Frequently Asked Questions

We hope these frequently asked questions are helpful to you. If you have any more questions, please contact us.


What grade levels is PALS designed for?

Originally, PALS was designed to be used in grades 2-6 classrooms. Recent PALS research and program development has focused on downward and upward extensions of PALS. This has led to Kindergarten PALS (K-PALS), First-Grade PALS, 2-6 PALS and and High-School PALS in reading. PALS is also available in math.

What do I need to implement PALS?

Materials are minimal and inexpensive. To learn about PALS, teachers will need the PALS grades 2-6 teacher’s manual. To train the class, teachers will need a box of blank transparencies, an overhead projector, and a transparency pen. Each pair of students will need pocket folders to hold the PALS materials. So if there are 26 students in a class, the teacher will need to purchase 13 folders. We also recommend that teachers purchase a kitchen timer to help with pacing during the lesson. In PALS Math, K-PALS Reading and First-Grade PALS Reading, teachers will also need to make a significant number of copies of the student lessons.

How do teachers train their students?

Carefully training students in the basic PALS procedures is very important. All necessary training lessons are in the grades 2-6 teacher's manuals. These lessons are scripted with wording we have found to be successful in communicating what students must learn. An outline of the material covered in each lesson is also presented.

It is a teacher's choice how to present the lessons. Teachers study the outlines to understand what is to be covered. Most rely on the scripts to present the material while others rely primarily on the outline to guide their classroom presentations. Still others study the scripts and then highlight the portions they intend to present. When teaching PALS to their students, teachers typically use their own words most of the time but follow the script when they believe it is important. No matter how one teaches these lessons, teachers should feel comfortable elaborating on any concepts students do not seem to understand.

All manuals include training timelines to help schedule lessons. DVDs are available for grades 2-6 reading and math, kindergarten reading and math, and High-School reading to assist with training.

Does the PALS program provide specific reading and math materials for students?

PALS Math includes student worksheets that target the basic skills at each grade level. K-PALS and First-Grade PALS reading includes a set of 70 student lesson sheets, and teachers choose appropriate reading material for partner reading. PALS does not provide any reading material for students in grades 2-6 or high school; it is the teacher’s responsibility to select appropriate reading materials.

Will PALS replace my existing reading and math program?

No. PALS is meant to supplement, not replace, other reading and math instruction.

How much class time is needed for implementation for PALS reading?

  • K-PALS is implemented 3-4 times a week for approximately 30 minutes per session.
  • First-Grade PALS is implemented 3-4 times a week for approximately 35 minutes per session.
  • Grades 2-6 PALS Reading is implemented 3 times a week for 35 minutes per session.
  • High-School PALS is implemented 5 times every 2 weeks for 35 minutes per session.

How much class time is needed for implementation for PALS Math?

K-PALS is implemented 2 times a week for approximately 30 minutes per session.

  • First-Grade PALS is implemented 3 times a week for approximately 30 minutes per session.
  • Grades 2-6 PALS Math is implemented 2 times a week for approximately 30 minutes per session.

How do you know that PALS works?

Over the past 10 years, repeated evaluations of PALS Reading and Math by Vanderbilt researchers indicate that mainstreamed students with learning disabilities, low-achieving students without disabilities, average-achieving students, and high-achieving students make greater progress in PALS Reading and Math classrooms than their respective counterparts in non-PALS classes. Additionally, there have been independent evaluations conducted by educators in California, Iowa, and Texas. These independent evaluations also find a strong “value-added” for PALS Reading and Math. Based on these findings, the U.S. Department of Education’s Program Effectiveness Panel approved PALS Reading and Math for inclusion in the National Diffusion Network of effective educational practices.

What are the benefits of PALS?

There are many benefits for students and teachers who practice PALS.

  • Is affordable and easily implemented;
  • Optimizes instructional resources in the classroom;
  • Actively involves all students in tasks they can perform successfully;
  • Increases student opportunity to read and practice basic math skills;
  • Motivates students to do better in reading and math;
  • Provides positive and productive peer interaction;
  • Creates opportunity for lower functioning students to assume an integral role in a valued activity;
  • Allows students with disabilities to spend more time in a less restrictive environment and increases their access to the general education curriculum;
  • Helps teachers accommodate academic diversity;
  • Accelerates student achievement in reading and math;
  • Is found to be an enjoyable activity by teachers and students.

Do PALS and CBM have to be used together?

PALS and CBM (Curriculum-Based Measurement) were designed to complement one another, but do not have to be implemented together to be effective. Many teachers use PALS and CBM with excellent results.

Where is PALS being used?

Hundreds of teachers in the Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County Public Schools and in neighboring school districts use PALS Reading and Math. PALS outreach activities have included on-site, day-long workshops for thousands of teachers in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Arizona, Ohio, and elsewhere.

What does PALS cost?

For information about our teacher manuals and DVDs, please see the Order Form on the PALS home page. For information about professional development workshops, please see the Professional Development section of this site.

Ordering FAQ

How do I order PALS?

Please complete an order form and fax with a check or purchase order.

How soon can I receive my order?

Once we have a completed order form and purchase order or check, we will ship your order and delivery is expected within 1-2 weeks.

Why are student materials not listed under PALS reading like they are under PALS math?

All the PALS reading manuals include the student materials.  Kindergarten and 1st grade math also include student materials.  Grades 2-6 math do not have student materials, so these must be purchased in addition to the manual.

What do the manuals contain?

All PALS Reading Manuals and PALS Math for Kindergarten and 1st grade include student materials.  Math PALS contains scripts for Grades 2-6.  The student math manuals are sold separately.

Can I call in my order?

Sorry we do not take phone orders  Please send a completed order form via fax, mail, or email with a scanned purchase order.

Do you take credit cards?

We do not accept credit cards in an effort to keep our costs down.

What can I get from the website?

The website contains a wealth of background and descriptive information, training details, sample lessons, a downloadable order form, as well as the latest in PALS news.

How do I get PALS training?

Please click on any “contact us” button on our website.  Indicate the type of training (e.,g., reading or math), the grade level requested, the number of people to be trained, and your location.  You will be contacted by a PALS trainer and can negotiate dates.

I have a question, who do I ask?

Please click on the contact us button.

Can we order the large poster size board we’ve seen on the video?  Is that the Large Print Manual?

The large poster board was actually made for the video.  We do not sell that as a product.  Any page can be blown up at a local print shop and made into a poster board.  The Kindergarten Large Print lessons are simply an 8.x 11 manual full of worksheets in larger size print as younger students work better and like bigger pictures.