Getting children interested in learning and more importantly reading is a challenge for any educator. Finding the right resources and tools to assist in this endeavor can be challenging. There is help out there to encourage and motivate early learners want to read one such resource is Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) Although originally developed for 2nd to 6th grade, it has been noted that this can be just as beneficial to learners early on as kindergarten. This program is valuable and beneficial to teachers and students alike, because it is easily implemented, is cost-effective, accelerates student achievement in reading, encourages on-task behavior and student participation, allows students more opportunities to read, allows students to receive corrective feedback, is enjoyable, motivates students, and promotes collaboration and positive social interaction between students.
K-PALS sessions typically last 20–30 minutes and are conducted at least three times per week. A session consists of two types of activities: Sound Play and Sounds and Words. The sounds introduced in Sound Play activities often correspond to those that will be practiced in the Sounds and Words activities. First-grade PALS sessions typically last about 40 minutes and are conducted at least three times per week. The sessions begin with approximately five minutes of whole-group instruction during which the teacher introduces new sounds, sight words, and vocabulary words (i.e., rocket words) and conducts a segmenting and blending activity. Following this brief introduction, peer pairs work on two main activities: Sounds and Words and Partner Reading.
Kindergarten the teacher pairs the highest-performing student with the lowest-performing one. The teacher then pairs the next highest-performing student with the next lowest-performing student, and so on until all students have been paired. First Grade the teacher divides the rank-ordered list in half and pairs the top...
References: The IRIS Center for Training Enhancements. (n.d.). PALS: A reading strategy for grades K–1. Retrieved on [month day, year,] from http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/palsk1/chalcycle.htm
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