SIS News Archive
The Magic of Book Buddies- A Benefit for All
In many of the classrooms at SIS students are paired with an older or younger grade for shared literacy time which we call Book Buddies. Our kindergarten class meets with the grade four students in Mrs. Kim’s class at least once a month to share their love of books. I knew that my students were very excited and a little nervous to meet the older students (who seem so big to the 5 year olds) but I was surprised to see how it really benefits both groups.
The older students become reading mentors or tutors and are able to model good reading habits and behaviors, while the younger group helps boost the self esteem and skills of the older students. There is a wonderful mix of girls and boys and many languages. They are all very excited about sharing and demonstrating how they can read texts. It models reading for younger students and even helps struggling or reluctant readers feel good about reading. The students make meaningful connections between texts that they are reading at the two levels. All of the students are enthusiastic about shared experiences that arise when having conversations about the books that they enjoy. This creates bonds among the children, further strengthen our sense of community and family here at SIS.
Research has shown that book buddy programs can further develop a reader’s fluency. Reading for an audience brings your awareness to the flow of the text and the art of storytelling. Recently the grade four students helped the Kindergartners with their research on Penguins. The program makes students feel both important and needed- it is a great situation that creates a reason for children to help each other.
The beneficial experiences continue to bloom right before our eyes. Next steps are to incorporate writing into our sessions together. Stay tuned...