How does PALS work?

Or, now what do I do?

What does PALS look like?

  • Students are closely paired in achievement with one student slightly higher achieving than the other.
  • Both students share the role of "coach" and "reader".
  • The students are able to help each other and to read material that is interesting and at their ability level
  • (

PALS is Structured

  • Students learn routine and responsibility.
  • The teacher models appropriate behavior for the learning routines and the students practice the PALS lesson.
  • Each lesson has a beginning introductory lesson to introduce all activities.
  • Grades 2-6 focus on fluency and comprehension.
  • Each lesson includes;
  • – Partner Reading
  • – Retell
  • – Paragraph Shrinking
  • – Prediction Relay


  • PALS teaches key skills
  • Grades 2-6 and High School: 35-40 minutes 3 times a week

Research Says...

  • Studied Kindergarten and Grades 2-6 PALS in three different sites (over 100 teachers)
  • – Nashville and suburbs
  • – Minneapolis and suburbs – South Texas
  • Used multiple reading measures
  • – Word reading: Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, Revised, Word Identification subtest
  • – Passage reading: Comprehensive Reading Assessment Battery, 1-minute timed fluency
  • – Reading comprehension: Iowa Test of Basic Skills
  • PALS classrooms outperformed Control classrooms

Where do I go from here?

  • Schools may order materials from Vanderbilt University OR
  • Teachers may do what teachers do best, create their own.