I remember the first time I told kids to read together….It went something like this….”Okay guys today you are going to get to read with a partner. Won’t that be fun?” It didn’t take me long to realize that we had very different meanings for the word fun! To them, fun meant play time! To me, fun meant talk about books. I even tried to repeat “Hey guys! We are READING together.” I tried saying the word read a gazillion ways—like that would matter! It didn’t take me long to realize I needed a new game plan—one with a little more detail! So here was my new plan.
First, I realized that I needed to teach them what it meant to READ with friends. Here’s the anchor chart that we use:
- Read together: This is when we can read a book saying the words at the same time. This works great with rhythmic books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear. It is also great for song books, nursery rhymes and poetry.
- Take turns with the same book: This is when I read a book and you listen, and then you read the same book and I listen. This works great when children have the same book in their bag of books. For example, if you had two kids in a guided reading group and they had the same book, they could use this strategy.
- I read a book, you read a book: This is when I read a book from my bag while you listen. Then, you read a book from your bag while I listen.
- Stay busy the whole time: I needed to model what to do after you had a read a book one of these three ways. You see….they thought they were DONE! We practiced reading one of the three ways, then deciding which way we wanted to read the next book.
Next hurdle….talking about books. They didn’t have a clue what this meant! It sounded like this…”Okay guys, great reading! Now, I want you to talk about books with your partner.” They tried, they REALLY tried. Here’s what I heard, “I have books. I like books. My brother eats my books.” Note to self…..need more detailed directions!
Here’s the plan….teach them different things that they CAN talk about:
- My favorite part: This one is pretty easy for them. Find the part of the book that is your favorite. Share it with your partner.
- That’s cool!: This one is great for sharing nonfiction books. Find something that is way cool! Share it with your partner.
- I didn’t know that: This is another great one for sharing nonfiction books. Find something that you didn’t know before seeing it in this book. Share it with your partner.
- That happened to me: This one is about connections! Find something that happened to you. Share it with your partner.
Next problem…”Okay guys, it’s time for partner reading. Find something that you want to share.” (Play music!…Play more music!) “Guys, find something! ANYTHING!” The problem was…they were turning and turning and turning….looking for one of these things I had told them to share with their partner. We needed a plan to be ready when it was time to share!
Here’s the plan:
- During private reading time, as you are reading, think about the things you can share with a partner.
- When you find something, take a sticky note from your sticky note folder and stick it on that page.
- Lay the book beside you, if you are done with it, and find another book to read.
- You can mark more than one thing.
- When it is time for partner reading, you are ready.
- Turn to the page with the sticky note and you can share!
Here is a peek at our week in Kristie’s room. We are just starting our partner unit. Here’s to hoping for better success!
Centers is going great. We are going to start pulling a small group during centers and see how it goes. We don’t have too high of expectations. If we have to leave our table…so be it!
We are still working on shapes in our math time—with a few other things thrown in! You can download these plans here.
Here are some of the resources that I used to plan this week:
Be sure and hop over to Deedee’s blog to see what others are doing this week.