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Rushmore Academy

Marion City School District

Paired Reading Tips

Reading together

  1. You and your child both read the words out loud together. Read at the child's speed. You are modeling good reading for your child.
  2. As you read together, your child must read every word. To make sure your child is looking at the words, it will help if one of you points ot the word you are both reading with a finger or a card. It's best if your child does the pointing.
  3. When a word is read incorrectly, you just say the word and then your child immediately repeats the word.
  4. Show interest in the book your child has chosen. Talk about the pictures. Talk about what's in the book as your child goes through it. It's best if you talk at the end of a page or section, or else your child may lose track of the story.Ask what things might happen next. Listen to your child; don't do all of the talking.


  1. Try very hard to do paired reading every day for five minutes. if the student wants to read longer, a total of 15 minutes is long enough.
  2. Select a time that's good for both you and your cihld. Don't make your child do paired reading when he/she really wants to do something else.
  3. For days when you are not available, you may want to train someone else to be a substitute. Grandparents, older brothers and sisters, aunts, and baby-sitters can be excellent reading role models too.


  1. Try to find a place that's quiet. Children are easily distracted by noise. Turn off the TV, radio, and stereo.
  2. Try to find a place that's private. No one else should be in the room. Many families find this is a great opportunity for one parent to spend time with just one child.
  3. Try to find a place that's comfortable so both readers can concentrate on the story without having to shift around. Try to associate warm and snuggly feelings with reading.

Reading alone

1. When you are reading together and your child feels confident enough, your child might want to read alone. You should agree on a way for him/her to signal you to stop reading along. This could be a knock, squeeze, or tap on the elbow. (Saying "be quiet" or similar words may make your child lose track of the meaning of the story.)

When signaled, you immediately stop reading aloud and feel glad that your child wants to be an independent reader.

2. When the student comes to an unknown word, wait five seconds to allow time for word attack skills to be used. if the word is mastered, be sure to priase the accomplishment. However, if the student is unable to work it out after five seconds, you say the word. Then the child repeats the word and both of you read together out loud until the next signal to read alone.

If a word is misread, you say the word correctly, the student repeats the word, and both of you read out loud together until the cihld signals again.

3. You may not be able to finihs a book or chapter in one sitting. When you start the next day, briefly discuss what happened so far in the story and start reading where you left off.

4. If you finish a book before the end of the time, read the book agian. Repeated reading is very good practice. It builds confidence and comprehension.

5. If the book has not been completed by the end of the week, it's OK. The cihld is not expected to read every book alone. The focus of paired reading is enjoyment and reading together.

Points to remember

  • Pointing
  • Pace
  • Discuss
  • Wait 5 seconds
  • Child repeats word
  • Praise
  • Signal