"Today students, you will learn how to be a good first grade buddy and why it is important. Last night I met with Ms. T and we decided it would be great if we teamed up our two classes. We will get together with the first graders to read once a week for 30 minutes. You will be paired up with a buddy. A few of you will have to work in groups of three because Ms. T has a few less students than we have. Do any of you have siblings, cousins or friends in Ms. T's class? ( I know a few of them do- so I wanted to acknowledge that to build excitement.)
Ms. T and I matched you up with a buddy based on everything we know about you. I told her that you will be great role models for her 6 year old students. Right?
The reason we are getting together with another classroom is for you to be able to read to your buddy. Ms. T's students are just learning to read. At the beginning of the year, most of you will have to read to them. But as the year goes by, her students will start learning to read, too. Some of them already know how to read! They will certainly want to read their books to you as they are learning how! By getting together with your buddy once a week you will learn to be patient, caring, kind, and almost like a teacher as you two share reading with each other. Doesn't that sound like fun? So for today, I want all of you to shop in the classroom library and pick out a book to read to your buddy. Make sure you have them in mind, you want to select a book that would be "Just Right" if you were a 6 year old. Do you think you can do that? I suggest that you shop in the bins marked EFG, HIJ for fiction. There are some excellent series books in those bins that I know the 1st graders like such as Henry and Mudge, Snowball, Frog and Toad, Amelia Bedilia, Houndsly and Katina for example. If you want to share an informational book with your buddy, find one that has lots of great pictures and not too many words on the page. Pick an easier informational book. Maybe something that you are interested in too. Remember our I PICK lesson? Today you will be picking a book with the purpose of finding a book a younger student will like.
They will also be bringing their library books to our class today. So be prepared to share their library book, too. They will be really excited about checking out a book- so make sure you are excited about sharing it with them.
We will alternate which class visits the other class. I have my students prepared by having a book for their partner and seated in different parts of the classroom using all available space. Some partnerships will read at desks and some on the floor. Today the first graders are coming in to our room. When the students arrive, Ms. T and I each have a list of the partnerships. She has her students wait quietly in a line on the rug. I have 1/2 of partnerships to read off and she has the other half. We alternate reading the names of the partnerships. I have coached my students to raise their hand when they hear their name so that the 1st grader can find them. We wanted to have this figured out ahead of time so that we ould be intentional about our partnerships due to the diverse entry points in both our classrooms.
We quickly get the students settled in their partnerships and they begin reading. Sometimes the 5th grader is reading and in sometimes the 1st grader is reading. Ms. T and I have crackers to pass out to the students to enjoy as they are reading. We watched and redirected students as needed. In the coming weeks we will add in short tasks to support the students getting to know each other. Such as having them prepared to ask a few questions of each other before beginning to read. We want to develop friendships between the students so they can say hi to each other when they see one another on the playground, at assemblies, or at lunch. We know that school is sometimes scary for students, so our purpose is both academic as well as social-emotional.