Paired reading strategies assist readers who lack fluency. It promotes cooperation for students inhibited by a lack of skill or confidence. Students may be paired by more fluent with less fluent readers, or those at the same skill level. Students commonly read sentences, paragraphs or pages aloud to each other. Students may like to read simultaneously so those with reading difficulties participate and have the benefit of hearing the text to improve comprehension. Other reading activities for pairs or small groups may include:
Sentence strips... Cut up a text and leave one copy whole and in order. The less fluent reader listens and identifies highlighted key words to reconstruct the passage
In Other Words... Sentences are written in two ways. One uses more complex and technical language and the other is written in general terms to mean the same thing. Students identify matching sentences. This is useful for students who struggle to ‘get the gist’ or have difficulty with jargon.
Books on tape... Selected students may like to record a passage being read aloud so that struggling readers can follow along with the text
Active Reading... Include questions at the end of each paragraph to promote understanding of key terms or identify the main idea. These can be True/False questions or cloze-style statements.
Twenty words... A fun and challenging task for small groups. Students jointly read a piece of text and produce a summary using exactly twenty words. Promotes clarifying discussion.
Highlighting and colour-coding... Students follow along with a text read one sentence at a time and highlight any unfamiliar words. These are transferred to a glossary where context clues and discussion provide definitions.
Prediction... Prior to reading, students consider the topic and produce a list of words they expect to see in the text. These words can be highlighted when found. There are a range of strategies that can be implemented before during and after reading which build comprehension and encourage re-reading, skimming and scanning. Active engagement with the text is always a desired result.
The personal checklist keeps students on track by providing step-by-step explicit directions which students can cross off as they go. An example of a personal checklist with reading might be: