8th Grade Book Buddies

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Best part of Book Buddies? Your 6ft something buddy can make
a safety shelter for you to read under.

One of the greatest ways to have fun, build self-confidence, practice reading skills outside of the classroom, and work on social-emotional/ independent functioning goals is to have Book Buddies. My Eighth grade co-teacher and I partnered up with the First grade team. Every Wednesday, the First grade students wait outside of the library for their Eighth grade book buddies to come pick them up, bring them into the library to return old books and check out new books that their level. They then begin reading with them outside in the hallway.

Book Buddies in the library checking out new books.

How does this work with students with diverse learning needs? 

Since the lowest reading level in the Eighth grade class was Second grade, we purposely teamed up with the First grade team to ensure that ALL students can read the First grade level books. In addition, these First graders LOVE the older students. Apparently, it's super cool to hang out with the Eighth grade students.

A First grader asking her Book Buddy how to pronounce a new word.
In addition, students with diverse learning needs are practicing accuracy, fluency, and comprehension skills outside of their usual classroom setting. I watched as students were pretending to be me, asking their younger book buddies to "sound out the first letter" or reading and stopping to ask comprehension questions. It's absolutely hysterical!

Book Buddies taking over the hallway.
The best part? So many of the students are gaining self-confidence. I've had students really break out of their shell when working with the younger students. They hold the buddies hand, walk with them to check out books, and read with greater fluency to their buddies.

I was being reprimanded for distracting his book buddy from his "reading test" - whatever that is.
Side-Note: I definitely enjoy watching my students who struggle with independent functioning reprimanding their buddies for forgetting or losing their library check-in/check-out sheets. 

Honestly, this is a great way for me to observe and record data on independent functioning and/or social-emotional goals. For example, one student has a social-emotional goal to independently raise their hand and ask for help related to the content. She has gained so much confidence over time - recently, she has begin raising her own hand (instead of her partners) to ask for help pronouncing words.

"I want you to read that out loud to me."
This has also been amazing to observe students who read at significantly lower levels, read out loud fluently and accurately! I listened to a student, who reads at a Third grade level, practice sounding out specific blends we have been working in class (LLI) and teaching her buddy how to do it too!

Do you have book buddies? How do you "run" it?


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