The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Buddy Reading

After an exciting morning of storybirding, library, more storybirding, literature circles, and math, my class started something brand new: buddy reading.

The idea came about a few weeks ago, possibly as something brought up during the PBIS Conference. I contacted one of the second grade teachers, whose class has done some friendly competitions with mine off-and-on throughout the year, and suggested bringing our classes together for buddy reading.

Each of my students has been paired up with a second grader. Once a week, we will bring our classes together and my students will have an opportunity to read aloud  to (or with) a buddy. The second graders will also have a chance to share their writing and reading with the fourth graders.

Our first adventure with buddy reading began with my students reading about The Spirit of Uganda with their buddies. The students in the intermediate grades are going to attend a special performance of this group on Thursday morning at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.  As a special treat for our students, though, the performance troupe will be visiting our building on Wednesday for a special assembly.

The experiment went quite well. We had nearly fifty students in one room, all focused on reading and discussing what they had. After the fourth graders finished sharing about the Ugandan troupe, the second graders pulled selections from the “book boxes” and read to my students. The buddy reading lasted for about 45 minutes.

We wrapped up by offering a prize (a Jolly Rancher) to each student who could name his or her buddy’s name. Then the second graders got ready for gym while my class returned to the room for our end-of-the-day meeting and afternoon recess. I’m looking forward to next week’s buddy reading, when the second graders share research projects with my students!

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