Posted on September 10, 2017
I know every year is special, but this year is an amazing group of Fifth Graders. I can still picture them in Kindergarten and remember how much fun and well they bonded with their buddy. So I wasn't surprised during the first few days of school to see and hear so many Fifth Graders share memories of their Fifth Grade buddy. "My buddy was really tall and nice. I still see him around campus and he always says hello to me." "I got a girl buddy when I was in Kinder, does that mean I'm going to get a girl Kinder buddy?" "May I please have a short kinder buddy because I'm not that tall?" I think this year the Fifth Graders are more excited than the Kinders. Every Fifth Grader looks forward to becoming a "big brother" or "big sister" for a kindergartner. Each Kindergartner is paired with a 5th grader. A few Kindergartners have two buddies. On the first Thursday, the buddies get together for an activity (reading, writing, craft, snack, math, or iPad) and every Wednesday after recess our buddies come into our classroom and read to the kinders for 10-15 minutes. For the Kindergarten and Fifth Grade students, this relationship is one that they will remember for years to come. It helps them gain self-confidence, feel secure at school and just have fun. Fifth graders develop many valuable skills - respect for younger students, patience when working with them, how to relate to younger children, and how to talk in a manner that helps their buddies feel respected and safe. With our buddies, we will have an opportunity to build strong relationships with each other. I know for a fact that they do build strong relationships. Quite often I will see a former kindergartner in middle or high school and he/she will express how much fun they had in kindergarten with their 5th Grade Buddy.
Our First Day with Our New Friend (Snack and Recess)
First Activity (Creating a Web of Our Buddy)
Asking questions to get to know each other and see if we have common interests. Some Fifth Graders noticed that their buddy was interested in writing and helped them write letters/sounds/words under their symbol.
As you can see, they are enjoying their time with their new special friend(s).