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Transcript of PALS
Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies
What is PALS?
a class-wide tutoring program that uses peer-mediated instruction to improve academic skills
a "Best Practice" by the U.S. Department of Education
What does PALS look like?
Students work in pairs
Focus is on Grade-Level Skills
PALS Reading 2-6
1. Partner Reading with Retell
2. Paragraph Shrinking
3. Prediction Relay
Four Key Elements:
1. Cooperative Learning
2. Highly Structured Interaction
3. Focus on Key Grade-Level Skills
4. Reinforcement of Academic Behaviors
higher and lower performing students work together
roles of tutor and tutee (Coach and Reader)
Students get individualized help from peers
Originally grades 2-6 for Reading
extended to Kindergarten, First-Grade, and High School
Math PALS (K-5)
Phonological Awareness (limited)
Grades 2-6 and High School
Teacher explains to students how to do lessons, then students do them with a partner
Clear, scripted directions
Partners complete 3 activities:
1. Partner Reading
3. Paragraph Shrinking
4. Prediction Relay
Higher performing student reads text aloud for 5 minutes
Lower performing student rereads the same material
Reading error - tutor says, "Stop, you missed that word. Can you figure it out?"
The reader figures out the word within 4 seconds, or the tutor says, "That word is _____. What word?" Reader then repeats word.
Tutor says, "Good. Read the sentence again."
1 point - each correctly read sentence.
If reading error - 1 point after sentence is read correctly
After both students read, the lower-performing student retells for one or two minutes the sequence of what occurred
Student earns 10 points for the retell.
Students read aloud one paragraph at a time and identify its main idea
Coach guides main idea statements (i.e. who or what)
Reader takes information and expresses main idea in 10 words or less
After 5 minutes, students switch roles.
If tutor recognizes an incorrect summarization, they say to reader, "That's not quite right. Skim the paragraph and try again."
If summary exceeds 10 words, tutor says, "Shrink it."
1 point - correctly identifying who or what
1 point - correctly stating the most important thing about the who or what
1 point - stating the main idea in 10 words or less
Requires students to make and check predictions
Reader makes prediction about what will be learned on next half page
Reader reads the half page aloud while tutor corrects errors
Tutor confirms or challenges the prediction
Reader summarizes the main idea of the half page
After 5 min. switch roles
If prediction unreasonable, say, "I don't agree. Think of a better prediction."
1 point - each reasonable prediction
1 point - reading each half page
1 point - accurately confirming or challenging each prediction
1 point - each component (who/what, what mainly happened, + 10 or fewer words) of each summary
Pairs earn pts for completing activities, points accumulate
Kindergarten: Teacher recognition for completing points sheet
High School: Pts provide "dollars" in token economy; dollars go toward prizes
Grade 1-6: Pts go toward a team total; winning team gets class recognition (applause)
Why Use PALS?
increases academic learning time
promotes positive, academically-focused social interaction
teachers can focus on pairs
doesn't take away class time
easy to implement
actively involves all students in tasks they can perform successfully
increases student opportunity to read
provides positive and productive peer interaction
helps teachers accommodate academic diversity
research has found it to be an
activity for both students and teachers
accelerates student achievement
optimizes instructors' time
allows students with disabilities to spend more time in a less restrictive environment and increases their access to the general education curriculum
PALS Is Effective For:
Title I and non-Title I
Urban, Suburban, and Rural
Students with special needs
Mainstreamed students with learning disabilities
Tier 1 and Tier 2
Feasible and affordable
1 day on-site training
Manual and materials from Vanderbilt University OR
Coaching and practice
Grades K - 5
Students work on sheet of problems in skill area
Coach uses a sheet of questions, differing by problem type, designed to guide the Player
Coaches use a correction procedure
English Language Learners
Now You Try...
MAKE YOUR OWN
Limitations & Future Research
-Some children don't respond
-Amount of technical support
-PALS for Grades 7 & 8
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Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Thompson, A., Otaiba, S. A., Yen, L. Yang, N. J.,… O’Connor, R. E. (2001). Is reading important in readiness programs? A randomized field trial with teachers as program implementers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(2), 251-267.
Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Thompson, A., Svenson, E., Yen, L., Otaiba, S. A.,…Saenz, L. (2001). Peer-assisted learning strategies in reading: Extensions for kindergarten, first grade, and high school. Remedial and Special Education, 22(1), 15-21.
Fuchs, L. S., & Fuchs, D. (1995). Acquisition and transfer effects of classwide peer-assisted learning strategies in mathematics for students with varying learning histories. School Psychology Review, 24(4), 604-621.
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McMaster, K. L., Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (2007). Promises and limitations of peer-assisted learning strategies in reading. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 5(2), 97-112.
Spörer, N., & Brunstein, J. C. (2009). Fostering the reading comprehension of secondary school students through peer-assisted learning: Effects on strategy knowledge, strategy use, and task performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34(4), 289-297.