Partner Reading With Storia

How to pair students to promote collaboration and peer-assisted learning as they read with Storia

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

The Benefits of Storia Partner Reading

Partner, or buddy, e-reading entails students reading together in pairs using one Storia device or each partner reading the same book on individual devices. It promotes student collaboration and empowers readers to support one another through peer-assisted learning.

Partner reading can be used in your classroom in several ways:

  • Implement it during reading workshop
  • Have pairs of students “buddy read” while others are reading independently
  • Choose one period each week during which all students engage in partner reading

Managing Storia Partner Reading

You can pair students for buddy reading with Storia for different instructional purposes. For example, you might want to pair:

  • Students in the same class who possess similar reading levels
  • Students in the same class who are of mixed-ability reading levels
  • Students in an upper-grade classroom with students in a lower-grade classroom. This is also a great way to have upper-grade students introduce Storia’s features and functions to younger readers.


Partner Reading With Primary Students

Having students read aloud to each other will strengthen their reading fluency. Their ability to read a text accurately and at an appropriate speed will also improve through repeated practice, constructive peer feedback, and the development of reader self-awareness. And partner reading with Storia's read-to-me feature will further strengthen students' fluency.

Introducing Partner Reading With Primary Students

  1. Introduce a text in a whole-group or small-group setting. Project a Storia e-book onto your interactive whiteboard. Use the highlighter feature to isolate the section you want to focus on. You can now model fluent reading as students follow along without distraction. 
  2. Model fluent reading by reading a paragraph or page of text aloud to the students. Read at a fast, steady pace that sounds effortless and natural, as if you were speaking.  Remember to demonstrate how fluent readers adhere to punctuation marks by pausing or reading with expression. Track the words as you read, using the cursor or the highlighter. (When Storia is in the read-to-me mode, students will see the words tracked automatically as the story is read. This will reinforce fluency modeling.)
  3. Then using the model text, participate in a shared reading between you and your students. Have them practice partner reading with you using the same text.
  4. When you are confident that they understand the reading routine, you can assign a new text and put students into partner pairs.

Teacher Chat
“When I first introduce buddy reading, I ask another teacher to stop by my class for 10 minutes, and we model buddy reading together. The students always find it hilarious to watch their teacher buddy read with a friend, and it is a very efficient way to demonstrate what a reading partnership should look like.”


Two Types of Partner Pairings

Homogeneous Pairings

In a homogeneous partner read, the partners are at roughly the same reading level. Students take turns reading sentences, paragraphs, or pages aloud to one another. After each reading, partners should provide feedback based on instructional focus.

Partners should read and reread the same passage three or four times and provide feedback after each rereading, making sure to self-correct based on partner feedback.   

Heterogeneous Pairings

In a heterogeneous partner read, more fluent readers are paired with less fluent readers. The stronger reader is modeling and reinforcing fluency. The less fluent readers benefit by having their partners model a more fluent read while they support and encourage them to practice their own fluent reading. 

Teacher Chat
“Turning the pages of the e-books on the iPad is very exciting for my first grade students. I’ve learned that when I introduce Storia buddy reading to my students, they should alternate turning the pages with their partners. This spares us from a lot of squabbling and finger jabbing during buddy reading time.”


Partner Reading With Upper Elementary Students

Advanced readers love to collaborate with their peers and enjoy being able to discuss text topics and characters with each other. When reading with partners, students can discuss points of confusion and text misconceptions.  Readers get the chance to debate specific topics and think more deeply about characters and plot. Through partner reading, older students come to understand that reading can foster meaningful conversations and peer interactions.

Teacher Tip
Have each student in a reading partnership identify one or two books for buddy reading. Assign these books to the partners' bookshelves in advance, so they’ll be ready when it’s time for partner reading.

Managing Storia Partner Reading With Upper Elementary Students

  1. Create and display a chart with a list of explicit behavior expectations.
  2. Model how to make a reading plan so students learn how to plan their reading time together. They may want to include stopping points, the focus for their reading, and the books they plan to read together in their plan.
  3. Assign partners so you can pair students based on compatible reading levels and the ability to work well together.
  4. Introduce an e-book to your students by projecting it onto an interactive whiteboard and focus on a particular portion of text by using the Storia highlighter tool.
  5. Explain the skills or strategies you want the reading partners to learn, practice, or implement during their partner read.
  6. Students can use the Storia notes feature to jot down questions about the text. Or they can use the highlight tool to highlight text features..
  7. At the end of each partner reading session, try to give partners an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas with each other and then with the rest of the class.

Cross-Grade Partner Reading

Besides fostering teamwork and cooperative learning, partnering upper-elementary and primary students for buddy reading creates a variety of reading opportunities for both age groups. These students are peer mentoring one another and are actively engaged in the learning process.

Instruct your upper-elementary readers how to read with, give feedback to, and encourage their primary-grade reading buddies. Older students can show younger students how to manipulate Storia’s many features and enhancements and remind them to regularly practice certain strategies, such as making predictions and inferences about the text.

The younger reader will be motivated by the attention and high expectations of their older counterparts. Upper-grade students will reinforce their own reading processes and will learn to take on leadership roles as the facilitator of partner reading.

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    Teacher Tips and Strategies, Teacher Training and Continuing Education, Teaching with Technology