One of my favorite things to do is to soak up what happens during Partner Reading. When students Read to Someone, magical things happen!
- they mentor one another as readers
- they build their schema
- they build their stamina
- they collaborate, dream, and question
- they deepen their understanding
The quiet hum of our classroom during Read to Someone is a welcoming sound. I often just want to be a casual observer, listening in as they communicate and share.
I introduce Read to Someone early on in September. It’s a part of our Daily 5 routine. Daily 5 is a system that builds structure and routine in your classroom reading workshop time. Paired with Guided Reading and Reader’s Workshop, it’s a powerful tool that fosters your students’ ability to work independently. My kids come knowing how to Read with a Partner. I think this mostly is due to the great work our Kindergarten teachers have done, AND because at home reading is often partner reading (lap reading, bedtime stories).
We create a system that works for us when we need to choose a partner. We use this procedure for other partner choosing times too!
We also learn (or are reminded of) the different methods that partners can use for Read to Someone. This is a fun time for us as we have expert actors within our class demonstrate the process of 1) Voices Together, 2) Copycat Reading, 3) Take Turns with Books, and 4) Take Turns with Pages.
We then start to build our stamina during Read to Someone. It typically takes ups three attempts to make it to our goal of 20 minutes. Making our goal means we:
- Read Quietly
- Read the Whole Time
- Stayed in one Spot
- Stopped. Cleaned. Came.
The chart below is what we use to track our progress, as well as remind us of what it looks like, feels like, and sounds like during Daily 5 time.
Sometimes during Partner Reading we have to decide “WHO?”
- Who chooses where we sit?
- Who chooses the book first?
- Who reads first?
- Who puts the comfy seating away?
To help students independently decide “WHO,” we brainstorm methods, make a chart showing them, and practice the strategies. One of their favorite methods is to use the iPad app, Tap Roulette (Pick Finger). It’s an app where the “WHO” kids put their finger on the screen and then press “select” — and magically the Ipad picks “WHO” the selected person is.
During this time we also discuss how to care for the books in our classroom. We have nearly 3,000 books in our classroom and it’s important that we care for them so they last! We talk about how to care for books from our classroom library. We talk about how to care for the take-home books, and how to care for books that are stored in our browsing boxes.
We also discuss “just right” books during September. We discuss how the books in one browsing box may be different than the types of books in another box, but that we honor and respect our classmates. On a side note, I’d love it if you shared a link to your “just right” poster. I believe the one below is OK, but needs some additional information. I’m trying to figure out how to convey that a just right book means that a reader can read 95% of the words with accuracy, and the finger test (as detailed below) might not be the only way to determine if a book is a good fit.