Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Partner reading in kindergarten: Beyond whisper phones

(Photo courtesy of Merce Divad)

After conquering the use of whisper phones and learning how to read independently, we are now tackling partner reading in our class of 32 kindergarten students. Each student has a Ziploc bag of books that we culled mainly from our book room. The books need to be at an independent level for the readers, so we are mostly using books at a 1/2 or A/B level. I paired off the students with some students working with stronger readers while other pairs are at about the same level. I modeled for the students how partner reading looks and how it sounds. The students sit side by side in order to be looking at the same book at the same time. The idea is for the listening student to offer support to their reading partner if they get stuck on a word. We will partner read for about 10 minutes each day with students encouraging each other to use strategies like a reading finger, looking at the initial letter, using the illustration, and using their background knowledge. It seems to be working quite well. You will have students who are off-task, but monitoring the class will usually take care of this behavior. It is exciting to see students enjoying the social aspect of reading where you can share a book with a friend.

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