When first beginning a reading partnership, the students will agree to read the same chapter book over a period of time. The book is not read aloud together, but rather partners read the book independently and meet occasionally throughout their reading of the chapter book. Before a reading partnership begins, students meet to plan their reading experience using the reading partnership planning sheet in their Readers Notebooks.
Partners set a specific page number in the book to which they will read before meeting for their first real discussion of the book. When both partners have reached the specified page number, they get together during the independent reading segment of our day. Partners will come to the meeting prepared to discuss the questions and connections they made while reading.
The number of meetings held during the reading of a single chapter book depends on the length of the book and the students' rate of reading. The meetings provide an important time for students to discuss literature in a meaningful and natural way. It is fun to listen to the great questions that arise and the different opinions that students have about the books that they are reading. Inferring, questioning, and making connections are all important reading strategies that are put into effect when students meet with their partners.
At the end of a Reading Partnership, the partners must plan and give a short book talk of the book that they have read to the class. The book is then placed in the Student Recommended Books basket for others to enjoy on their own if the partners decide it is one that their classmates will enjoy. Students must read at least two chapter books independently in between their partner reading so that they are also reading books on their own.