The Mini Lesson follows this guideline:
Connect: "Remember yesterday when we..." This is where we remind the children what we did yesterday.
Teach: "Today I am going to show you..." This is where we name the standard we are teaching. "Let me show you what I mean." This is where we model what it would look like. We take on the role of the reader.
Active Engagement: "Now let me see you try." This is where the kids actively practice the new skill you just taught. During this time you are observing, taking notes, and offering help.
Link: "Remember boys and girls, today and everyday, good readers..." This is where we remind the children what we just learned.
Here are some key points when developing partnerships.
- Partnerships are based on reading/language levels.
- Partnerships should be like ability.
- This is a time for all kids to grow as readers, not a mentor/mentee partnership.
- Partnerships should change every few weeks. When you notice a decrease in stamina or more off task behavior, consider changing partners.
- One thing I remember when establishing partnerships is the saying, "the one doing to talking is the one doing to learning." I want partnerships where there will be an equal exchange of conversation.
- Stamina for partners is built slowly just like for private reading time. This means, that your children have worked longer independently than with their partners. This is because they have been reading independently for several weeks to a month before they start reading with partners. It is possible for the children to have an independent reading stamina of 8 minutes and their partner reading stamina be 4 minutes.
- Each day, add time to both the independent reading time and the partner reading time.
- We send kids off with their bag of good fit books to read independently.
- They sit back to back, or close to their partner.
- I set the time for our stamina growth target for independent reading time.
- When the time goes off, the children turn and move closer to their partner. By placing them closely together for independent reading time, movement and off task time is minimized.
- I set the time for our stamina growth target for partner reading time.
- During this time, I am moving around the room to ensure that all children know the procedures and expectations. Don't worry about pulling small groups until your children are working well independently and know the expectations.
As we begin our mini lessons on developing Powerful Partnerships, Michele and I teach our kids how to read with their friends. The various ways to read with friends are taught over the course of the week. Each day, we learn a new way to read with friends and practice it during the mini lesson. As the children move to read independently and then with partners, you are observing and making notes as to which children are easily applying the new learning. Make notes of which children may need extra support.
One of the ways we teach children to read together, is for them each to read a book out of their own collection. Here, one child is reading while the other child is listening. Then, they swap roles. Teaching the role of the listener is a mini lesson that we cover in Unit 1, but it needs to be reminded and recognized as the children are working.
The next day, we teach our children how partners can read a book together. This strategy is best modeled using books with rhythm, poems, songs, poems or chants. Rhythmic books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, song books like Five Little Ducks, or predictable books the children made during centers, are all good choices for this way of reading together.
This works really well with Cut, Stack, Staple Read books,Cut a Sentence Books.
Once we have introduce all three ways, we want to model what it looks like to keep busy the whole time. I'm sure you have seen it. You send them off to read together. They get started reading a book together, right away. In a few minutes you look over and they are just sitting there. When you inquire, they respond---we did it, we read a book together. During this lesson we model how to read a book together, then decide which of the three ways do we want to read our next book. The children continue reading books, one of the three ways taught, until the time is up.
Here's what is happening...
- Our kids are reading independently and building stamina.
- They can easily transition to working with partners.
- We have our kids reading books together.
- They are staying busy the whole time.
- All is well in kinderland!
- Children should be working with partner to read together in a variety of ways.
- It is our responsibility to provide the mini lessons to support our children.
- We are building stamina during partner reading time just like we do for independent reading time.
- Children should engage in age level appropriate conversation about books.
- Again, mini lessons are used to model and practice book conversation.
- Partners are based on like reading ability and language skills.
- Partners are changed every few weeks.
Ideas for this blog post come from Powerful Partnerships, Unit 2.