The amount of growth among both groups of students throughout the school year has been impressive. The 6th graders’ English language skills and reading skills have improved significantly -- as has their ability to entertain multiple three-year-olds with books for a period of time!
(Reading Buddies, September, 2011)Likewise, the three-olds from the Saigon Pearl school have become more comfortable and outgoing with their 6th grade buddies. The three-year-olds have begun to participate in the reading more and are much more vocal with the older students. The teachers from both schools have really enjoyed watching this process.
A turning point with Reading Buddies, took place in February, when AIS 6th grade ESL students met in Ms. Nell’s library for a lesson and discussion about how to read and work with a child as young as three years old. Ms. Nell, Ms. Sarah, and Ms. Stacia modeled what a read-aloud can look like when the reader is not actually reading the story word for word. We discussed various topics that the three-year-olds were currently learning -- such as, colors, numbers, and animals.
Another key point of this discussion was the importance of choosing books to read with their young buddies ahead of time and becoming familiar with the books that they will be reading. Also important is choosing a story that their buddy would enjoy and which includes pictures that are interesting to look at and can create talking points.
One of the best parts of Reading Buddies has been Ms. Sarah’s 6th grade ESL students’ enthusiasm and interest in the purpose of this initiative... reading to and with their young buddies. Her students have formed wonderful friendships that have grown throughout the year. ...And at the basis of these friendships is… reading.
(Reading Buddies, April, 2012)
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