We used to think we had to teach all the behaviors of Read to Someone to launch it successfully. There are a lot of them: how to Choose a partner, Sit EEKK, Check for understanding, offer support with Coaching or time, Decide what books to read, Decide who reads first, and Determine where to sit together.
Kim Patrick’s third-grade class had already launched Read to Self and Work on Writing, so they knew the must-have behaviors for those and had 20–30 minutes of stamina built up for each round. They were ready for Read to Someone, but we had not taught any of the behaviors we believed essential for a smooth launch. We decided to try something new, and by the end of the next 45 minutes, her class was Reading to Someone and practicing all of the behaviors. Here is what we did:
We taught the students how to choose a partner, and then called on four students at a time to stand up, choose a partner, get their book boxes, and find a spot to sit elbow to elbow, knee to knee.
When all students were sitting next to their partners, we stood in the middle of the room, gave a quiet signal, and while they remained seated, taught them how to read the same book or different books. Each partnership took a few moments to practice choosing which book(s) they would read.
We gave the quiet signal, and students stayed where they were while we taught them how to choose who would read first and who would check for understanding. Each partnership practiced taking turns reading and checking for understanding.
Then we called all students back to our gathering space and taught the Coaching or Time technique. After choosing new partners, everyone moved into another round of Read to Someone, layering this behavior onto the ones they'd just learned, practicing this time without interruption. They read for about seven minutes.
- We called students back to our gathering space and wrapped up our reading block by reviewing how it went as we made the I-chart for Read to Someone.
Launching Read to Someone this way was really successful with this group of students. Would it be in another class? I think so, and here is what contributed to the success. The children had already built stamina for other Daily 5 tasks, they had knowledge of other Daily 5 behaviors, they were highly motivated to learn to Read to Someone, the lessons were short, there were fewer transitions back to the carpet, and students were able to practice right where they were with their partners.
Whether you launch Read to Someone by front-loading the necessary behaviors or by teaching them all in one period like we did, we are sure it will become a favorite Daily 5 of many of your students, helping them build fluency, expression, comprehension, and friendships.