect your students to do in partner reading, write it down and go over it with the students. Your students could provide input, if you wish. Here are some very basic expectations that I used this year for my reading intervention group in the beginning.
I wanted to ensure both partners were reading, but I did want to provide a choice in how they read. Some students, in the beginning, are not as comfortable reading out loud and I did not want that to hold them back. So, they have a choice to read out loud or both read silently.
Even though I don’t mind if the partners read out loud or silently, I do want them regularly discussing the book with their partner. We do a lot of talking about how the more you discuss and think about a book, the stronger your comprehension and enjoyment. I also set the expectation that they must use a quiet voice while discussing.
And finally, I give a few expectations for discussion. Now keep in mind that the group I have this year are not used to discussing books nor are they avid readers. They need a bit more structure in the beginning.
After doing that for a week or so, we moved into more advanced discussions and I gave them sentence stems to keep in their reading notebooks to refer back to as needed for ways to start a discussion. Some of the students don’t need the stems at this point but it definitely helps my English Language Learners and other students have a way to start the discussion. Click on the image below to download the printables.
Partner Reading Materials
I am lucky enough to have an entire shelf dedicated to partner reading books. The students know to come to this shelf and select a new book when they finish the book they are reading. Some of their favorites are the “How I Survived Series” and some highly engaging, low readability books that I purchased from this High Noon Books. If you have extra money in your book budget, I highly recommend checking out these books. They are written specifically for older readers that read a significantly lower level. Even if you don’t teach struggling readers, these books are great for partner reading because they can be finished in about a week.
No matter what books you decide, try to have a dedicated section of your library for partner books and label them accordingly. Below is a picture of our growing partner library. Click here to download the partner reading labels I have on my baskets.
I do love books and prefer my students read from my partner reading book selection, however I have a few students that actually prefer to read articles or passages with their partners. I keep a selection of high interest passages or news articles available for those students to read. I also have magazines that some students prefer to read from time to time and those work perfect for partner reading as well.
Those are just a few ideas for partner reading that have worked well for me over the years. Do you use partner reading in your classroom?