10 Reasons Why You Should Start a Reading Buddies Program NOW!


Reading Buddies is an effective program that promotes reading fluency and comprehension through authentic practice. Read on to find out the benefits of buddy reading that go beyond the literacy development of students. #thereadingroundup #buddyreading


Reading Buddies is a popular program that many schools implement with tremendous success. What exactly is this program and why should teachers use it with their students? Find out in this 2 Part Series on Reading Buddies! 


WHAT ARE READING BUDDIES?

The reading buddies program pairs up an older student with a younger student for them to take turns reading to one another. It allows for authentic reading practice and a model of fluent reading among many other benefits! Students may also engage in buddy reading with same-aged peers, but in this post the phrase "reading buddies" is referring to students of different ages. 

Reading Buddies is an effective program that promotes reading fluency and comprehension through authentic practice. Read on to find out the benefits of buddy reading that go beyond the literacy development of students. #thereadingroundup #buddyreading

BENEFITS FOR LITTLE BUDDIES

Younger buddies can gain a lot from the program but it may require some training with older students to be extremely successful. (Be sure to read part 2 of the series for tips on that!). Younger buddies benefit from reading buddies because they can:

Listen to a Fluent Model

Younger students grow as readers when they hear more experienced readers model fluent reading. The older students can demonstrate how fluent readers read with appropriate phrasing and intonation. Emergent readers also benefit from hearing their buddies read with accuracy and automaticity rather than needing to constantly sound out difficult words.

Observe a Peer Mentor

The benefits of buddy reading go beyond academics. Younger students can observe their buddy demonstrating positive behavior and valuable social skills. They see their buddy following the rules and remaining focused on the task. They also benefit from their buddy displaying positive character traits such as kindness and patience with them. 


Receive One-on-One Support

During buddy reading the younger students essentially have their own personal tutor helping them with their reading. The older students provide immediate feedback and offer strategies to help emergent readers decode unknown words. It also builds awareness and increases self-monitoring of comprehension as the older buddy can support the student when the reading no longer makes sense.
Reading Buddies is an effective program that promotes reading fluency and comprehension through authentic practice. Read on to find out the benefits of buddy reading that go beyond the literacy development of students. #thereadingroundup #buddyreading
Big buddies can use a tool like this to better
support younger buddies with their reading.


Reading Buddies is an effective program that promotes reading fluency and comprehension through authentic practice. Read on to find out the benefits of buddy reading that go beyond the literacy development of students. #thereadingroundup #buddyreading

BENEFITS FOR BIG BUDDIES

Even though older buddies provide many supports to the younger students, they also gain a lot from the experience. Older buddies benefit from reading buddies because they can:

Build Confidence

Struggling readers and shy students in the upper grades may not feel comfortable reading aloud with their same-aged peers. Reading to a younger student provides them with a chance to feel confident as a reader in a less intimidating environment. It naturally builds confidence when they know someone is looking up to them both academically and socially. The little buddies view their reading buddies as their role models and are in awe of them!

Act as a Mentor

In the same way reading buddies benefits older students who struggle with reading, it also helps students who have difficulty with self-control. They are forced to model positive character traits and set the example for responsible behavior during the designated time. The program naturally rewards them for good behavior by having someone look up to them rather than focusing on any negative behavior.

Practice Leadership Skills

Reading buddies provide older students with an opportunity to practice lifelong skills in authentic ways. They learn leadership, patience, and problem-solving strategies while working with their younger buddies.
Reading Buddies is an effective program that promotes reading fluency and comprehension through authentic practice. Read on to find out the benefits of buddy reading that go beyond the literacy development of students. #thereadingroundup #buddyreading
Big buddies can reflect on their weekly buddy reading experiences
and problem solve way to better support their little buddies.


Reading Buddies is an effective program that promotes reading fluency and comprehension through authentic practice. Read on to find out the benefits of buddy reading that go beyond the literacy development of students. #thereadingroundup #buddyreading

BENEFITS FOR BOTH BUDDIES

Even though the students have different roles in the partnership, both buddies gain value from the experience. Big and little buddies benefit from buddy reading because they can:


Practice Authentic Reading

The best way to get better at something is to practice, practice, practice. The same holds true for reading. All students benefit from the opportunity to practice reading to a live audience in an authentic manner.


Practice Reading Fluently

Since students are reading to another person, it naturally motivates them to practice reading fluently. It is the perfect opportunity to practice phrased and expressive reading. 

Engage in Meaningful Discussions about the Text

All students need time to discuss the texts they read to deepen comprehension. Talking about texts can also build excitement about reading. 

Build a Sense of Community

Typically students only interact with their same-aged peers, but reading buddies provide opportunities to make the school feel more connected. Reading buddies are always excited when they pass by in the hallways or see each other at school-wide events. Teachers can plan fun events for reading buddies such as popsicle parties, holiday crafts, or stem challenges. Every year our younger buddies write their older buddies notes of encouragement during state standardized testing. All of these moments help establish a strong sense of community within our school.

Now that you know the many benefits of reading buddies and are hopefully feeling motivated to start implementing them, you may have a lot of questions about HOW to begin. Be sure to check out Part 2 of the Reading Buddies Series to learn my best tips for implementing this program with your students!


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Reading Buddies is an effective program that promotes reading fluency and comprehension through authentic practice. Read on to find out the benefits of buddy reading that go beyond the literacy development of students. #thereadingroundup #buddyreading


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