Friday, December 6, 2013

Read-to-Someone Fridays and a Freebie!

I sure am happy that it's Friday!  I swear, I really, really do - that there was one of these...

...this week.  My first grade sweeties were barkin' at the moon this week.   One little guy said "We're really wild today, aren't we?" Uh, yup.

I wanted to share with you how I do Read-to-Someone {Partner Reading} in my classroom.  We do a modified version of Daily 5.  I've blogged about it a few times. Just search "Daily 5" on my blog to read about that.  

Monday through Thursday we do Daily 4 and save the 5th component, Read-to-Someone, for Friday. Something you might not know about me - I'm a recovering micro-manager.  Over the years, I've been letting certain things go that I wasn't always able to.  {It's OK if your water bottle isn't on the upper right corner of your desk}

Read-to-Someone when I'm trying to do guided reading groups?

Just can't do it.

I change everything up on Friday's and I love it!  I look forward to those days where the whole day just has a different flow to it. The kids love it too.

We start Read-to-Someone by me sharing my observations with the class from last week.  I write on two sides of the paper.  On one side I record what they've done well and on the other side I record what they might need to work on {I record those generically - I don't mention names}.  Really, I'm keeping notes because it keeps them focused and doing what they should.  My notes are mostly complimentary and are written knowing that I will be sharing them out loud and want to focus on behaviors {both reading behaviors and behavioral} that I want to see from everyone.  I do note other things that are more for me - I just don't share those with the kiddos.

Once I do that, I do a quick mini-lesson.  Mostly, these mini-lessons focus on comprehension, fluency & expression. One day we worked on how our voices should sound when we come to periods, question marks or exclamation marks.  Another day we talked about using a teaching voice when reading nonfiction. Today, our focus was retelling a nonfiction text.  They all go to their partnerships with a specific goal or task in mind.

I can't stand it, I have to come clean.  I told you I'm a recovering micro-manager.  I always pick my kids partners. I just can't bear the thought that somebody might not get picked or always be "the one" leftover. Oh that just tugs at my heartstrings.  I pick partnerships either with Stick Pick...

Or using my "old fashioned" {according to one of my kids} sticks.  Have you seen this trick?

That's a toilet paper roll!
Once they have their partners, they get their personal bookshelves - this is where they keep the books they've read all week during Read-to-Self...

...find a cozy place to read...

...and I walk around with my handy dandy clipboard, coffee in hand, taking notes.  You should hear my classroom - each. and. every. time.  Without fail, I can almost promise you, 100 percent of my students are on task and uber engaged.  It's magical.

I tried doing Read-to-Someone the other four days during the week - but I just couldn't manage it. Inevitably, they were too loud, too silly, or too whatever...but not too into what they were supposed to be doing.  I don't know - it might work for you, but this REALLY works for me.

We end each partner reading session with a compliment.  My first graders are really good at giving great, specific compliments.  We've practiced and practiced not just saying "I liked your reading" or "you did good".  We started off using prompts - but now they are great at coming up with their own.  Here are the prompts we used at the beginning.  If you grab it - leave a comment letting me know what you think.

Mini Anchor Chart 

Mini Anchor Cards - Pick both up by clicking on the picture
Once we've finished making each other's hearts sing - we get ready to "go shopping".  

I assign each student a "magic letter".  This ensures that they will fill {6 books} their personal bookshelves with books that are at their just right level.  Typically, their magic letter is a level or two below their instructional reading level.  I want these books to really fit them so that they can practice fluency, expression and comprehension throughout the week.  

I do, however, want my firsties to practice knowing how to choose a good fit book on their own.  After all, library books and bookstore books don't have your magic letters on them.  So, we talk about IPICK a lot and each student is able to pick two "dessert books".  These books are from anywhere in our classroom library.  

Chart from Cara Carroll @ The First Grade Parade
And there you have it!  If you're doing Daily 5 what do you do differently from The Sisters that just works for you?  

Happy weekend everybody!


  1. Oh my gosh! This helps me so much! I too am a micro manager and I own it 100%. We do read to someone everyday but it's a "fluency" practice time. Just this week I gave them 10 minutes of true read to someone time and they have been super engaged! There is so much truth to the Sister's wisdom. Your charts will help me build community in my classroom and get them talking about their experience. Thank you so much!

  2. I do use Read to Partner during my Daily 5 Rotations and with a little therapy I have let the little whispers go:) I usually only have 2-4 children there at a time. However, it does become an issue when someone doesn't have a partner. (Even though we have gone over what you can do MANY times!!) Thanks for sharing what you do!

    The Resourceful Apple

  3. Hahaha I so feel you on the water bottle comment!! Thanks for the Read to Someone goodies! I plan on reteaching Read to Someone next week, so your timing is perfect!! :)

    EduKate and Inspire

  4. Thank you very much for these specific ways for listeners to respond to each other during partner reading!! This is a wonderful resource. :)


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