I was recently talking to a friend of mine and she was mentioned that some of the district testing included paired reading passages. She said it was hard for her kiddos, which was very interesting to BOTH of us.
Paired reading is nothing new. Mary Pope Osborne mastered this awhile ago with her Magic Tree House books and nonfiction companions. They (and the author herself!) are brilliant and kids eat them up.
We found it curious that her kids took a ride down struggle street until we identified two factors:
1.) the passages were unlike any the students had seen before because they were SO similar and
2.) most of the students’ experience was with paired BOOKS. Passages were not as familiar to the kiddos.
I found this quote from this website, and loved it!
“Close reading, text annotation, text-dependent questions, and paired passages are all tools that should be woven into ongoing instruction in order to develop students’ independent strategic reading skills. While effective implementation of these strategies will result in better outcomes for all students on the Virginia English Reading Standards of Learning assessments, they are not test-taking strategies. Rather, they are critical thinking strategies that provide students with opportunities to practice reading deeply and making meaning out of authentic fiction and nonfiction text (Boyles, 2013). This shift in strategy practice will give students the skills they need to be successful throughout their school careers and into their postsecondary lives.”
Um, yes. That is a nice way to paint the big picture and usefulness of paired passages.
So, I decided to create a little something to support those kiddos!
Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion setting. She is the owner and creator of the Teaching Tips website (www.mandygregory.com) and has over 10 years of experience. She is married with two beautiful children.