Benefits of a Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies Program

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The Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)
ECE 311 Early Childhood Curriculum & Methods
Instructor: Debra Gray
Danielle Bryant

The peer assisted learning strategies program (PALS) is a very important tool that is designed to aid a wide variety of students. During my viewing of the IRIS Learning center module I learned a great deal about the PALS program and its many benefits.

First I would like to talk about what the PALS program is. Peer Assisted Learning Strategies is a type of class wide peer tutoring that is used to improve reading and math skills. Teachers pair lower and high performing students, and the partners work on different activities that address the skills that are causing problems. The pairs are changed regularly, giving all students the opportunity to act as coaches and players. PALS enable teachers to address individual student needs, as well as observe students and develop individual remedial lessons. It is a complementary strategy that teachers can use to augment their existing reading and math curriculum. PALS is composed of 25-35 minute activities that are implemented 2-4 times a week. What I really like about the PALS program is two different learning levels of students are paired together. The student that is a high performer can really help the low performing student.

PALS Reading, which has been developed for preschool through high school, is a structured, peer-mediated activity. Preschool – kindergarten PALS focuses on letter names and sounds, letter-sound correspondence, phonological awareness, and decoding. First grade PALS stresses decoding and reading fluently. In grades 2-6, PALS promotes reading fluency and comprehension. In the higher grades, PALS activities include partner reading, paragraph shrinking (identifying the main idea), and prediction relay (predicting what will be learned next, reading aloud, determining if the prediction was accurate, and summarizing the main...
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