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Book Buddies / Reading Buddies

Compiled By: shazam

Here are some ideas for having reading buddies from a different grade level.

Posted by: Cathy

I did this once before, and it's great exposure for all the kids. After they got used to reading together, the kindergarten kids would do an oral "retelling". Now, of course, it will beshort and simple, but it works because the 3rd grader is able to write what their kindergarten partner says. The kindergarten students practices their language skills and the third grader practices writing. The kindergarten students love to see their "words" in writing. In time persists, or as a follow up, they could illustrate a picture together and make it into a class book.

mixed-grade buddy reading
Posted by: sj

I did some of this with a developmental first and fourth grade classes. I (the fourth grade teacher) wrote some how-to instructions for various art/craft activities. When paired, the 4th grader was to read the directions with the 1st grader and lead them through the activity, with both children making the craft item. Put into the position of teacher/guide, the 4th graders became intent on reading for full meaning and were awesome explainers and helpers for the younger ones. One project involved making a clown face from a chinet paper plate--punch a hole in the middle after coloring on the face, then attach paper ears and pull a balloon end through the hole to make the nose. These work-to-create sessions could be great culminators for buddies who finish reading a book on a related topic. The other teacher and I also set up a file on the little guys, with a folder for each one of them. In the folder was a book, a Weekly Reader, Betsy Bear Listen & color activities, and even flash cards that the older child could lead with his little buddy with little or no teacher direction. As the 4th grade teacher, I scheduled specific times for each student to go to the D1 room to help his little buddy. The system was that regardless of the D1 class activity at the time, the 4th grader was to go tap the D1 on the shoulder and go to a set-aside buddy area and do whatever the teacher had left in the file for his little buddy. This worked really well, gave the 4th graders reason to read and boosted their confidence greatly (great for some of our struggling students, which turned out to be some of our best tutors!) and a good way to get some extra tutoring in for the D1 kids. Occassionally we would schedule non-reading fun times for the classes to be together, like a jumprope time. I remember one time in particular that was so sweet because one of our 4th graders couldn't jump rope. The D1 kids were so encouraging and had built such a bond with their buddies by then that the 4th grader had a whole cheering squad as he learned to jump. Because his buddies were younger, he was able to try something "babyish" that he would never have tried with only his peers. We also planned some seasonal things such as Thanksgiving Dinner, with the D1 being Indians, and 4th being pilgrims. They had worked together as buddies to do some of the reading research and preparing some of the crafts (like the Indian vests) as buddies before we met for our "feast". Hope this helps you generate more ideas. We had a wonderful time with it, and felt that it was immensely successful for both age groups.

reading buddies
Posted by: Connie

I have done this in the past and the way it works is that half of each class goes to the other room. I get half first and half fourth and the fourth grade teacher gets the other ones. Each has a book to read to one other students. I pair them up and a first grader reads to the partner and vice versa. It is great when the fourth grader can help a first grader with a word. Also the fourth grader can feel comfortable choosing a simple book to read to the first grader. It is a win win situation. A simple snack would make it special. The next time we do it the kids that came to my room went to the other room.

Buddies are great!
Posted by: Lynne

Having kindergarten buddies is an awesome thing to do for the little buddies and the big buddies. I am in my first year of teaching fourth grade and we go spend time with our kindergarten buddies every other Friday. You get to see a completely different side of your kids. You see kids who feel needed and appreciated and therefore show excitement and compassion. It is great! We have just read to them and with them some. They have also read books to us that their class has written. We are planning to have the kindergartners draw a few pictures and then have my fourth graders write a story and make a book from their buddies pictures. We are also thinking of writing biographies together. Just a few ideas. Hope this helps. I would love other ideas too.

reading buddies
Posted by: Lynne

A lot depends on what the 1st grade teacher would like also. I have 5th graders that are buddies to 1st graders and I learned that I had to train them what to do while reading with their buddies. I demonstrated what I'd observed them doing during one of the sessions. Then i had them answer what they could do to make a difference and what was wrong with it. They had good suggestions and I added to them. Then I had each student get a picture book like they might use with the 1st graders and practice with each other how to sit and hold the book so while they were reading to their buddies, the book was over more by the buddy. It's strange for them to hold their arms at such angles so the practice was good. I also went over what they should be doing when it was their buddies turn to read. It turned out to be a good lesson and the next day with buddies went great. They came back and talked about how much better it had gone. The buddies listened to them and were engaged in the stories.