Useful and Effective Teaching Strategies for Reading Tutors

As reading tutors, it's important to grow thinking skills, reading fluency, and comprehension.  Partner plays are great for teaching strategies and to help readers grow as thinkers too. This post describes how they work.

Do your students love to talk? Do they love reading with friends? Students have a need to be social. As reading tutors, it’s important to grow thinking skills, reading fluency, and comprehension. Relationships are formed between students and tutors, and relationships help skill development. In this post, I share how I used partner plays for teaching strategies and to help readers grow as thinkers too.

Using Partner Plays as Reading Tutors

If you have used reader’s theater, partner scripts work in the same way. The main difference is that they are written for two voices. Each set includes a schema builder to get your students thinking about the theme as well as important vocabulary to preteach prior to reading. It also includes response questions for close reading practice and an extended response option where students write about the story theme. With each, I typically use them in a three day cycle following the schedule below.

As reading tutors, it's important to grow thinking skills, reading fluency, and comprehension.  Partner plays are great for teaching strategies and to help readers grow as thinkers too. This post describes how they work.

Teaching Strategies for Your Lessons

Day One-Reading Tutors Introduce the Theme and Vocabulary

As reading tutors, it's important to grow thinking skills, reading fluency, and comprehension.  Partner plays are great for teaching strategies and to help readers grow as thinkers too. This post describes how they work.

On the first day, I use the schema builder to build excitement and get students thinking. With The Little Lost Tadpole, we discussed what we’d do if we were lost in a mall, at a park, or on a school trip. Following this discussion, I preteach the challenging vocabulary. With vocabulary, you can work on syllabication, word meaning (of course), part of speech, and usage. Finally, I end day one with the first reading of the script. It’s important on the first day to monitor reading fluency and decoding strategies as there will be a few words that the students may find challenging.

Day Two-Reading Tutors Use Repeated Reading and Work on Comprehension

Day two is all about building fluency and comprehension. Students pair up and read for meaning. Depending on how the script is being used, teachers might record them if monitoring is needed, but may also rely on students self reporting how the reading went when they’re finished. As students work together or after reading, the question/response page can be used work on comprehension and writing. With the students I worked with today (using this script), I encouraged responses in complete sentences and reviewed with him some of the word study patterns we’d been studying, so you will find these build multiple skills at once.

As reading tutors, it's important to grow thinking skills, reading fluency, and comprehension.  Partner plays are great for teaching strategies and to help readers grow as thinkers too. This post describes how they work.

Day Three-Reading Tutors Use Repeated Reading and Response to Reading

As reading tutors, it's important to grow thinking skills, reading fluency, and comprehension.  Partner plays are great for teaching strategies and to help readers grow as thinkers too. This post describes how they work.

On the last day of practice, students will polish their reading and extend the themes included. With this script, students will be thinking about and writing about a specific plan they’d follow if they ever got separated from their family or teacher. This is especially important for our youngest students because they’re full of energy and don’t always pay attention. They don’t think anything will ever happen to them (most of the time), and although we don’t want to worry them unnecessarily, it’s good to have conversations in order to keep them safe.

Other Ways to Use Partner Plays

If you love teaching in themes, most of my partner plays can be tied into a theme of some sort. Teachers can pull in mentor texts about similar topics, compare them, and even tie them to the writing too. You might use quick writes, shared writing, or process writing as responses to the stories. There are lots of ways they can help your kids, and in my experience, most ask to do them more often.

This set is one my tutoring student enjoyed. In fact, he inspired me to write it due to his love of fishing and catching frogs. He’s a little boy who loves playing outdoors. camping, fishing, and getting dirty!

As reading tutors, it's important to grow thinking skills, reading fluency, and comprehension.  Partner plays are great for teaching strategies and to help readers grow as thinkers too. This post describes how they work.

Until next time, happy reading!

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