(Older children helping younger children and
At Ivanhoe East Primary School, Australia
Teacher: Margaret Walker
I would like to share with everyone how I used the concept of Buddy-mentors.
The Grade 4 children of my grade used the experience and skills they obtained from participating in the wonderful FAIRY TALE CYBER DICTIONARY Global Project to help younger children at our school (and their teachers) to also participate in the Project.
1. I asked some colleagues if I could show them the Cyber Dictionary site as an interesting and appropriate Literacy / reading activity for their children. I also showed them 4Ws coming soon note at the bottom, and shared my own experience, emphasising the fun and excitement that it had generated in my class.
I offered my support and the help of children in my class to assist as Buddy Mentors for them and their students.
2. The class teachers were very keen to participate.
The first involvement of the buddy-mentors was to teach the preps how:
to open the FAIRY TALE site
to choose a story
to choose a letter
to open that page
discussed the picture, guiding the younger child to use the language that they would find in the sentence.
encouraged them to read the sentence
The buddy-mentors modelled how to:
Click back and choose another letter to repeat the process
I made up a sheet for the buddy-mentors, to support them in their role as teachers of literacy skills as well as technology. (There is a copy at the end.)
3. Each teacher chose a fairy story, which suited the age of the children, and in many cases, fitted in with existing themes and Literacy activities.
The students from 4W sat in with the
grade and worked with the younger children on their
sentences and drawings, discussing with them as I had
done, whether the sentence and picture belong to the
story and added to the readers' understanding of the word
And so we had begun .
The class teachers read their children the story and, using ideas which I had given them from the CYBER site and from my own experiences, brainstormed words, concepts and sentences.
The students from 4W sat in with the grade and worked with the younger children on their sentences and drawings, discussing with them as I had done, whether the sentence and picture belong to the story and added to the readers' understanding of the word chosen.
The grade 4 buddy-mentor
discussed the word with the younger child, eliciting a
variety of responses from them. An appropriate sentence
was chosen, the younger child wrote the sentence with
their mentors help.
continued to support and encourage the younger
children. They visited the classroom almost every day
for an hour (according to the wishes and needs of the
class teacher), working with several children, until
they had completed their sentence and illustrated
Now that the sentences were
completed, the next step for the buddy-mentors was to
teach the younger children how to open up the folder and
a new document upon which to type their story.
Whenever possible, the younger
child would do the typing and saving themselves
The buddy-mentors would model
the skills to be learned.
They would encourage and support the younger children.
Whenever possible, the younger child would do the typing and saving themselves
A few of the children in Prep L
with some of their Buddy mentors, showing their words on
a chart and their completed their illustrations about The
Little Red Hen.
Some children from 2S, with
their mentor-buddies. Their work is complete and ready to
be scanned and sent off (via email from their classroom)
to be published.
The teachers also used the completed pictures and original or typed and printed sentences to make a hard copy book of their grades work..
Well done 2S.
This is the process that I taught my grade 4s before they acted as mentor buddies. They practised with each other before going to work with younger children.
CLICK e (the symbol for Internet Explorer)
CLICK FAVOURITES / FAIRY TALES
CLICK ENTER HERE
CHOOSE A STORY
CLICK THE STORY . Make sure that you see a hand before you try to CLICK
(Explain to the children that they will choose other stories on another day)
CLICK ONE OF THE LETTERS
LOOK at the PICTURE / Help children to talk about and discuss the picture
LOOK at the WORD / Help children to talk about and discuss the WORD
LOOK at the SENTENCE. The children try to read the sentence. Point to the words with your finger or the MOUSE.
If YOU read the SENTENCE, make sure you read slowly, and POINT to the WORDS as you say them.
Have the child READ the sentence back to you.
At all times
YOUR YOUNGER BUDDY SHOULD
USE THE MOUSE
TRY TO READ and POINT TO THE WORDS BUT YOU NEED TO
TALK TO THEM,
ASK THEM QUESTIONS,
ASK THEM TO EXPLAIN,
ASK THEM CAN THEY HEAR, / READ / SEE A SOUND / WORD
The process of participating in, learning
about and sharing the CYBER DICTIONARY SITE, has been very worthwhile
for me personally and professionally.
It has also been a wonderful experience for the children in my grade. They have all had (or will have this term) the opportunity to work with the younger children, helping them, sharing and reinforcing their own knowledge and abilities. It has been an exciting and affirming experience for them.
The teachers who allowed us into their grades, who encouraged me with their enthusiasm and appreciation, and who have learned to be more confident with and accepting of the place of technology in their class programs have also found the experience to be very enjoyable and rewarding.
Thanks Janet Barnstable for creating this great GLOBAL PROJECT.
Teacher of 4W (Perseus and the Gorgons Head)
Ivanhoe East primary School
Ivanhoe (a suburb of Melbourne)