Based on the premise that reading and writing are more fun with a “buddy,” some of CHC’s education majors explored various methods and materials used in the teaching profession, including creating literacy buddies for third-grade students at St. Genevieve’s School during the spring semester.
The semester began with the teacher candidates writing down their philosophies of education. They moved into exploring child development, the nature of play, how to work with families, the role of diversity and more. Based on their new knowledge, they designed and decorated reading buddies using various art materials. Their preparation became a practical reality when they shared the buddies with the third graders, explaining that the youngsters now had a buddy with whom to read books and write stories, because it is always good to have someone listen to you read and help with your writing.
For the college students, the classroom experience allowed them to get excellent hands-on practice and evaluate the students’ reading and writing skills.
“The students really enjoyed this activity and got into their stories, says Kerianne Mullen ’20. “Their imaginations are the best when young and reading their detailed stories was so much fun.”
Classmate, Erin Rafferty ’20 agreed. “Sister Dorothy’s class provided us with so many ideas for activities and lessons that we can use in our future classrooms, and the reading buddy collaboration was a great opportunity work closely with the students.”
The culminating project for the course was to create a school newspaper that merged the methods and materials used for teaching that they had learned about during the semester. The interplay of theory and practice created an invaluable experience and a wonderful literacy experience for our students and their young partners.
“The students got so excited by their reading buddies, and it was fun to see how imaginative they got with them and came up with stories and personalities for them,” says Emily Metzinger ’20 “I loved how the students brought the buddies with them when we went back. My student loved the reading buddy I made, which made me very proud and happy.”
—Dorothy Bredehoft, SSJ, Ed.D., adjunct faculty/staff