The Buddy System

The Buddy SystemAs I walk among the busy, noisy, laughing pairs of students, I am reminded of the first day ECLC2A and 5C came together.  In August, a few of the Heart Class students were too shy even to interact with Ms. Anderson’s fifth graders.  Now, as they read together in January, the benefits of the yearlong Reading Buddies are obvious.

For the older students, such meetings are a chance to gain confidence in reading as well as to practice important literacy skills such as expression, tone, and fluency. Ms. Anderson has coached her students with some clever tricks to keep their young partners engaged and interested.  Across the room, you can hear fifth grade readers exclaiming, questioning, and entertaining the ECLC students.

The advantages for the ECLC students are perhaps less audible and more visible.  Students dash across the room when a book is finished to select another from the class library.  Others lean on their partners, watchful and attentive.  The younger students are absorbing literacy skills without even realizing it—knowing which way to turn the pages, tracking the print with their eyes or fingers, learning to choose books that suit their interests.

More importantly, however, all the students involved with the Reading Buddies are having fun with literacy and developing an appreciation for reading.

Two special activities have arisen out of the Reading Buddies for the ECLC2A students.  The first is that, in order to always have new and interesting books to read with their Buddies, these young students have learned to use the school library.  Although most are not yet capable of conventionally reading a single word, every member of the Heart Class can now purposefully stride into the library, knowing how to search for a good book to share with a friend.

Another activity that the Buddies shared was the day that they became Writing Buddies.  Recently, both the older and younger students prepared hand-drawn pictures to be used as prompts.  As the pairs settled in to write a story together, some chose to combine the themes of both of their pictures; others elected to use only one.  No matter how they did it, each group ended up with a fantastic, original piece of writing.  These short works of fiction are displayed in the stairwell of Building 1 in Jing Shan.

The ECLC2A students look forward to many more happy, productive meetings with our Buddies during the course of the year.

To read more stories about Shekou International School visit their website: www.sis.org.cn/why-choose-sis

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The Contributor

Shekou International School was established in 1988. It is dedicated to meeting the diverse educational needs of the expatriate community. SIS is an international school with an American- based curriculum. The school is governed by International Schools Services (ISS) of Princeton, New Jersey.

We offer a rigorous academic program to meet parents' high expectations. We have state-of-the-art facilities and cater to learners from nursery through high school. A rich mix of academics, athletics, and activities delivered by a world-class faculty ensure maximum learning for students.

The Elementary School and Nursery campuses are located in our Mountainside and Parkside buildings, in the beautiful Jing Shan residential area. Middle and high school classes are housed in our Bayside campus, which is adjacent to the Coastal Rose Garden residential complex.

Our high school offers a rigorous college preparatory program. SIS is an International Baccalaureate World School currently offering the IB diploma program to grade 11 students. The program will begin for grade 12 students in August 2011.

The language of instruction is English for all classes, with the exception of proficiency- leveled Mandarin classes. Additionally, SIS offers the French National Curriculum in grades K-5 in which the language of instruction in academic subjects is French.

    Connect with Shekou International School:
  1. - Email: Click here

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