Last year I was one of the three new classroom teachers hired in my building. Two of us were first year teachers and we ended up attending several workshops together and collaborating on a variety of projects. One of the collaborations we did was for buddy reading. My fourth grade students were paired up with second grade class once a week to do shared reading with one another. It was a great success and we made plans to do it again this year.
However, we had to make a few changes for this year. For one, instead of teaching second grade, my colleague switched to teaching first grade this year, so some of her students are still in the emergent reading stage; that is, they are still learning how to read. For another, the first grade classes this year are considerably smaller than my class. I have twenty-seven students this year; my colleague has about half that. Fortunately, another first grade teacher has an equally small class, so my students are pairing up with two first grade classes.
The three classes got together for the first time last week but, since I was busy recovering from surgery, I missed out on it. So I was really excited to see how students would do working with first graders. My expectation is that they would do a fabulous job, based on what I have seen them do, the notes my substitute left for me, and the comments that the first grade teachers shared.
I was not disappointed! Despite having 26 fourth graders (one of my students was absent) and 29 first graders (if I counted correctly) in one room with three teachers and an aide, all of the students were focused on reading and sharing! I was able to snap some pictures between visits to the different pairs. My students read to the first graders last week, so this week the first graders read to their fourth grade buddies. I love the collaboration and the sharing that is going on among our three classes!