Last Friday as a special treat for her class, who were working really hard, Ms Ni Fhearghail brought her class over to Room 17 to visit Ms. Dooley’s 3rd. Each Junior Infants picked a story and it was read to them by a 3rd class buddy. They really enjoyed their visit. Buddy reading is also used later in the year with Junior Infants and 5th class.
Some of the benefits of pairing a younger child with an older one are
Build confidence – The buddy reading builds confidence in the child as they read aloud to their buddy.
Builds cognitive skills – in a child and thus increases attention and motivations for the tasks. Interpersonal and social skills are developed . The skills of the older students also are passed on, as the younger students follow their peers.
Positive Attitude – Classroom practices build a positive attitude towards literacy and help the young student blossom into better students who are confident and can read better. The students are more responsive to the reinforcement and feedback provided by their buddies.
Learning made fun – Buddies have a lot of fun together and thus learning is made a lot of fun and interesting. The buddy makes reading fun and makes the children look forward to it. The buddy reading makes the reading more enjoyable and once the liking is there at both ends, both look forward to many more such sessions.
Benefits for Older Buddies
When an older child acts as a reading buddy, he reaps benefits as well. Having a younger child look up to him as an example can help the older child develop a desire to be a good role model. Whether this results in better reading habits, better grades or better behavior, it’s a winning situation all around. In addition, taking a step away from books on his own level and spending time with easier reading can motivate the older child to read more on his own.