‘Partnering’ in this sense is the pairing up of two children reading the same book. It has been found that when you team up children of comparable level and ability for reading they can make more progress.
Partnering immediately and effectively brings up the engagement levels of entire classrooms of children. Children grasp materials faster -and it’s more fun!
One reason partnering is so vital is that it gives the individual child someone to work with, increasing participation and dissuading a child from just ‘looking’ rather than being engaged. Children tend to become more extroverted when partnered and often begin to take some responsibility for their fellow learners.
If an educator just lets a child sit there, without guidance, his or her attention often tends to wander around in the total ‘significance’ of it all. There is no one to ‘bounce ideas off’; there is no one to help with judging how one thing is more or less important than another. Real partnering, with the proper control, effectively pulls children right up out of their vagueness, helps to establish what is really important, and gives them some responsibility right from the start.
Another reason this can work is that a person who is reading is mainly taking things in -ideas, words, chapter after chapter of information. Day after day the words go in, in, in. This tends to put him or her at the receiving end of a lot of ideas.
In partnering, the person can balance this with some outgoing activity. In the H.E.A.R.T. programme, partners are assigned at the beginning of the tournament and they tend to remain assigned through to the completion of the tournament. One tries not to allow them to drift from one partner to another. The whole essence of partnering is to get two children to work together, to assist each other and take responsibility for getting each other successfully through the programme.