How can Mrs. Nash implement these activities?
Page 10: Implement with Class
After four weeks (i.e., twelve sessions) of training, Mrs. Nash’s students should be ready to independently implement PALS. Mrs. Nash, following the intentions of the PALS strategy’s developers, plans to incorporate PALS three days (i.e., sessions) per week for approximately 35 minutes per session for a minimum of 17 weeks. In order to create a consistent and predictable schedule for her students, Mrs. Nash will see to it that these three weekly sessions occur during her regularly scheduled reading time—the same hour and days each week. In addition, she might sometimes ask her students to engage in these peer-tutoring activities during their independent reading time. Regardless of the week’s activities, Mrs. Nash will avoid holding PALS sessions during nonacademic times (e.g., recess, snack time) or when some of her students are participating in special events outside the classroom. The illustration below breaks down a 35-minute PALS session (allowing several minutes for transitions).
1. Partner Reading
2. Paragraph Shrinking
3. Prediction Relay
As she carries out the recommended PALS implementation, Mrs. Nash monitors each student pair as they read for a few minutes during each session, making certain that she watches each student read at least once every week. As she makes her way around the classroom, she remembers to pay special attention to the fluency with which her students read, as well as how effectively they are able to summarize their reading passages into good main idea statements.
If a number of her students appear to be having difficulty with a PALS activity or with other factors that contribute to the successful implementation of PALS (e.g., coaching procedures, motivation, cooperating with a peer partner), Mrs. Nash may want to conduct a mini-lesson. This should involve the entire class and:
- Serve as a brief review or tutorial
- Be conducted after a few weeks of full implementation (and not during training)
- Occur during a regularly scheduled PALS session
- Last 5 to 10 minutes
Keep in Mind
In order to create and maintain an effective learning environment, a teacher must establish classroom rules and have a good behavior management system in place.
For Your Information
In addition to observing students during each PALS session, the teacher can frequently assess each student’s reading progress through curriculum-based measurement (CBM). To learn more about CBM, please take a look at these IRIS Modules:
Devin Kearns, MA
Listen as Devin Kearns highlights the importance of monitoring students while they are engaged in PALS activities (time: 1:00).