Sound Partners is a 1-1 tutoring program that uses paraprofessionals as tutors. Students receive tutoring 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week, for 18-20 weeks. The tutoring is somewhat different in kindergarten and first grade but at both grade levels it focuses on phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, and oral reading practice using decodable texts.
Two studies, one at the kindergarten level and the other at the first grade level, qualified for the review. The average effect size was +0.58 on measures from the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test and CTOPP. These met the criteria for the ESSA “Strong” category, and for “Solid Outcomes” (two studies with effect sizes of at least +0.20). Follow-up studies of the kindergartners and first graders both found positive effects maintained two years later on word reading and comprehension.
A local trainer (reading specialist, teacher, or special education teacher) will train the local tutors (educational assistants and paraeducators).
In most research studies and in most local adoptions, paraeducators are trained to implement Sound Partner lessons.
The Voyager Sopris Learning website provides a training manual and training videos. The videos consist of a training session led by a lead research trainer and clips of the trainer using main lessons with a student.
Internet access for training materials
Qualifying studies found no significant positive outcomes.