As we near the end of the year, our 3rd graders are excited about reading and starting to feel more and more like leaders. They've been working really hard on a couple key skills over the past few months. They've been working on giving feedback as well as asking probing questions in order to push each other to think more critically. By focusing on these skills, they've really developed as independent readers with a love for books.
A few weeks ago, 3rd grade had the opportunity to partner with Kindergarten to try out their new skills and share their love of reading. At first they were nervous as they went through their books and chose something they thought their reading buddy would enjoy. Once we got into partners, their nerves went away and you could see their excitement grow.
What was really special about the experience is that readers at all levels were able to grow and support their Kinder buddies. 3rd grade took the opportunity to bond with their buddies and use their skills of giving feedback and probing questions. Kindergartners were also really excited to have the big kids interested in their books as well. Some shared all their books, others asked questions about what it was like in 3rd grade. One kindergartener asked, "So is 3rd grade really hard"? Their buddy responded, "yeah, but you learn a lot so if you work hard you'll do great." It's moments like these that make our hearts as teachers smile, seeing natural partnerships and compassion being built across grades. We will definitely be continuing our reading buddies the rest of the year!