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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds So what is the actual process of paired reading? What will the children actually do? Now, we’re going to tell you how they go about choosing books at the right level, how they go about correcting errors, the switches from reading together to reading alone, and how they go about asking questions about the text. So how do they go about checking difficulty? Well, we’re using something called a five-finger test. What they’ll do is they’ll open any book, spread their five fingers, putting them down on words on the page. Then they lift their fingers one by one and read the words underneath. They repeat this for four of the pages throughout the book.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds If they can read all 20 words, then the book’s too easy. They’re never going to make any errors in the book, and they’re probably not going to learn new words. If they’re making a large number of errors– that would be maybe seven errors during the 20– the book’s too difficult, and they’re never going to get the fluidity in the reading that they’re going to need. Well, if they’ve maybe made one or two errors, then that book is probably right. As a teacher, you might need to spend some time helping students decide on a book that is at the right level for them.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds It’s very likely that when boys are choosing they’re going to choose the most difficult encyclopedia that they have no chance of reading whatsoever, but it will save them on a gym membership carrying it back from the library. So the pair are now going to engage and in a paired reading, which switches from reading together to reading alone. We want the pair to start off reading together. We want them to read together on hard books, and the tutor needs to match their reading speed to be just slightly behind the reading speed of a tutee.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 seconds They should only point to words if they really need to, and they probably shouldn’t use a ruler underneath sentences because that stops the tutor from reading ahead. They agree on a signal, and on that signal, what will happen is they’ll switch from reading together to the tutee reading alone. That signal could be a bang on the book. It could be a tap on the table. Try to avoid a signal that involves a pencil up the nose. At that point the tutor stops, gives praise to the tutee for starting to go it alone, and then the tutee starts reading alone. The following video shows how the pairs switched from reading together to reading alone.

Skip to 2 minutes and 32 seconds (UNISON) Rebecca danced away in the daylight until she was caught and is mobbed by her teammates. Even Hannah ran up to join in the celebrations. “At last,” Jonty yelled, “Great Goal Becky!” Next, we’re going to talk about what to do when a mistake is made. There are two kinds of mistakes. Either mistakes could be self-corrected by the tutee, or there could be a mistake, and the tutee doesn’t know how to correct the word. If a tutee says a word wrong but then self-corrects within about three to four seconds, then the tutee ignores the mistake, and they just carry on doing whatever they were doing before, if that was reading alone or reading together.

Skip to 3 minutes and 22 seconds However, if a tutee makes a mistake and doesn’t self-correct, the tutor draws the tutee’s attention back to the word and says the word correctly. That tutee repeats the word. The tutor praises the tutee, and the pair carry on reading together. By doing this, what we’ve done is we’ve turned a failure in reading into a success in reading, and it’s an immediate success in reading as well. The following video shows a correct way for the tutor to correct a mistake. And captain Tom’s passing had been ex– Excellent. –excellent in midfield– (UNISON) But nobody had yet been able to put the ball in the back of the net.

Skip to 4 minutes and 17 seconds Praise is an important part of the process. You want the tutor to praise for good reading of hard words or longer sentences. We want them to praise for putting their own mistake right. We want them to praise if a mistake has been made and the tutee has corrected the mistake. We want them to praise often and in different words. An important part of learning how to praise might be to talk about which words we can use to tell a tutee that they’re doing things well. Otherwise, you can be left with a fairly monotonous well done. Well done; that’s great; marvelous.

Skip to 4 minutes and 52 seconds There’s a praise card in the manual, and it might help to put this on the table so that the tutor has access to a range of words that they can use. “Come on, you Greats!” they chanted. “Come on, you Greats!” Two of them waved a painted banner in the air. If a mistake is made in reading alone, the same process is followed as if they were reading together. If a tutee self-corrects the error, the tutor ignores it. If a tutee doesn’t self-correct the error, the tutor draws their attention back to the word, says the word. The tutee repeats the word. The tutor praises the tutee, and they carry on reading together.

Skip to 5 minutes and 39 seconds This is demonstrated in the next slide, which shows the tutoring cycle. The tutoring cycle either shows reading together or reading alone, but the error correction process is the same.

Skip to 5 minutes and 54 seconds Questioning is also an important part of the process. We want that tutor to question that tutee about the book before they start reading. We want a period of time during reading when questions are asked as well. And we want a period of time after reading. The period of time during reading is the most difficult one to get going in your class. You can direct the class to ask questions before they start reading and at the end of a lesson. It will be up to you to decide whether or not you want to stop the class in unison and have a question time.

Skip to 6 minutes and 27 seconds That can be quite fun, particularly if the tutor has been thinking up a little quiz for the tutee to test the comprehension of what they’ve been reading. And that can be inversed, in that the tutee could indeed make up a quiz for the tutor and turn the tables on them. Next week, you’ll get access to the manual. At the back of the manual, there are examples of question mats. Teachers have found these useful to print off and lay down on the table. These help prompt questions before, during, or after reading. The question mats come in four levels, from really quite easy to really quite difficult. The following video shows how questions can be used when reading together.

Skip to 7 minutes and 10 seconds And why did you choose this book? Because it looked exciting. And what do you think’s going to happen in it? That she’s just going to tell her about it– Yeah, and– –like her lifetime and that. Yeah, and what genre do you think the book is? Well, it’s a diary and she’s just got a few dreams. Yeah, so a bit like fantasy, diary thing, yeah. Yeah. Right, we’ll do these questions. What do you think’s the most important thing that happened in the book today? I don’t know. Probably about her, mainly because it’s all about her. Yeah. Would you recommend this book to your friends? Yeah. Yeah? Do you think they’d enjoy it as well?

Skip to 8 minutes and 5 seconds Yeah, because it’s funny in places and some pieces. Yeah, have you enjoyed the book? Yeah. That’s good. Well done. Week two will deal with how to get paired reading up and running in your classroom or child care setting.

How to do Peer Tutoring?

Please watch how to establish the peer tutoring technique.

In the video, Allen provides details about role of the tutor and tutee, the choice of the right level of book with the ‘five finger test’, the process of correcting mistakes and the framing of questions before and after the reading session. The importance of praise is a key feature of the process, with the older child providing different types of praise to the tutee during the session.

While the peer tutoring technique encourages the children to work independently, the teacher still has a strong role in moderating the classroom.

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This video is from the free online course:

Using Peer Tutoring to Improve Student Reading

Queen's University Belfast