One of my favorite things about independent reading time is letting the students pair share with one another. I have 5 simple "rules" for the class to follow. One cue is on each paper in the download. The students choose (or I choose, depending on the day) a partner and...
1. Sit knee to knee on the floor next to each other so they are able to see each others books.
2. They take turns. While one person shares the other one has their books on the floor and quietly listens.
3. If they need to talk they use a "best friend whisper", as if they were telling something top secret to their friend.
4. The person sharing retells the story they read. They don't have to read the text word for word but they can.
5. The person who isn't sharing can ask questions and make comments about their partner's book. (what was your favorite part? what connections did you make? what do you think about...?)
I keep these little posters in my classroom throughout the year to refer to when I need to.
Clip art: 3amteacher, mycutegraphics.com