What is partner reading?
Partner reading is a cooperative learning approach where a student works with a partner to read a text. While there many different approaches to text selection, partnerships should be carefully considered and both partners should be able to access the text.
Why use partner reading?
Partner reading allows both readers to take turns reading a text for the purpose of increasing accuracy, rate, and expression by reading and re-reading a text. Part of the effectiveness of the this strategy is the structures in place for readers to model fluent reading with expression, to provide each other opportunities to collaboratively build on their comprehension, and to work together to provide each other with positive and targeted feedback. In addition, this student-directed learning gives teachers the opportunity to monitor student learning and provide individualized support as needed.
When to use partner reading:
Partner reading works best when students have basic print concepts and phonemic awareness. For ELLs, it is also important that partners are given an opportunity to experience a model of fluent reading. Finally, many teachers find that partner reading fits best within the context of “Daily 5” or “Centers” time.
How to use partner reading:
1. Choose the partners (One way to choose partners is to pair high-performing readers with a lower-performing reader for fluency practice. Additional considerations for ELLs is to ensure that one reader is more advanced in their vocabulary and text meaning. An additional strategy for choosing partners can be to pair readers by instructional need in order to facilitate teacher support or to partner readers across grade levels.)
2. Assign partner roles – A and B.
3. Model the strategy with a think aloud of partner dialogue and feedback.
4. Select reading texts or passages at or close to the partners’ independent reading level.
5. Make sure each partner has a copy of the text.
6. Have the partner A begin reading the text aloud for a set length (it can be 1 minute, 5 minutes, 2 pages, etc.)
7. While partner A reads, partner B should follow along and correct any mistakes when necessary.
8. Partner reading can and should include a comprehension check as final part of the process and accountability measure for their work.
Adaptations for ELLs:
1. Be sure that during the modeling and explanation of the strategy, students know that pronunciation of words based on accent should not be corrected.
2. Have partners retell orally and then write a summary of their retell of the story rather than answering comprehension questions.
3. Have partners develop and write a 7-word summary of their reading rather than answering comprehension questions.
4. Have partners identify unknown words to add to their words study and vocabulary development.
5. Have students identify the main idea and their logic behind it.
6. Have partners read informational texts in order to build content background knowledge for upcoming Science, Social Studies, and other units of study.