While we have had an ad hoc practice of grade levels partnering up for a variety of sharing opportunities, this year for the first time, all classes are partnered with a buddy classroom. One of our primary goals with cross-grade buddies is to foster a greater sense of community throughout the entire school. When students walk through the halls and know that they have friends in other classrooms throughout the school, they have a sense that this place is like a second home.
Because we have started teaching a consistent set of habits of mind this year, many of the classes have chosen to focus their buddy time on these habits of mind. For example, a class of third graders taught their kindergarten buddies what it means to ‘seek out challenge.’ After they felt like they had given a pretty good explanation, the buddies worked together to illustrate a time when the kindergarten student had sought out a challenge. In another example, a first grade class and a fourth grade class were sharing books they had written with one another. At the end of the reading session, teachers asked all of the students to reflect on which habit of mind they noticed their partners using in order to complete the project.
We look forward to building on these successes as the year unfolds.
Learn about Habits of Mind at Cambridgeport >>