Every Wednesday afternoon the kindergarten class comes to my Grade 2/3 classroom for buddy reading. It is easily one of the highlights of my week. Smiles abound. We share books and spend happy time together reading, talking and learning. A peek at what I see:
- huge amounts of oral language practice
- leadership skills developing
- giggling and laughing through a book
- playing games with books (Eye Spy, Can you find a . . .?)
- spontaneous songs
- excitement over books and learning
- turn taking, negotiating, working it out
- getting lost in a book
- growing confidence in reading skills
- beautiful fluency and expression
- “telling” a book
- building relationships
Recently our kindergarten teacher and other classroom assistants have been absent and so various other adults have been attending buddy reading with the Ks. Some of them have made comments to me that made me think we couldn’t possibly be in the same room.
“Well, they don’t really sit in their seats.”
“They are jumping around so much, I don’t think they are concentrating.”
“So many of them don’t stick to a book.”
“Those two aren’t really reading the book. They are just talking.”
“They can’t focus for very long.”
Don’t they see what I celebrate? In a room of 5 – 8 year olds, there is energy, noise and movement. But look closely, it is all meaningful. Learning doesn’t look or need to look one way.
Children do so many wonderful things in a day of learning. If you can’t see this because you are looking for something you have decided is more important, wow are you missing out.
Celebrate children. Embace their growing, development and learning styles. Enjoy their smiles. Notice their new skills. Laugh with them. Be with them where they are. Don’t rush them on to what is “next.” When you stop, slow down and notice what is in the now, it is often pretty great.
And every Wednesday, when I have a front row seat, my view is absolutely joyous.
For those who visited and saw something different. . . I wish, for you, to see what I see.