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Peer-Assisted Learning (PALS)

Strategy Fact Sheet


What is PALS?
A strategy used by teachers to help students
understand the material better by
strategically pairing students together so
that they can work, teach, and answer
questions for each other in a safe and
structured way. It is NOT Peer tutoring
because this strategy meets individual needs
instead of directly teaching all students and
only reaching a few a of them.

Who is PALS meant for?


PALS is designed to help students
with learning disabilities in math
and reading and students with
EBD.
It also helps all other General
Education students who are in
inclusive classrooms.

Why does it work?

- It helps students gain confidence in the subject.


- Helps students to understand the material better by having a close friend
-

monitor what they are doing and help point them in the right direction.
It is also structured and guided by the teacher which promotes everyone to
stay on task.
Student interest in the material increases because they are having an easier
time understanding the material and are doing it in a fun way.

PALS Reading Strategies:

Partner Reading: Player reads, Coach corrects


Paragraph Shrinking: Read & Summarize main points
Prediction Relay: Make predictions, read, check responses
Re-telling: Player reads and retells it to the Coach

Point Sheet Example:

What is the Point System?

Math Script Example:

Points can be given by the


teacher to student pairs staying
on task or being positive toward
each other. The coach can also
give their partner points for when
they answer something correctly.
The points arent a reward
system, more of a system of
recognition and praise.

How does it work? What are the Teachers and Students Roles?
1. First pair the students by how they are doing in the class. The student who
is doing the best is paired with the student who is struggling the least. For
example, if you have 20 students, number one being the best and 20
being the one struggling the most you would pair number 1 with 11, 2
with 12 and so on.
2. Make the scripts the students will use to while helping each other.
3. Train the students how the process works for about 5 days, teaching them
who the coach is (the student who is doing well) and who the player is
(the student who is struggling). Giving them time to practice how to read
the scripts, when to think aloud, and when to switch roles.
4. Monitor each group by walking around and keeping a score sheet. Give
points for if they are working well, staying on task, being positive, etc.
5. After each PALS session debrief with the class to discuss what they
learned and to highlight which group got the most points and why so that
the other groups can try those techniques the next time.
6. Start using the strategy in your teaching and using it as a way for the
students to go over confusing information.

References:

Kroger, S.D., & Kouche, E. (2006). Using Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to Increase Response to
Intervention in Inclusive Middle Math Settings. (Cover Story). Teaching Exceptional Children, 38(5), 6-13
Ramsey, M. L., Jolivette, K., & Patton, B. (2007). Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) for Reading in
the EBD Classroom. Beyond Behavior, 17(1), 2-6
ERIC - Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies: Making Classrooms More Responsive to Diversity., 1996. (n.d.).
Retrieved July 17, 2016, from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED393269