Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Buddies

   I know in my last post, I talked briefly about book buddies. This is something that is fairly new in our classroom, so we are still working out the kinks! However, in the few weeks we have been working with them, I have been pleasantly surprised at the progress my kids have made as readers, supporters, and independent thinkers!
   I never wanted to have book buddies because it has always sounded like a nightmare situation to me. Kids arguing with each other about what book to read, talking about things that don't relate to the book, yelling, interrupting those who are reading silently, and not getting anything accomplished. These were all worries I had that prevented me from sticking my toe in the book buddy pond.
  I purchased a reading workshop packet from TPT a while back that you can find here. Honestly, I printed it off and let other papers pile on top of it for the past few months. I had every intention of using it, but just got too busy...and I felt like I had already established my reading
workshop in my classroom. On a testing day a few weeks ago, I was cleaning out some things, and found this little gem again. I'm calling it a "gem" because it truly is amazing! I think it can be a little overwhelming with all the materials and ideas, but I chose to pull out just the book buddy pages.  I made copies of what I thought I would use, and chose to get started.
This is where I keep all the copies the kids need for book buddies. I put them in these magnetic pockets so they would have access to them at all times, and stay organized! I bought these magnetic pockets from lakeshore.

   I made the decision to put the kids with a buddy they would enjoy reading with. I want them to love this experience and not dread the words "book buddy." They are going to be spending a lot of time with this person, so I wanted it to be enjoyable. All that to say, my kiddos are paired with someone I think they will like, and someone who is close to their reading ability. This is not a time to stick higher kids with lower kids. Again, I want them to enjoy this time and really challenge each other in their reading. I looked through their DRA scores and paired them up as closely as I could.






This is a snapshot of our classroom library! I have a double copy of some books, but most of the books the kids are having to share! 
  Each group HAD to agree on the book they chose. If one person didn't want to read the book, they had to choose another book. Their first meeting consisted of them choosing a book, previewing it, making predictions, and choosing a page to read to before they met again. Some of them were able to begin reading the book together the same day. I spent a lot of that first week making sure they were getting along with their buddy, staying on task, and completing their work correctly. They meet with their book buddy during the reading workshop rotation I discussed in the last post. Again, I have been SO happy with how it is going, and I can see the kids are really enjoying it, too! I hope to show more posts about our book buddy adventures soon!

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