What is an elbow partner?
- Elbow partners are assigned and they keep the same one all year.
- Elbow partners sit beside each other on the carpet.
- Elbow partners are cognitively similar.
- They also use their elbow partner for “Lean and Tell.”
- Lean and Tell is used when there is a quick response.
- We use this instead of having our kids raise their hands to answer.
- This allows for active engagement of everyone.
Another strategy that Marcia talks about is using “families”. I love my family set up!
Here’s how I do it:
- Each family has a group of kids who work well together, without playing.
- Each family has all abilities.
- Each family has a natural leader.
- Spread out the children who are “talkers” or more active children.
- Children work with their families for centers and any time we are doing group activities.
Each family has a meeting area. When I need them to get with their families, they know where to go!
- During Reader’s Workshop and Writer’s Workshop kids work with a partner.
- These partners are based on running records for reading and rubrics for writing.
- Partners are “close” to the same level.
- New partners are assigned every two weeks.
- Partners have their “private working area” in the same location as their partner working area.
- This way, no one has to move when we transition to partner time.
- We use this chart to help us keep up with partners.
- We have one for reading and one for writing.
- When I first started having kids work with partners, I was frustrated. I would tell them to “read with their partners” but they were simply sitting side by side not engaged.
- So that’s when we developed these two anchor charts. We spend a week on each chart. We model each technique and have time for them to practice right there in the lesson.
- Marcia tells us, “When students talk about a topic, they will understand it better because their brains not only mental process the information but also verbally process it.”
Here’s my summary….