Daily 5 Series: Read With Someone

  1. Read to Self
  2. Read with Someone
  3. Word Work
  4. Listen to Reading
  5. Read with a Teacher/Teacher Time
After we successfully build stamina in Read to Self and I feel we are on the right track, I introduce Read with Someone.

Read with Someone is a fabulous opportunity for students to partner up and read any book in our library, including some specifically designed for multiple voices. This choice focuses on building a child's fluency and accuracy, while also building classroom community, which to me is fundamental in a successful year :)

We begin this choice with an anchor chart:

This anchor chart starts to deviate from the Sister's anchor chart. I noticed that, as I was beginning to write Teacher expectations on the right side, all of these charts would look exactly the same, so that seemed silly. I therefore started to branch out-- which the Sisters encourage!-- and added the orange "Choices" section. I find students referring to this a lot, so next year, I will probably change the entire right side to reflect the choices available to students during Read with Someone time.

What can students read during this choice?
Students can read anything! That includes picture books, poetry, chapter books, nonfiction texts, class publications, reading group books.... anything!

I also purchased some wonderful partner reading texts this year, all from the "You Read to Me, I Read to You" series, and they have been a hit!

Here are some examples:

There are a wide assortment of choices in this line, including Fairy Tales, Short Stories, Fables, Tall Tales, Scary Tales, Mother Goose, and more!

Sometimes, students won't have a partner to read with, so I had to get creative this year and discovered that Toobaloos make fabulous partners!

I found these on Amazon as well, and the kids LOVE them! They have to whisper into them, otherwise it is too loud, so it helps with management as well. Sometimes partners forget to use "spy voices," but that never happens with anyone partnered with the Toobaloos :)

How did you introduce Read with Someone and Read to Self?
We had Read to Self up and running for a few days and were building our stamina. I then worked on the anchor chart and had two actors demonstrate negative and positive behaviors.

When we were ready to practice class-wide, I split the class in two. The first group would work on Read to Self while the other half partnered up and worked on Read with Someone. We only did this for a few minutes, then reflected on what we did well and what we could improve. Groups then switched so that everyone could practice both choices in one day. 

Again, this took a while to establish, so don't be afraid to take your time. It was important for everyone to practice both sessions in one day, since that would be what we are working towards, and also for them to recognize the importance of voice levels, book choice, partner choice, etc.

Do you choose partners for your students?
No, and I never have. I use the Clip Chart in my classroom, so if there were partnerships that were not working well, I would either have them clip down, or have EVERYONE around them (who were doing the right thing) clip up ;) I have found the latter to be a great strategy and it forces partners to start following our expectations.

I have separated partners who continue to be a distraction and that is why I am a fan of the Toobaloos- I will simply ask them to clip down and partner-up with a Toobaloo. The kids really do like them, so it's not a punishment, just a nice way to keep the class managed.

I also highly recommend introducing EEKK (elbow-to-elbow or knee-to-knee). We modeled and practiced a lot as a whole group.

Overall, I have found that friends who read together do a very nice job and that Read with Someone is a fantastic way to build classroom community and new friendships. I have seen unlikely partnerships find common ground in a favorite book and because students are picking their own partner, these relationships develop out of their own choices, which is the best thing I could ask for as their teacher.

Do you have any other helpful tips for Read with Someone? I'd love to hear them- feel free to leave a comment below!


  1. Hi Stephanie,
    Great post! That book series sounds perfect- I bet my students would love those. I've added them to my Amazon wish list!
    Thanks for sharing your ideas!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    Great post! That book series sounds perfect- I bet my students would love those. I've added them to my Amazon wish list!
    Thanks for sharing your ideas!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom