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Book Buddies

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Book Buddies has been a wonderful experience in my own classroom this year. Here's a collection of ideas to use when planning book buddies for your own students.

Wonderful experience
Posted by: Nancy in BC

Every intermediate class in our school "buddies" with a primary class for the year. We usually meet with our buddies for 20 minutes once a week. In my case, I have a Grade 4/5 and we buddy with a K/1. Most weeks the little guys bring a "book" they have made - pattern books featuring a specific letter or sound. They read and re-read it to my guys. The older buddies ask them other rhyming words, help them track with their fingers, and then finish off by coloring one of the pages together. Some weeks we do art projects together. This week we made spiders for Hallowe'en from fresh dates, broken toothpicks and raisins. The older guys helped the younger ones count - and talked about Hallowe'en safety too. The big buddies often watch out for their buddies on the playground as well - just try it - don't wait until January!

book buddies
Posted by: Lisa

I have been teaming up with a 4-5 teacher for the past three years and doing the same thing. We call it S.U.R.F time. The acronym stands for Sharing Unlimited Reading Fun! Both grade levels LOVE this time. Last year was interesting because my partner had looped with his fourth grade class from the previous year, so his kids were already familiar with the concept. Things went really smoothly last year. This year we both have a new class so we are introducing buddy reading to both levels.

One thing that we did last year was to write and publish books with our SURF buddies. My class of 1st graders were to do a research project of an animal of their choice.Each child chose an animal then we all went to the library together and found the proper books. Over the next several visits the older kids used these books to read to the younger ones and finally they collaborated on writing the report, using some guiding questions from me. The book turned out to be amazing and would not have been nearly as good if I had not had the help of the upper grade children! I have come to love SURFing and will miss it next year when my partner moves on to a different school.:-(

reading buddies
Posted by: med

Hello...I used this idea (that came from someone on this site actuallly) and my guys loved it.

We decorated a reading buddie which was a rock. The students were allowed to paint the rock anyway they wanted (during this time we went over primary colors, secondary colors, intermedient colors...) and then they named their buddy. In order for him/her to "stay alive" they MUST read to him/her for at least 15 minutes each night.

I guess i should mention that I do teach third grade, but this activity could be used for any grade level. I also saw where students decorated an empty 2 liter bottle as a reading buddy.

Good luck and hope this helps!

Posted by: cr

Recently the 5th graders in our school hosted the K-5 students for a "Books, Brownies, and Buddies" activity. They brought blankets and made "tents" out of the lunchroom tables. The 5th grade buddy then read a book to the K-5 student. They had brownies together. It lasted about an hour.

I have also been involved in "study Buddies" where my class wrote and illustrated short stores for the 2nd graders. We then invited them to the "big kids class", paired up and read the stories to them and then they in turn read them back to their buddy. They got to keep the story.

Good luck and have fun!

reading buddies
Posted by: kali

My K students do buddy reading with the 4th grade and they LOVE it. The 4th grade students choose a book (after learning about their audience), they model the new comprehesion strategies they are learning....for example, they put sticky tape on pages that they want to talk about or at spots where it is appropriate to encourage a prediction, or to model a think aloud! It has been so great! The tangled readers are building fluency without being embarrased that it is a 'kids book" and they are acting as little reading teachers!!
My K students usually bring one book with them.......they choose a familiar book off the shelf or find a new one they want to hear. They are expirencing book choice and getting 1-1 attention and I know that twice a week my kids are read to 1-1 for 20 minutes. Its a win win.

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Reading Buddies
Posted by: marie

If you want to have some variety with your reading partners (or partners for other subjects too) try "clock appointments."

On a clock face, draw lines pointing to the numbers you want to use. (I draw lines pointing to the 12, 3, 6, and 9 so I have four appointments.)

Then I use a class list to match up my students with 4 sets of buddies. (I actually make up 3 sets and let them choose their 4th buddy.) I tailor the different sets of buddies for different subjects: 12:00 is geared for reading, 3:00 is for writing, 6:00 is for math, and 9:00 is their choice buddy.

Each student receives a clock with their 4 buddies' names written on the lines. They keep the clock appointments page in their binders.

When I want them to partner up, I just say, "Today please meet with your 6:00 clock appointment," and they know immediately who to work with. (Students who don't have an appointment for that time or whose appointment is absent, come to me so I can re-partner them for the day.)

This is kind of hard to explain, and it does take a while to set up, but once you've done it, the rest of the year is a breeze! I just mark on my class list the dates I use each appointment so they are evenly used. (Of course, they love the 9:00 appointment best!)

Posted by: Cathy-Dee

Having an older grade buddy with younger grades is wonderful. I've had different grades in the past with my first graders, but because our school has changed we only go up to 4th grade now. This year my students had grade 3 buddies.

One of the main activities reading. At the beginning of the year we had a shorter time of reading. The younger children would read first - books we made in class, their readers and then the older kids would read next.

Other activities

- letter writing - Santa letters at Christmas for example
- writing letters to Penpals together
- doing some computer work together
- catching up missed work
- doing a "more difficult" craft or art project together.
- older buddies can do flash card drills for sight words, addition and subtraction facts.
- worksheets - sometimes when I am starting a new type of workbook I'd have the buddies do one page with the grade ones. This would give my kids a chance to learn how the worksheet should be done with more one-on-one help.

Stuffed Reading Buddies
Posted by: JulieP

Each year, I have a couple in my class that HATE to read by themselves. They whine and moan when I tell them that we will do DEAR every day. I hear "I hate to read." all the time.

I keep a large bin next to my class library that holds various sized stuffed animals. I tell my students that they can take a reading buddy with them when they read by themselves, but only when they read by themselves.

Now my kids who HATED to read at the beginning of the year are the first to ask if they can get a book and a buddy and read. And this is not just during DEAR time. They ask when they finish assignments early.

It has also worked in another way this year. I have a couple of coveted reading buddies that all the kids want to read with. My late finishers have started working faster to try to get one of these animals.

Reading Buddy Letters
Posted by: Lynn

Last year I created a competition I called Reading Olympics with my students. There were four categories: AR points, AR test average, time spent reading, and pages read. I listed students in order for each category and listed the score of the leader so that everyone could set an appropriate goal for the week. I offered small rewards for top three category winners and the top three overall winners were allowed to invite someone of the choosing to the pizza or ice cream party. It worked so well I am doing it again this year.
This year I have also paired up my students with students from my husband's high school english classes. My students (grades 1-5) read a book and write a letter to their reading buddy about it. Then I send the book and the letter to the high school for their reading buddy to respond to. If they ask questions back to my students they answer them in their next book. Both groups of students are eager to get and write letters.

Buddy Ideas
Posted by: Emily

I'm not sure what you're looking for, or if you're looking for weekly projects or monthly ones, but here is what my 5th graders have done with our K buddies.
* make friendship bracelets using embroidery thread (the big kids helped the little ones braid the thread and tie it).
* buddy reading
* "trading places" for an afternoon. The little ones came to our room for an hour to do what the big kids do, and then we went to their room to do what kinders do for an hour. My kids loved it.
* make a friendship quilt (no sew of course- we used the adhesive "tape" that requires ironing)
* eat lunch together outside (we had to do sack lunch b/c of the cafeteria schedule).
* have "secret buddy pals" and send cards or colored pictures back and forth, and at the end of the year reveal who had who as a secret pal (although we did see each other weekly, we didn't reveal who had who until the end).

Buddy classes
Posted by: Oldie

Here are some things I did with a 4th grade/1st grade buddy class:
--type up the directions for an art activity. The 4th grader must read the directions to the 1st grader but is not allowed to do any of the cutting, glueing, etc. After the 1st grader completes his project, the 1st grader tells the 4th grader what to do and the 4th grader is to follow the oral directions. A good reading comp for 4th, good sequencing for 1st, and a lot of fun for all.
--jump rope. The 4th graders learn some jumprope jingles ahead of time, then we all go out and they jump with their buddies. It was great because a lot of the 4th graders really needed the jumproping as much as some of the 1st and this gave them a way to participate that wasn't demeaning
--Thanksgiving feast. The 1st graders were the indians (they had prepared paper sack vests, headbands, and sliced turkey sandwich meat and bread slices into various fractional parts( 1/2, 1/4, etc) The 4th graders were the pilgrims and had made paper hats to wear. Each grade performed little songs and poems, and the 4th graders brought Thanksgiving books they'd written about their Pilgrim voyage to read to the 1st graders as well as some food items they'd prepared for the "feast"

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