Reading Buddies

A 5th grade boy reads to a younger student.What are Reading Buddies? Good question! Reading Buddies is a program where the older classes meet up with either a kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade class. The younger kids are paired up with an older kid (or maybe two!) and they read together and play educational games each time they meet throughout the year. We alternate meeting in either the older kids’ or the younger kids’ classroom. Reading Buddies are fun for the students because they get to develop relationships outside of their classroom.

We will never forget the time, as kindergartners, we got our first reading buddies! We were doing our work when the teacher said “It looks like our buddies are here!”. We all turned our heads toward the door, and there they were, walking in the room with books in their hands. We were super excited to work with the older kids. We felt very special working with and learning from the 5th graders. It made us feel more mature to be working with the bigger kids; we felt bigger too.

We chatted with some 5th graders to see what their perspective was about Reading Buddies. What do you like about Reading Buddies? Calvin said, he likes to hang out with kindergartners and read to them. Getting to know kindergartners and making a new friend is what William likes. Addie likes watching the younger students learn to read. What’s fun about the program, to Mackenzie, is learning about what genres of books interest little kids.

We also wondered what their favorite books to read with a buddy are. Calvin enjoys reading fairy tales with his buddy. William replied, Are You My Mummy? a Halloween version of Are You My Mother? Reading whatever the kindergartners choose is Addie’s favorite. What Mackenzie loves to read isPiggy and Gerald  by Mo Willems.

We thought it would be interesting to ask what they would like to change about this program. Calvin would like to A kindergarten girl reads with her buddy.increase the amount of time we get to read with our buddies per year. William thought everything about this program is perfect, and there is nothing to change. It’s fun for everyone, and you should not change anything, is what Addie answered. From Mackenzie’s perspective, it all works out and there is nothing to be changed. You could see from the very beginning 5th grade and the kindergartners both love this program.

Then we wanted to see how different the 5th grade perspective was from the teachers’. We asked Mr. Wadness why he does reading buddies. He does it because he wants to give students the opportunity to be a teacher to the younger students. He likes to see the kindergartners look up to the 5th graders when they work together. He also loves watching relationships begin to develop between the 5th graders and kindergartners, and they almost become like brothers and sisters.

Then we asked him how long he has been doing this program. Surprisingly, in his 22 years of teaching, this year is only his second year! Last year he and his class were Reading Buddies with Mrs. Bedell-Healy’s and Mrs. Brannelly’s class. This year with just Mrs. Brannelly’s class. He only participated in the program last year, because in prior years, all of the kindergarten classes were already with buddies

We also wondered what he finds interesting about Reading Buddies. He likes to see the older and younger students bond. He likes to see them read together and build with K’nex. He likes when the students see their buddy in the hallway, they wave and say “Hi”, or give them high fives!

2 buddies reading together.After that we wanted to know what he thinks the students like when they get together to read. He thinks the students like to be a little bit like a brother or sister to each other. He believes it makes them feel good to read and teach each other. He notices that the students like to make stories together and color together. He likes to see the relationships between the older and younger kids continue to grow. He notices that Reading Buddies is a special time for the fifth graders because they feel very responsible.

Then we decided to ask him if there was something he would like to change about Reading Buddies. He said “No”. Why? He and his students had such a great time last year with their Buddies. Although, he did a program in his last school called Special Friends, in which he and his students received a buddy and they went on field trips, read, colored, and played games. He does wish that he, his students, and their buddies could go on field trips together, but unfortunately, there is not enough time. We thought Mr. Wadness’ answers were very interesting, especially compared to the students’.

Reading Buddies helps older and younger students get to know each other and bond. It helps the kindergartners understand what it’s like to be a 5th grader. It also helps them to get used to 5th graders and not be nervous around them. Out of all the activities that are happening throughout the school, Reading Buddies is by far our favorite.

Reported by Kyle, Rico, Will A., and Drew

13 thoughts on “Reading Buddies

  1. Kyle, Rico, Will, and Drew,

    What a great article! Very well written and I enjoyed learning everyone’s thoughts and opinions about reading buddies. I know that Harry always looked forward to it! He even got his big brother as his buddy! Thanks for sharing this! Nice work!

    Drew’s Mom

  2. Kyle, Rico, Will, and Drew,

    Thank you! I loved reading your post about Reading Buddies! I especially liked how you interviewed some fifth graders to get their perspective on being Kindergarten and then as Fifth grade buddies.
    It makes me wonder if we should have everyone do this, or maybe just fifth grade and Kindergarten.

    Thank you for sharing this aspect of Chickering with everyone.

  3. Great blog guys! I’m very impressed with the clear and descriptive writing style and the logical, concise composition. You write better than most adults. Please keep it up I can’t wait to read your next post.

  4. What an informative piece! This answered a lot of questions and gave a very thorough description of the reading buddies program. Keep up the good work everyone!

  5. Dear Will, Drew, Rico, and Kyle,
    I think that this post shows how great and educational this program is. I believe according to evidence, that Reading Buddies gets younger kids to bond with older kids, and younger kids may learn how to read a bit more

  6. Great job on this report guys. You really pulled me into it at the beginning and gave a lot of information about reading buddies. It would be good idea for you to asked the students to explain why the books are good because after a while it got a little repetitive.
    Other than that great job guys.

  7. I really dig this blog post. I really like how you got different quotes from other non-reporters from class and your teacher. On the next post you make, I suggest you add a variety of things because the quotes and names of books got a little repetitive. It would be a good idea if you explained a little more why they liked the books.
    I really look forward to reading your next post

  8. You guys did a great job with writing and explaining Reading Buddies. It was very detailed. There were two things that hasn’t actually happened with us and our buddies; we haven’t played educational games with them or build K’nex. Maybe next time, you can give the information that we did. But the 5th graders last year maybe did. But in everything else, you guys did perfectly! Really nice job guys.

  9. I think it is so cool! You talk all about the reading buddies and you talk about the 5th grade perspective and kindergartners’. Did you ask what books they like? Did you ask what books they don’t like? Do they like math? Do they dislike math? It would help to have this information about the kindergartners. Nice job.

  10. I loved your post. I liked how you interviewed the students and Mr. Wadness. Another thing you could have done was interview the the buddies. Good luck on your next post.

  11. I really like the confidence, effort and teamwork to write this long article. I also like how you, on everything you said, there is at least 1 thing to support it. I suggest next time you ask them to say the books that interests the little kids.
    This is one of the best articles I have ever read.

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