This week I wanted to share some experiences with our first grade buddy class. We meet once a week and it is one of the BEST things I do every year - even with time constraints, increasing standards - it is so worth it. We start off the year randomly assigning buddies - and for whatever reason we always just pick great matches. At first we just read to them, with them for the first three weeks or so. In October, we did the Monster Writing project - we write about and draw a monster, they do the same, then they try to draw each others based on the writing. This was so much fun!
Every week, our students count down till buddy time. I love seeing this new, nurturing side of my big, tough fifth graders come out every week! This week, both classes thought of "interview questions" and came armed with their clipboards. They asked questions, wrote their answers and then my students helped their buddies create a video mash up of their answers using www.onetruemedia.com
My hearing impaired student helps her buddy make a video!
Kourtni lets her buddy take over the video skills!
Hard work with two buddies!
In a time of testing, rigor and stress - there is nothing more rewarding I have found than having buddy time. Our principal came to see us at work this Friday and was blown away - my students become role models, the younger students become engaged learning from a peer and it all just works. If you can, try a buddy class! It is worth it!