Classwide Peer Tutoring: Beginning Reading

What is ClassWide Peer Tutoring: Beginning Reading CWPT: BR?

The ClassWide Peer Tutoring: Beginning Reading (CWPT: BR) program was developed from the "standard" CWPT program to provide the success of the peer tutoring experience and effectiveness to very young children. The program is geared toward pre-school to first grade aged students as they acquire basic learning skills for becoming "good" readers.

The CWPT: BR program is a comprehensive, instructional format that actively engages an entire classroom of primary aged students in the academic tasks of leaning and practicing critical developmental reading skills. It is based upon the "standard" CWPT program and incorporates a direct instruction format with a stimulus-response, tutoring technique that benefits all students both as tutors and tutees.

The CWPT: BR program provides a systematic format for teaching developmental reading skills and builds on the most basic fundamental reading skills from one grade to the next. The beginning reading program equips very young children with the knowledge and practice of the necessary pre reading skills, establishing a solid foundation for reading as they progress through school, year after year. The goal of the CWPT: BR program is to offer classroom teachers a structure of research driven, outcome based, best practices and techniques that are both time and cost effective as well as being easy to implement, monitor, and sustain. CWPT: BR can be adapted and utilized within any given curriculum, text, or basal series.

How can young students who can't read tutor one another?

One of the main strengths of the "standard" CWPT program is the built in mechanism that allows every student to work with and monitor their partner by correcting errors as soon as they happen. You might be wondering how young children, who do not read yet, are able to help and correct errors for one another. The answer and the fascinating feature of the CWPT: BR program is its accompanying software program that allows the classroom teacher to create assessments and picture flashcards for the students' use during the classwide peer tutoring sessions. In this way students don't have to already know how to read, they just need to be able to know the name of the pictures, letters, or objects shown to them for a response.

How can CWPT: BR help your students?

As with the "standard" CWPT program, the CWPT: BR program can help all students by doubling and in some cases tripling the amount of time students are involved with and can directly practice the learning task that is being taught. The CWPT: BR program brings learning practice for the primary aged student to an individual learning experience after they have been taught the basic concept in a large group format. You can imagine the impact the CWPT: BR program can have on very young students in that students are able to work with a partner in order to help them learn the names of all the letters and sounds, with pictures and flashcards via the peer tutoring process.

Who can benefit from CWPT: BR?

The CWPT: BR core program is the same as that of the "standard" CWPT program. The beginning reading program has also been researched and proven to be effective with the same following student populations as the "standard" CWPT program:

  • Students with special needs
  • Students with emotional labels
  • Students at risk of school failure
  • Students who are culturally and linguistically diverse
  • Students with ADD and ADHD

What are the benefits of CWPT: BR?

CWPT: BR benefits for the primary classroom teacher include (but are not limited to):

  • Access to a research proven instruction strategy that increases academic achievement and mastery in young children,
  • An opportunity to visually and verbally monitor and evaluate student academic progress immediately as it happens,
  • Implementation of an effective academic procedure to provide instruction to all students at the same time; developing content to remediate individual deficits, whether for higher, average, or lower ability students,
  • Being immediately available to provide feedback and assistance to all student pairs,
  • Less time being devoted to student off-task behaviors,
  • Increased opportunities for incidental teaching based on student performance,
  • More positive teacher/student verbal interactions, and
  • A rare opportunity to see how individual students process basic inquisitional learning skill.

CWPT: BR benefits for very young students include (but are not limited to):

  • Significantly increased "opportunities to respond" and practice first hand the information delivered in a large group format for acquiring the basic skills needed for learning how to read,
  • Close "tutor/tutee-coaching" experiences with immediate error correction and positive feedback from both the classroom teachers and peer partners,
  • Improved acquisitioned skills, gains, and unexpected academic successes,
  • Direct involvement with a learning strategy that taps into the various learning styles or modalities for acquiring and processing academic information,
  • Increased opportunities for positive social/academic interactions with the classroom teachers and other student peers, which is critical at this very young age,
  • Being aware of their individual progress and achievements,
  • Increased routine following and "on-task" behaviors, and
  • A great opportunity to acquire basic learning skills through a fun, game format.

How does CWPT: BR differ from more traditional classroom instruction?

In traditional classroom instruction, the teacher or classroom aides are the main content delivery persons, and the basic content delivery system is through teacher lecture, whole group/small group format, and passive student learning and exposure. In the CWPT: BR classroom, the young students become the content delivery persons for each other through an active multi-modality/flashcard delivery system. This delivery system drives the one-to-one practice sessions, and students are provided with numerous opportunities to respond directly with the content being learned. Couple all these aspects of the CWPT: BR program with its comprehensive content modules' manual and the computer software that allows the creation of specified assessments, tutoring templates, and the ability to create flashcards specific to the content being taught, and you've got a totally comprehensive and powerful academic instructional package for young children.

Where can you find more information about the CWPT: BR program?


Juniper Gardens Children's Project 
The CWPT program was researched and developed at the Juniper Gardens Children's Project in Kansas City, Kansas through grant initiatives affiliated with the University of Kansas. 

Sopris West Publishing Company
The Sopris West Publishing Company is the publisher of the "standard" CWPT program called "Together We Can" and the "Together We Can" CWPT-LMS manual and computer software.