Reading BuddiesBy Jenna Richter | February 17, 2016 | Literacy
One of the many benefits of a multi-age classroom is our ability to pair older and younger students to undertake learning tasks. Often our older students lend a hand in teaching younger students, while building their own confidence as capable mentors.
While we were in the hall of Thorp School finishing our day with a few minutes of reading, one of the teachers spotted us sitting in the hall, all the students, leaning in on each other and me, reading a book. They said, “Wow! I love to see reading this way, everyone cuddled up enjoying a book together.” I couldn’t agree more.
In Discovery Lab, we teach reading in many ways including a comprehensive online reading program. The program, Reading Eggs, helps with phonics, sight words and fluency. We also practice sight words in games during our small group literacy block as well as practicing reading throughout the day. Having children read to me and to each other plays an important role as they build confidence in their skills.
Allowing older students the role of Reading Buddies has many advantages. The older students have the opportunity to read to their buddy, listen to their little buddy read and help them sound out words and build their own fluency. Big buddies take great pride in their own abilities and realize how far they have come in their own reading.
Like any skill, reading takes practice. We spend time practicing everyday in so many ways that reading is a big part of our classroom culture.