Buddy Day

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Just love those Buddies!

Just love those Buddies!

Today is fantastic Friday.  Why?  In our school district Friday is the day we are allowed to wear jeans provided we sport our spirit wear.  At the end of tomorrow our spring break week starts (that is really fantastic).

But really I’m pretty pumped  because tomorrow is Buddy Pup’s birthday.  He is our very own, chubby-big-puppy mascot for Buddy Day! Once or twice a month, all of our fifth graders and all of our first graders come to our cafeteria for a Liberty/Literacy celebration.  This year we have over 300 students in our cafeteria for Buddy Day.  Buddy Pup is the centerpiece of this literacy activity  because he writes letters back and forth to the first grade classrooms.

We start with our Whoa Clap dance, the brain friendly way to start any massive group gathering.  After the Whoa Clap, their brains are ready to learn new things about reading.  We start the year where first graders start…needing funny songs and poems and now,  at this point of the year, we  are into our story books where we solidify our comprehension strategies that we have been learning about in all of our classrooms.  The most important management  strategy of course…you know it, is  TURN and TALK, and  believe me, they love to talk and they love their buddies.  After our twenty-minute whole group time the partners work on reading and writing activities and alas, my fifth graders have the joy of working with first graders on the dreaded Dolch words which they actually find fun to teach.

I am a believer in cross- age-learning…both students in the pair profit.  One of my pals who teaches first graders will be completing her dissertation on Buddy Day this year.  A very important part of this program is teaching the fifth graders how to work with their buddy.  I create the lesson plan, explain it to the fifth graders in another 30 minute session  and then  they become the teachers who engage their younger partners in learning.  This is unique to our program.  Hopefully, we are growing some students who will become future teachers.

It has been our tradition.  It is one of those memorable events that students leave our school with.

Tomorrow we will be singing the birthday song with Buddy.  He will be requesting his favorite song and dance, Going on a Bear Hunt.  He will be opening this very enormous box that contains the best present in the world.  I think you might be able to guess.  But shhhh, don’t ruin the secret!

PS  This is the song that we use for our Whoa Clap.  They follow me up front move to the music (like aerobics or zumba) for just the early part of the song.  Then we start clapping faster, I extend my right hand up and my left hand back and we say WHOAAAA CLAP.  At that exact moment the music is turned off, their bottoms are on the floor and everyone is focused and there is absolutely not a peep from the crowd.  If you want to see a movie of it, I think I may be able to record it on my phone and put it up on my page.  They do love it.

WHOA CLAP song

 

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About ...never ending story

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

4 responses »

  1. I am looking forward to your Friday. Sounds like a load of fun learning and being a school community. I agree about cross age learning. I am lucky enough in my gifted classes to have multiple grade levels. It works!

  2. What a fun way to send the kids off for the weekend (or is it spring break). The first graders love being with the “big” kids and those fifth graders must feel so important to be the “teacher” to their buddy. I hope you were able to record this.

  3. Love reading about you as a teacher! You sound like so much fun! And how great that your fifth graders are getting to be teachers too! With actual skills to give to their younger partners. So great! I would love to see the WHOA CLAP!

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