Originally Posted by ktdclark
I find it depends on the personality of the child--some can handle the high-low pairings while others cannot.
I agree with this. I'm not following that same program, but it sounds like my class is set up similiarly. My desks are in pairs so everyone has a partner that they work with (sometimes, of course there is independent work too) and do turn and talks with. I have two girls that are just ions above everyone else. One of them sits next to the lowest student in the class and actually enjoys it. She likes "teaching" him the material and reviewing it (she has told me this). I think it keeps her from being bored with whole group instruction, honestly. I'm very glad because I know this student woudln't get half as much out of the lesson if he sat next to someone else who would just give him answers or simply ignore him. My other really high student is paired with a middle-high student because she is NOT good with the lower kids and I can tell it drives her nuts.
One of the things I've done in class is little "skits" showing how to be a good partner. I start with "how to be a terrible partner" and they think this is absolutely hilarious. I ask for a volunteer who won't be easily embarrassed to come up and pretend to be my partner. I'll ask them to start reading and I'll do things like jump in after .5 seconds to give him a word, start talking over him, start talking to someone else, play with my book/look around the room, say "Just let me do it!" etc. Then we act out how to do it the right way. I feel it gets the point across without having to lecture.