It's Saturday and time to link up with my sweet friend, Joanne, at Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!
Each fourth grade classroom at my school voluntarily participates in a buddy program with a younger grade. Throughout the year, we meet with our Kindergarten buddies for activities. We used to meet once a month, but now that we have departmentalized, it will probably be only about five times that we will meet with our buddies during the year. Our schedule is just so tight with the blocks.
Yesterday, we finally had time to meet with our Kindergarten buddies again and we worked on a chain link countdown for Christmas craft together. Everyone has done the infamous chain link countdown, but what makes it nice is my lovely fourth graders can use a stapler safely (most of the time!) to staple the links while the Kindergartners pass them the strips in an ABC pattern (red, green, white). Have you ever tried to glue the links? It is messy and difficult! When they are finished, my fourth graders can make one of their own (most of them still really want one and they can use the excuse that they worked on it with their buddy!). Has anyone noticed that so many fourth graders still believe in Santa? I don't really remember any of my friends still believing after 2nd grade growing up. I think the internet and tracking Santa might have something to do with it?!?
I just love watching the students interact with their buddies! The biggest surprises are always the students who are potential behavior problems and how they just SHINE in this environment when they are given the opportunity to be a role model. It is a great motivator for all students and an excellent way to teach them to be a role model for good behavior. I really see a different side of so many students come out when they are the "big kid".
Here are a couple other pictures from last year with our buddies working on a Valentine's Day card holder and on Dr. Seuss hat day reading with our buddies.
We use this Getting to Know you activity that you can download for FREE here. I copy the two papers in different colors. One paper has questions for the 4th Grader to answer and I have them fill it out before meeting with the buddies. They share their responses with their buddy when they meet. The other paper has the same questions but the 4th grader asks their buddy for their answers. Each student keeps the paper with answers about their buddy to take home.
If you have never tried buddies, think about joining a classroom for the rest of this year or put it on your to do list for next year. You won't regret it and the students will thank you!
Don't forget to enter this giveaway where everyone wins at I'm Lovin Lit! It ends tomorrow!