The smell of cinnamon recently filled the air in the Fletcher Elementary School cafeteria as Book Buddies from Mary Ellen Reynold’s third grade and Everett Nelson’ kindergarten created holiday ornaments for their loved ones. The older student helped the kindergartens create the cut-out ornaments and decorate them. The activity is one of many the students are doing together as part of their Book Buddies Reading Program.
“I love reading and getting together with my Book Buddies,” said third grader Ella Smith. “We are helping the kindergartens get ready to move to the next grade and they get to see what it is like in third grade. Plus, we see each other in the hallways and it gives the kindergartner an older student to look up to.”
The two teacher formed Book Buddies to give the third graders additional practice in reading strategies and build fluency with a “safe” partner. The Book Buddies meet a few times a month. The kindergartners share a book by reading it out loud to their buddy and then, the buddy reads a more complex story. They also write in journals about what they read, with both the third grader and the kindergartner creating their own journals. The third graders address specific items based on current expectations/lessons, while the kindergartners record the name of the book, who the author is, and a drawing that represents the characters or illustrating a favorite part or main idea.
“Book Buddies is a great program as everyone gets extra practice in reading and writing in a novel setting,” said the teachers.