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Reading Re ading Buddies

Resource Package
Complete Program Guide and Training Manual Enhancing literacy skills by training high school students to be volunteer leaders with elementary school students

Grades 1-12

ESL, Language Arts

ESL, Guidance, English

Re s o u rces Acco m p a nying This Pro g ram Include: Additional Handouts and Worksheets Online

When school, family, and community work together to nurture a joy of learning in children, a society of educated citizens is create d .

School + Home + Business Working Together For Our Children
Classroom Connections Toronto’s First Post Office P.O. Box 111 260 Adelaide Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 1N1 Tel: 1-888-882-8865 • Fax: (416) 955-0815 E-mail:
All Classroom Connections materials are available on-line at

Executive Director: Heather MacTaggart, Classroom Connections Author: Sandra Huehn, B.Ed., Frontier College Design: Teach Magazine Edited: Lisa Kelly and Dave Page Published September 2000 This guide was made possible by the Classroom Connections Youth Empowerment 2001 event. Published in partnership with:

Frontier College 35 Jackes Avenue, Toronto ON M4T 1E2 President: John D. O’Leary Tel: 1-800-555-6523 • Fax: (416) 323-3522 • E-mail: Frontier College materials are available through Frontier College is a Canada-wide, volunteer-based, literacy organization. We teach people to read and write and we nurture an environment favourable to lifelong learning. Since 1899, we have been reaching out to people wherever they are and responding to their particular learning needs. We believe in literacy as a right and we work to achieve literacy for all.
We are grateful to our national sponsors -- Chapters, CIBC, Molsons, and Compugen Systems Inc. -for their extraordinary vision in continuing to support the work of Frontier College. And, thank you to our many other corporate donors for their financial support and commitment to improved literacy in Canada. We are also very grateful to Human Resources Development Canada and the National Literacy Secretariat for their substantial commitment to Frontier College, which allows us to do literacy work across Canada that is both meaningful and sustainable.

just lost because he never learned to read well. teenagers develop their own skills in reading. they shot baskets in the gym where their ‘lesson’ was held. Tom was paired with Chris. Kathryn McFarlane. Students of all ages enjoy teaching and learning from one another. This guide also describes a process for selecting. The response bowled us over. This guide is designed to build upon this very common. you will see students sitting in small groups working together . He spoke to me about Early Childhood Education and ended up qualifying for the ECE course at a Community College and has never looked back . We screened all students to ensure their commitment and gave a basic training program. tips and ideas to help teenagers help children learn to read.before classes. signed up. And volunteering as Reading Buddies. mainly those previously described as unmotivated and lacking goals themselves. We are proud to be working with you.except to tell me that without this volunteer experience. hated reading because they couldn’t. Executive Director – Curriculum Services Canada Classroom Connections/R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 3 . the guidance teacher and I dreamed up a mentorship program.Frontier College • • • • I taught English in a high school a few years ago. How did it work? We couldn’t believe the results. what Tom didn’t realize was that he too was benefiting from helping Chris. natural activity. your students and our friends at Classroom Connections in extending this tradition to a new generation. By December. Teenagers make wonderful role models for young children. When Chris performed well. Canadian students have been teaching with Frontier College since 1899. over lunch and after school. It has concrete techniques. One of the best ways to prepare and support young children for success in school is to simply read aloud with them. So. Let us know how it works in your school! John D. Not a lot worked when we tried the usual things with unusual learners—you know the ones—they hated school. He wasn’t a bad kid. Two hundred students. he would never be where he is today.Thank you for your interest in setting up a Reading Buddies Program. Tom took his responsibility very seriously and developed incentives to make Chris want to read. It also enables them to make a real difference in children’s lives. writing and problem solving. Take high school students with reading problems and match them with local elementary school children who also have reading difficulties. The most outstanding success was Tom (a pseudonym). O’Leary. President . Tom was passing all his courses. training and supporting high school volunteers to read aloud with children. and were waiting to turn 16 to drop out. We offered this volunteer opportunity to every student in the high school. Of course we prepared the elementary teachers for the coming ‘invasion’. At any school in any part of the country at any time. a child in Grade 2. Of course. He was achieving 40% or less in all subjects.

• Volunteer Character Reference Form . . Page 16 Page18 Page 19 Page 20 These resources are available on the Classroom Connections Web Site at www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 5 • • • • • • • • • • What is a Reading Buddies Program? Who should be on your team? Your First Decisions! How much will it Cost? What will the Tutors and Children do Together? Tips on Recruiting and Selecting the Children Tips on Recruiting and Screening High School Tutors Matching the Children and the Tutors Supporting the Child/Tutor Matches Evaluating Your Program T H E L A UN C H . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 9 T U TOR TR A I N I N G . . . • Student Form/Parental Permission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Reading Buddy Hand-out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .com • • • • • • • • • • • • Introductory Letter to Parents Form to Compile a Contact List Scavenger Hunt for Launch Tutor Sign-In Sheet List of Recommended Children’s Books Portfolio Form Helping with Homework Questionnaires to Evaluate Program Certificate of Award Reference Letter for Tutors Bibliography Evaluation to Solicit your Feedback 4 R e a d i ng B u d d i e s / Classroom Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 10 RESO UR C ES • Volunteer Form/Parental Permission . . . . . . . . . . . .H OW TO SET U P A R E A D I NG BU D D I ES P R O G RA M . . . . . . . . . .classroom-connections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

tell stories.) And of course. Discuss them as a group and decide who will be assuming responsibility for what. Ask teachers for help by recommending students who may be suitable for the program. work out the glitches and then expand. Reading Buddies work best when high school students are matched with children in grades 1 to 4. parent. (Remember: This entire program is available at Ask them to support the program by encouraging the students who choose to participate. A person with computer knowledge is always useful. it is crucial to have the principal’s support to ensure the success of any special program. Classroom Connections/R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 5 . volunteer or a student! Just remember to involve people from the beginning so that everyone takes ownership of and therefore responsibility for the program. • How big will your program be? Start small – about 10 children. They read books together. They usually meet as a group at the end of the school day. Children and tutors could also meet during the school day or in the evening in a community centre or public library. Anyone can initiate a Reading Buddies program: a teacher. at both the high school and elementary school. Inform Staff Members during staff meetings. The length of the program can range from 10 weeks to the entire school year. • Decide where the tutoring should take place. look at all the responsibilities for the program. • Choose the time and day of the week the tutors and children should meet. It is easiest to manage a program that runs the same day every week at the end of the elementary school’s day. librarian.classroom-connections. They meet for 30 minutes for younger children and up to 60 minutes for older children. Your elementary school librarian will have invaluable expertise in choosing appropriate books. Many high schools have compulsory community service and may be looking for student placements. however there can be as few as 5 or as many as 40 of each. the same day every week in the elementary school’s library. WHO SHOULD BE ON YO U R T EAM? If you are a high school teacher. Tell everyone involved that you want to run a pilot project (we suggest 10 weeks). Recruit other people for your organizing committee. The average size of a program is 15 tutors and 15 children.WHAT IS A READING B UDDIES PROGRAM? The Reading Buddies Program involves a group of teenagers reading one-on-one with a group of children every week. A team of 4 or 5 people helps spread responsibilities but isn’t too cumbersome. to promote the program to teachers. The key contact people at the elementary and high school need to recruit students as well as share the responsibility of supporting the program. YO U R F IR ST DEC I S I O N S ! • Before starting. play word games . The ideal location is in the library of the elementary school where there are plenty of suitable quality books available.anything to help the younger children become better readers. or if you are an elementary educator speak to the guidance counselor of the nearest high school. talk with the librarian of a nearby elementary school.

Ensure everyone gets a ck n owledgment for their effo r t s : c e r t i ficate. Ask each student to sign a ‘contract’ to commit to volunteering for the program duration. ask each volunteer for a character reference using the form on page 18. celebrate your successes with an awards ceremony. •If you have a volunteer on your committee interested in soliciting to make portfolios.• Plan a beginning and an end to the program. H OW MUCH WILL IT CO ST ? • There will be a fair amount of photocopying of materials. • Tutors and children should maintain portfolios to keep track of the books they read and any activities they do together. co-op teachers. Collect information from each student using the volunteer form on page 16. • Read books aloud together. Recruit students who may be able to take on a leadership role. older elementary school students. Portfolios will also provide information to help evaluate the effectiveness of the program. At the end of the program. religion teachers or the school social worker. Tutors can motivate the children by praising their efforts as they review the portfolios together. There is a hand-out on the Classroom Connections web site titled ‘Helping with Homework’ for you to distribute to your tutors. First contact the guidance teacher who should be able to tell you about the opportunities for recruiting volunteers in that particular school. Think. Time spent talking is very useful especially for children who speak English as a second language. • Food really makes the group celebrations special . Also speak with the guidance teacher about all students who have been recruited. what they did ‘yesterday’. ask a pizzeria or grocery store for donations.classroom-connections. the English Department. High school students need a lot of support after they have been matched with their Reading Buddies. ask for books to give the children and tutors. book. recruit c o llege or university students. There is a sample form on the Classroom Connection web site at www. Students who are struggling readers will benefit from reading to younger children -. There is a section on the bottom of page 17 to obtain parental permission which you will need for all tutors under the age of 16. • Reading and writing reinforce one another. parties and the awards ceremony. stories. If you are unable to receive a small budget for cookies. peer tutoring. • A Reading Buddies program can evolve into a homework club that helps children with math and other class work depending on the age and the learning needs of the children. parents or volunteers from the community. • • • • • • • 6 R e a d i n g B ud d i e s / Classroom Connections . The tutors and children should talk about books. Tutors and children should try to write something each time they get together. • Word games help children learn about the connections between words. Discuss. the Reading Buddy hand-out. what they like to do. • Talk. For screening purposes. Keep your program manageable especially for the pilot project. If a high school is not accessible to your elementary school. certificates and reference letters for tutors. Have a launch with refreshments and a group introductory activity. juice and pizza. forms for tutors and children. The ‘contract’ is at the bottom of the volunteer form. Recruit students who have varying degrees of academic achievement. T I PS ON REC R U I T I NG AN D SC RE E N ING HIGH SCHOOL T UTO R S • There are many people at the high school who may be interested in setting up a Reading Buddies program: guidance. reference letter. It is tempting to accept all students who indicate an interest in tutoring. W H AT WILL THE TUTORS AN D CHI L D R EN DO TO G ET HE R ? • Have fun! The experience should be rewarding for both the tutors and the children.learning by teaching.the launch.

• Designate a volunteer coordinator at the high school. If one tutor is unable to attend one session. This person could be a teacher or a very responsible high school student. It is essential that someone be available on a weekly basis to answer questions and provide encouragement to the tutors. Before speaking with parents. older children may benefit too. describe the tutor-partner system during tutor training and ask for suggestions for pairs. Criteria for matching could be: • Gender (for role modeling) • Tutor experience and student needs • Common interests • Ensure there is always a volunteer available to read with each child by setting up a tutor-partner system which involves pairing the tutors. M ATC H ING TH E CHI L D R EN AND TH E TUTO R S • Match the tutors and the children one-on-one rather than having a drop-in reading program. tell the entire class about the opportunity. there need to be two key contact people – one at each school .who will provide ongoing support to the program. however. • It is helpful if the person who recruits the children also acts as the key contact person. Supporting matches takes a lot of time and energy. Many of their questions are very simple to answer and more often reflect their lack of confidence and experience.T I PS ON REC R U I T I NG AN D SELEC T I NG TH E CHI L D RE N • The Reading Buddies Program works best for children in grades 1 to 4. talk with the children to promote the program and also to gauge their interest and enthusiasm. • Use the form on page 19 to obtain information about the children and parental permission. the entire class will be interested. S U P P O R T I NG TH E CHI L D / T U TOR MATC H ES • Recruiting and matching children and tutors is only half the job. • Compile a contact list of tutors and children which also indicates the tutor-partners. If you are recruiting from a class of students in grade 4 or 5. Classroom Connections/ R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 7 . It is especially important to ensure commitment and enthusiasm from older children. Remember: After the tutors and children are selected. Select the children who will benefit the most and will be committed for the program duration. • Elementary school teachers should also pair the children by learning needs and friendships. • It is essential that all the children participate voluntarily. Tutors are responsible for contacting the volunteer coordinator and their tutor-partner if they are unable to attend. Inevitably. Then ask who would like to participate. • At the program launch. A sample form for compiling this list is on the Classroom Connections web site. • To determine the best tutor pairs. Also introduce the tutor-partner to the children so they will know whom to meet with if their tutor is absent. children and tutors will meet for the first time. Pair volunteers who are friends or in the same grade. his or her tutor-partner meets with both children. • For the pilot project. This person’s responsibilities could include: • Notifying the contact person at the elementary school if any tutor is unable to attend a session and if the tutor-partner can fill in. recruit all children from one grade to streamline the project so less people will be involved to support the project. Unsuccessful programs are usually those where not enough support was offered to the tutors and children.

Also distribute questionnaires to the tutors to receive anonymous feedback. Ask questions such as: • What have you been doing with your Reading Buddies? • What has worked? • What hasn’t worked? • What problems have you been having? • As a group you can share ideas. suggest books. offer advice. • Designate someone at the elementary school who will contact the volunteer coordinator at the high school if any children are unable to attend a session. 10 weeks.• Notifying any tutors if their Reading Buddies are unable to attend a session. but to find out if they are having problems. • Focus on story telling and having fun! 8 R e a d i n g B u d d i e s / Classroom Connections . • Ensure a teacher or librarian is available whenever the tutors and children meet to answer questions and to help solve any issues that arise. Sometimes simply asking ‘What have you been doing with your Reading Buddy?’ and ‘How has it been going?’ is all that is needed. E VA LUAT I NG YO U R PR O G RA M • At the end of the program hold a focus group with the tutors and children to see what worked and find out how to improve the program for the next year. • Organize a follow-up workshop (30 to 40 minutes) every 6 to 8 weeks for the tutors to exchange ideas and learn about new resources or techniques. K E Y FAC TORS FOR A SUCC ES S F UL R E A D ING BU D D I ES P R O G RA M • Start small. brainstorm solutions for issues identified and encourage each other. It is important to not only answer questions. • Checking in regularly with tutors either in person or by telephone. • Support children and tutors: answer questions. This is especially important for tutors under the age of 16 as you are responsible for them during this time period. give lots of encouragement and praise. Sample questionnaires are posted on the Classroom Connections web site. To stimulate discussion for the focus groups ask questions such as: •What did you like best about the program? •What did you like least? •How would you improve the program for next year? • At the program completion. Often tutors are too shy or self-conscious to talk about difficulties but will do so if prompted. 10 children. • Contacting any tutors who miss a session and do not notify anyone of their absence beforehand. • Keeping track of attendance. • Evaluate the effectiveness of your program by examining the questionnaires and the portfolio content. The volunteer coordinator should speak with each volunteer at least once every two to three weeks. • Ensure tutors and children participate voluntarily. • Incorporate feedback from the evaluations to improve your program. 10 tutors. distribute questionnaires to teachers of the high school and elementary school students involved to determine how all students may have benefited.

Remind everyone of the date and location of the next time they will see one another. Ask if anyone has any questions about the program. Scavenger Hunt Distribute a short quiz of 20 questions for the children to ‘test’ the knowledge of the tutors. markers. camera. Classroom Connections/ R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 9 . Remind them that the purpose of the launch is for the tutors and children to get to know one another. Also remember to introduce children to the tutor-partners. serviettes. principal. librarian. Introductions Introduce tutors and children one at a time. Speeches The principals and volunteer coordinators praise the tutors and children. Refreshments Invite everyone to enjoy refreshments and food.  Invite the high school teachers who assisted with recruitment. Make sure everyone has a name tag. ‘speeches’ should be very short (1 or 2 minutes) and may be given while the children and tutors are eating. cups. Next Steps Take a group picture. pencils. Tour of School Ask the children to give the tutors a tour of the school. to questions about current music or movies ‘Who wrote the popular song ________?’ There is a sample Scavenger Hunt quiz on the Classroom Connections web site.C H ECK LIST  Name tags. drinks  Develop and photocopy a Scavenger Hunt group activity (see fifth agenda item below)  Match tutors and children and compile a contact list  Book the library or another large room at the elementary school  Remind tutors about the launch the day before. librarian and teachers of the children being tutored  Ask key people who will attend the launch to prepare a few words. Include questions from children’s literature. ‘Who frightened Miss Muffet?’ or ‘Who wrote the Paper Bag Princess?’. As the children are quite young. food. the guidance teacher and principal  Invite the elementary school principal. high school contact  Invite the parents of the children being tutored and local community paper  Select facilitator(s) for the launch P E R SON R ES P O N S I B L E AG E N DA FOR L A UN C H Welcome Welcome everyone. Encourage the tutors and children to get to know one another. to questions about local sports teams ‘What is the nickname for the goalie of the local hockey team?’.

’ P E R SON R ES P O N S I B LE 10 R e a d i n g B u d d i e s / Classroom Connections .’ ‘It is obvious you all love reading. ROOM PR E PA R AT I O N • Arrange chairs in a semi-circle facing the blackboard so volunteers can easily see and hear one another. one of the best ways to prepare and support young children for success in school is to simply read aloud with them. • As tutors arrive. Thank you for volunteering your time and energy to help children become better readers. scenarios (page 14). ask them to put on a name tag and take a copy of the Reading Buddy hand-out.  Select a variety of children’s library books (30 to 40 in total)  Remind tutors about workshop the day before  Prepare the room  Select workshop facilitator(s) Important All members of your organizing team should attend even if they are not facilitating. It usually takes about two hours to deliver this workshop. blank paper  Arrange for juice and cookies (or pizza!)  Book room . Tables are optional as most of the key information is included in the Reading Buddy hand-out so the tutors do not need to take many notes. And. ‘Before we start. A sample form is on the Classroom Connections web site. why you want to be a Reading Buddy and the title of your favourite book or magazine. Carefully read the Reading Buddy hand-out at the end of this guide before facilitating the workshop. C H EC K LIST  Name tags. I would like each of you to state your name. We have presented the workshop exercises in script form (indicated in italics) to make the workshop easier for you to facilitate. Reading Buddy hand-out (pages 20-24). extra pens. • Write the agenda on the blackboard.TO TH E FAC IL I TATO R The following agenda and notes will help you train high school students to read aloud with children. Include latecomers. • Arrange the library books on tables at the front of the room so the tutors can see the book covers.ideally the library of the elementary school  Photocopy materials for tutors. evaluation (sample questions on page 15)  Assemble the portfolios – one for each tutor. Arrange the drinks and food off to the side. I N T R O D U C T I O N S / RE V IEW AG E N DA (10 MIN U T ES ) Ensure each tutor speaks during the first few minutes to improve the chance of everyone participating during the group exercises. We have included a number of small group interactive exercises. Your role as facilitator is to encourage the tutors to talk and then fill-in-the-gaps after they have discussed an idea. as teenagers you are ideal role models for children.

we will talk about the program logistics. How many of you were able to read before attending school? What do you remember about being taught how to read? Who taught you how to read? a parent? a grandparent? a teacher? or perhaps an older sibling?’ Do not spend too much time on theory as high school volunteers are often much more interested in practical tips than a discussion of reading theory. and then we will move onto selecting books. Please let me know today who you would like to be your tutor-partner. The librarian has picked out a number of books that children love to read. First. This is an interactive workshop where you will do most of the talking. You will be matched one-on-one with a child. and you will also be paired with another tutor. date and place for this program as well as all contact numbers. Write any questions on the blackboard that will be answered later during the workshop and assure the tutors that these questions will be covered.’ Classroom Connections/ R e a d i ng B u d d i e s 11 .Refer to the agenda posted on the blackboard and talk about the format of the workshop. You will meet with your Reading Buddy for (insert #) weeks until (insert month). You can bring books from home or from the public library to share with your Reading Buddy. If you are unable to attend a session.’ Reinforce what each tutor says and give positive feedback on their views. S E L EC T I NG BOOKS (10 M IN U T ES ) ‘We will first talk about the characteristics of good books. We will have a 10 minute break at (insert time) and we should finish by (insert time). You can also encourage him or her to bring in books to read with you. Next we will discuss reading aloud with children and final ly we will talk about some of the other activities you can do with your Reading Buddy. ‘You will meet with your Reading Buddy every (insert day) afternoon from (insert time) to (insert time) in this room. If you have an appointment you can not change. Does anyone have any questions about this process?’ Answer any general questions that apply to the entire group. We will have refreshments and will invite the parents of the children to come and meet you. Don’t forget to ask the librarian for assistance when choosing books. There is a wide variety of excellent books you can read with your Reading Buddy. tell your Reading Buddy before hand. On (insert date) we will have another celebration to mark the end of the program. Are there questions about the agenda?’ OV E R V I EW OF P R O G R AM (5 MIN U T ES ) Give a general overview of the logistics of the program. ‘The goal of the workshop is to discuss how you can read with a young child. we have listed the time. ‘Some characteristics of good books are summarized on page 2 of your hand-out. The first time you meet will be on (date) at (insert time) to celebrate the launch of the program. your tutor-partner will meet with both children. H OW DO CHI L D R EN LEAR N TO R EAD? (5 MI NU T ES ) ‘The first thing we will talk about is how you learned to read. Please select a book and state why you believe it would be a good book to read with a child. It is your responsibility to contact the volunteer co-ordinator and your tutor-partner if you are unable to attend a session. Please write down the telephone number of your tutor-partner on this page. ‘As you can see.’ Ask the tutors to turn to the last page of the hand-out.

Tutors! Think of ways to make the reading interesting. bent)’ ‘How would you help if your Reading Buddy has trouble reading the word hockey? (Possible answers: look for a smaller familiar word in the bigger word – key)’ 12 R e a d i n g B ud d i e s / Classroom Connections . What are the other ways that you can read with a child? Which way will you choose to read with your Reading Buddy? Does anyone have any other ideas about reading with children?’ L A N G UAGE EXP E R I ENCE (10 M IN U T ES ) ‘Most of the time you will be reading aloud with your Reading Buddy but it is important that you do other things with your Reading Buddy as well. ‘Now I am going to read these sentences to you and then it is your turn to read them aloud. Would this 7-year-old child – who has trouble reading – be able to read these sentences? Yes! He would if the paragraph is short and he reads it right after you write it down for him.’ ‘For this role play. take turns reading the books either paragraph-by-paragraph or page-by-page. I would like you to pretend that you are a 7-year-old boy who has trouble reading. Ask questions about how to read aloud with children.’ After the ‘7-year-old boy’ reads the sentences aloud. He can read it because the paragraph is in his words – his language – and it happened to him – his experience!’ ‘After he has read it and you have given him lots of praise. Children! I would like you to have difficulty sounding out some of the words to see how your Reading Buddy helps you. We went to McDonald’s for lunch. The first tutoring technique we will discuss is called the language experience approach. Then.’ ‘Please tell me what you did last weekend. Make sure to point out where the various types of books are located. For example: I went to my friend’s house.’ ‘For example. you can use this paragraph to practice reading with your Reading Buddy. ask him to put the date at the top of the page. There is a List of Recommended Children’s Books on the Classroom Connections web site which you can post in the library or distribute to your tutors. I need a volunteer to help out. in a few weeks time. We played basketball and hockey. At this point. Use the books you just chose for the first exercise.Give the volunteers a quick tour of the library.’ Walk around the room and encourage the tutors during the role play to keep them on task. you can help him practise reading words aloud. talk about word families . I would like to step out of the role play. Remember you are 7 years old!’ Write what the tutor says word for word on the blackboard.went.consonant sounds. ‘What can you do if your Reading Buddy has trouble reading a word aloud? How can you make a story come alive for a child? What can you do if your Reading Buddy loses interest in a book? What sorts of questions can you ask about a story? There are many ways that you can read aloud with your Reading Buddy. sent. how would you help if your Reading Buddy has trouble reading the word went? (Possible answers: talk about phonics . Ensure there are at least three sentences. If you are on the left you will be an eight-year-old and if you are on the right you will be yourself. ‘You read that very well! That was great! Now. There will most likely be some words that he has difficulty sounding out. R E A D I NG ALO U D WIT H YO UR R E A D I NG BU D DY (15 MI N U T ES ) ‘I will be dividing you into pairs for a role play. After they have read together about 5 minutes stop the role play. One way is to take turns reading a page or a paragraph.

If your Reading Buddy can use and understand these 100 words. enthusiastic. ‘I would like you to brainstorm about your responsibilities to the program and to your Reading Buddy. funny. Are there computers? Is there Internet access? Are there board games? ‘What are the other activities that you can do with your Reading Buddy? (Possible answers: playing word games. ‘I would like each scribe to tell the group one responsibility or one characteristic until all of the ideas you thought of have been listed. The chart shown on page 4 of your handout lists the 100 most common words used in the English language. basketball the second page and so on. ‘In this portfolio. I would like your small group to also discuss the most important characteristics of a good teacher. you and your Reading Buddy can put together a Word Bank with a focus on sports – words associated with soccer on the first page. kind. It is also an excellent way to find out if your Reading Buddy is enjoying and learning from what you do togeth er.’ OT H ER AC T I V I T I ES (5 M IN U T ES) What other resources are available in the elementary school’s library. reading magazines. Classroom Connections/ R e a d i ng B u d d i e s 13 . Word Banks are lists of words that are similar in spelling or related in meaning. There are thousands of words in the English language but these 100 words are used 50% of the time. he can read at least half of anything!’ Demonstrate this point by circling all the words in the paragraph of the ‘7-year-old boy’ that are included in this chart. ‘of’ is the only word that pronounces the let ter f like the letter v.’ The students will list various characteristics of good teachers: caring. Please appoint a scribe for your group. Compare the number of circled words to the number of words that are not circled. Filling out this form together is a great literacy activity.’ ROLE OF VO LUNTEER (10 MIN U T E S) Divide the tutors into groups of three or four people. etc. Visit each group to keep them on task and to ensure they understand the instructions. you can put together a booklet with each page devoted to a letter of the alphabet. Or. From time to time. it is difficult for learning to take place. For example. For example. choosing books to take home. You can pull together their ideas by discussing the importance of building relationships. review together all the words in your Reading Buddy’s Word Bank.’ Allow 5 minutes for the brainstorming session. From time to time. interested.SIGHT WO R DS AN D WO R D BA N KS (10 MI N U T ES ) ‘There are many words that we need to learn by sight as they either are very important in reading or they do not follow the phonetic rule. writing stories or letters. Without a relationship between teacher/student or in this case between Reading Buddies. please keep track of the books you read with your Reading Buddy and any activi ties that you do together. tolerant.)’ Give a portfolio to each tutor. Your Reading Buddy can also put in his Word Bank the words from anything you write together that are not included in the list of 100 common words. ‘You can compile a Word Bank with your Reading Buddy. review the contents of your portfolio with your Reading Buddy and praise his or her efforts and accomplishments.

When you ask her to read. Note: In our experience. and she wants her two favourite books read over and over. rather than actually reading. her mother tells you that she is slow – that she only reads at a grade 1 level. they must let you know now. don’t read the scenario aloud. she asks if you can keep a secret. you can simply talk through your answer to the situation. it seems he wants to change the topic and just talk. Or there may be unique circumstances in your program that you feel would be wise to raise through a scenario. the child will take the rejection personally. 14 R e a d i n g B ud d i e s / Classroom Connections . She mentions that she doesn't like gym because her legs are ugl y. She just wants you to read to her. Situation Four – Critical Pa r e n t You are reading with Lisa Belafora who is in grade 4. Noel cannot sit down!!!! Whenever you try to read together. He likes to discuss his tree fort. Or. You notice that her legs are covered in bruises above the knee and on the calf.Two Fa v o u r i te Books You are matched with Bonnie Smith. a difficult situation may arise that you will want to put into a scenario when you train new volunteers. she only wants to read her two favourite books. What are you going to say to him? What are you going to bring? Situation Two – The Busy Child Your Reading Buddy is Noel Jasjson. Situation Three – Physi cal Abuse Your Reading Buddy is a quiet girl. Situation Five . He is very boisterous and is constantly busy. Sheena Brown. Let’s see if the others can figure it out. In this case you need to read it aloud to the group first. If a tutor quits after having been matched with a child. If you decide to act out your answer. (There will be a prize for the best skit!)’ S C E N A RI O HAN D OU T Situation One – First Meeting You are going to meet for the first time with your Reading – Buddy – Kamo – who is 8 years old. If they are unable to commit. As you run the program. and his collection of transformers. his dog. They need to commit to meeting with the children until the end of the program. S C E N A RIOS (20 MI NU T ES ) These scenarios represent situations that tutors may need to deal with when meeting with the children. When you ask about the bruises. She asks you to just concentrate on helping her with her homework.The most important responsibility is commitment. Photocopy these situations and distribute one to each group. In front of Lisa. high school students enjoy the scenarios the most of all the workshop activities. She is very critical of Lisa. Divide the tutors into groups of two or three students. and says the words from memory. ‘Another role play! This time you will be given a scenario to solve in small groups.

which ones? • What did you like best about today? • What did you like least about today? • Do you have any other comments? Classroom Connections/ R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 15 .e. • Explain the process within the school to report to Children’s Aid. in the future they may meet a child who is being abused or neglected. Children gain confidence from re-reading a familiar book. Bring something to share about yourself – a book. you want to help someone else do well in school) Debriefing for Scenario Two – The Busy Child • Channel energy by focussing on his interests. talk about some of the progress you see Lisa making: the types of books she reads. • Chances are. Debriefing for Scenario Five – Two Fa v o u r i te Books • It’s okay if Bonnie wants to read the same book over and over again. tree forts or transformers. Repetition is how kids learn about exceptions to the rules. • The issue is clearly abuse. • Strike a compromise with Bonnie. Lisa’s teacher may be able to help solve this issue. NEXT STEPS (5 M IN U T ES ) Refer to the agenda to ensure all items were covered. or just how much you enjoy working with her. how motivated she is. • If you see her mother again. tutors will not encounter through this program a child like Sheena who is suffering abuse. Review the hand-out with the tutors. Remind tutors of the time and date of the launch.vary the activities. Read and write about dogs. Also talk about any information or ideas discussed during the workshop which are not included in the hand-out. For example. then read a couple of new books. • Write a story using names and scenes from her favourite books. It is the chance to get to know one another. Point out any ideas not covered during the workshop. • Ask Kamo what types of books he likes. Distribute an evaluation to collect anonymous feedback on the workshop. Ask if there are any remaining questions. Speak with the volunteer co-ordinator about Lisa’s mother. the words ‘come home’ do not rhyme but both end in ‘ome’. it needs to be reported to a teacher. Sit down together and plan the hour . Even when abuse is only suspected. (We included this scenario as it is our responsibility as a community to keep children safe. Evaluation questions could include: • Were all of your questions answered today? If not.) Debriefing for Scenario Four – Critical Pa r e n t • Do not argue with her mother. • Sixty minutes may seem like a long time to Noel. Every week read her favourite books. pictures of a pet. her safety is most important. or something that you often wear or carry with you. What are his hobbies? What sports does he play? • Tell Kamo why you are there (i. • Ask his teacher to suggest some strategies. Child abuse is the only issue in the Canadian legal system where proof is not needed. However. Choose books by the same author or with a similar theme.D EB RI EF I N G Debriefing for Scenario One – First Meeting • The first meeting is social and not a tutoring session. only a suspicion. Debriefing for Scenario Three – Physical Abuse • Although the tutors may be concerned about betraying Sheena’s trust.

2nd and 3rd choice) CONTRACT: As a Reading Buddy. I will: • • • • • attend the initial training and the launch meet with my Reading Buddy every week until the ______________________________ (date) tell the volunteer co-ordinator if I will not be able to attend a session sign in before each session maintain regular contact with my volunteer co-ordinator _________________________ Date _______________________________________ Signature IMPORTANT If you are under 16 years of age.PLEASE FILL OUT BOTH SIDES OF THIS FORM Name__________________________________________________________________________________________________ Street Address_________________________________________________________________________________________ City______________________________ Postal Code_____________________ School_____________________________ Telephone________________________Home Room Teacher ________________________________________________ Languages (spoken and written)_______________________________________________________________________ E-mail address________________________________________________________________ Age_____________________ AVAILABILITY I am available between ______________________ on these days: Ë Monday Ë Tuesday Ë Wednesday Ë Thursday Ë Friday (Please indicate your 1st. Matched with __________________________ on _________________________ 16 R e a d i n g B ud d i e s / Classroom Connections . you need to obtain parental permission in order to volunteer in this program. Please ensure the form on the reverse side is completed by a parent or guardian.

# ___________________ Allergies __________________ ______________________________________ Signature of Parent or Guardian __________________________________ Date Classroom Connections/R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 17 .VO LU N TEER I N F O RM AT ION CO N T I N U E D Why are you interested in being a Reading Buddy? Ha ve you tutored before or read with children? What are your interests and hobbies? Is there anything else we should know? PARENTAL PERMISSION FORM I give permission for my son/daughter ________________________ to volunteer as a Reading Buddy every ____________ from ________ pm to ________ pm at ____________________ School. Emergency Tel. I understand that the program will start on __________________ and run every week until ___________________.

We screen all vo l u nteers by asking for written character references.Character Reference Form ____________________ will be tutoring a student at ___________________________ School this ye a r. patience and reliability to work with children? What special qualities does he/she have? Ë Yes Ë No ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ 4) Is he/she a risk to children or others? Ë Yes (please elaborate below) Ë No _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5) Do you have any other comments? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________ Signature _______________________ Date ________________________________________ Print Name/Department ________________________ Tel # and Extension 18 R e a d i n g B ud d i e s / Classroom Connections . Could you please provide a character reference for him/her? 1) 2) 3) How long have you known this student? ________________________________ Does he/she have the time.

Name___________________________________________________________________________________________________ School______________________________________________ Teacher____________________________________________ What languages do you speak?_____________________________ What grade are you in?___________________ What are your interests or hobbies? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I will: • meet with my Reading Buddy every week from ___________________________ to_______________________. Emergency Telephone Number_________________ Child’s Allergies _________________________________________ _______________________________________________ Signature of Parent or Guardian ____________________________ Date Classroom Connections/ R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 19 . • tell my Reading Buddy if I can’t come. I understand that the program will start on __________________ and run every week until ___________________. • have fun!!! __________________________________ Student’s Signature ____________________________ Date Parental Permission Form I give permission for my son/daughter ________________________ to meet with a Reading Buddy every ____________ from _______ pm to ______ pm at ____________________ School.

If this is the case. Bring something personal to share: photographs. YO U R F IR ST M E ET IN G Your first meeting should be a social one where you get to know your Reading Buddy. It helps them acquire language skills and develop their ability to think and reason. Only through practising reading. to provide a positive reading experience for your Reading Buddy.anything to help your Reading Buddy discover the joy of reading and stories. You can: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Select books together Read aloud to your Reading Buddy Listen to your Reading Buddy read aloud Read aloud together Discuss what you read Play word games Review Sight Words and Word Banks Write together Record what you did together Select library books to take home 20 R e a d i n g B ud d i e s / Classroom Connections . or may simply lack the self-confidence in trying to read with you. Try not to pressure your Reading Buddy to perform. a favourite book or magazine. Children love being read to and chances are your Reading Buddy will look forward to reading with you. But your Reading Buddy may be frustrated with reading and therefore be disinterested in books. Ask your Reading Buddy: • What are your favourite books? • What are your favourite sports? • What would you like to read about? • What would you like to learn about? Make sure your Reading Buddy knows that he or she can choose the books you will read together. play word games. You will read books together. When children have a love of reading and books. This is a time to share books and stories together.Handout page 1 WHY IS IT IM P O R TANT TO R EAD ALO U D WITH CH I L D RE N ? Reading aloud with children is one of the best ways of teaching children how to read. YO U R ROLE Your primary role is to be a storyteller. do children become fluent readers. The time you spend should be enjoyable for both of you. have a short attention span. discuss books . A T Y P ICAL SESS I O N It is important that you vary the activities you do together when you meet. they are motivated to practise reading. Your Reading Buddy will most likely be a beginning reader who simply needs more practice reading. You need to meet punctually and consistently with your Reading Buddy. write stories. your most important role is to provide a safe place where your Reading Buddy can take risks reading aloud with you.

• Consider a wide variety of books. If he has difficulty reading the word hockey.) When you read for meaning together.Children are often intrigued by books that their tutors read as children.Beginning readers learn about the connections between words by reading and listening to words that rhyme.Children love to laugh or to be frightened! • Books with rhyming words . she may want to sound them out herself. • Illustrated picture books . chapter books. It is important for beginning and struggling readers to hear fluent reading. ask him to look for a small familiar word (key) within the larger word.Many children are very motivated to read books with characters they are familiar with such as Arthur and The Magic School Bus.For beginning readers. have a lot of repetition or rhyming words. • Books with repetition . choose books that are familiar to him. Ham it up! Change your voice to reflect the personalities of the different characters. picture books. if your Reading Buddy has difficulty with the word went. but let her make this decision. (Keep a list of the words she has difficulty reading to make a word search or crossword puzzle or just review these words later. • Try not to interrupt the flow of the stories with too many explanations. silly books or scary books . • Alphabet Books . it is helpful to have books with pictures that help tell the story. Classroom Connections/ R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 21 . folk and fairy tales. bent). READ ALO U D TO YO U R R E A D I NG BU D DY • Read with enthusiasm.Children need to see themselves in the books they read. • Develop a sense of rhythm when reading poetry. For example. read aloud for her any words that she has difficulty reading to maintain the flow of the story.Handout page 2 S E L ECT BOOKS TO G ET HE R • Browse through the books together and take turns selecting books. • Favourite books of tutors . Over time. • Funny books. When practising reading with your Reading Buddy. chants or stories with repetitive words. • When your Reading Buddy reads aloud. ask her to either practise reading with you (focus on sounding out the words) or to read for meaning (focus on the story or the information).We read for information as well as pleasure. story books. non-fiction books. they reinforce the alphabetic code. sent. Encourage and praise your Reading Buddy. Focus on the meaning of the story. • Books based on a television series . • When you and your Reading Buddy read for meaning. • Books with characters from various cultures . choose books that are of high interest to your Reading Buddy. then your Reading Buddy reads one paragraph or sentence. L I STEN TO YO UR R E A D ING BU D DY R EAD ALO U D • Take turns reading. You read one paragraph or sentence.For beginning readers. • Fact/Information Books . help him sound out difficult words.Books are easier for beginning readers if they have a sentence or phrase that is repeated throughout the book. talk about phonics (initial consonant sounds) and word families (went. Praise your Reading Buddy’s choices. Ask the librarian for assistance in choosing books. • When your Reading Buddy practises reading with you.

com. review a book or write a story together. W RITE TO G ET HE R • Make the reading and writing connection. • Create crossword puzzles or word searches using the words that are difficult for your Reading Buddy. look at the front and back cover. Help your Reading Buddy learn these words by making a game of concentration or using them in sentences. PLAY WO R D GAMES • Play Scrabble. You can make customized word searches and crossword puzzles at www. Discuss the pictures. You can also use the language experience approach to write about a story you have read together or to compose a letter or poem. • As you read through the story. • Do not test your Reading Buddy. R E V I EW SIGHT WO R DS AN D WO R D BA N KS • There are certain words that need to be learned by sight as they do not follow the phonetic rule. delete some of the words from a paragraph you have written together and list the deleted words at the bottom of the page. Write a letter. read aloud at the same time. Keep each story so she can practice reading with them later. 22 R e a d i n g B u d d i e s / Classroom Connections . Write down your Reading Buddy’s words as she tells you about a personal experience. These 100 words are the most commonly used words in the English language. Relax and have fun together. Reading and writing are related and reinforce one another.puzzlemaker. • Make a fill-in-the-blank exercise. Start with the words on the chart on the next page. Other words are so common that beginning readers need to learn them by sight in order to become fluent readers. Boggle. Write down each word that she says.Handout page 3 READ ALO U D TO G ET HE R • If your Reading Buddy is reluctant to read by himself. take turns predicting what will happen next and then confirm your predictions. Talk about why characters behaved in a certain way or discuss the moral of the story. D I SC U SS WHAT YOU REA D • Before reading a book. Predict what the story will be about. Hangman . • For beginning or reluctant writers. Try to write something each week with your Reading Buddy. Encourage your Reading Buddy to read aloud all the words that he knows. • After reading. the title and the pictures. discuss the story and characters.any games that use words or reading. This way of reading takes the pressure off him to perform. use the language experience approach.

soccer. Classroom Connections/ R e a d i n g B u d d i e s 23 . RECO R D WHAT YOU DI D TO G ET HE R • Record in your portfolio what you did together.nation. word games in your portfolio. participation). animal. alligator). Word Banks help beginning readers learn words and about the relationships between words. • Use cue cards. baseball) or by word segment (tion .apple. a scrapbook or your portfolio to store your Word Bank. Take this opportunity to praise her efforts and accomplishments. by theme (sports . the book may not be at the independent reading level for her. 1990 • Compile a bank of words with your Reading Buddy. Word Banks. action. Word Banks can be organized by letter (A .Don McCracken. • Review the contents of the portfolio with your Reading Buddy from time to time. • Both of you can take home a copy of the same book so you are able to discuss it the following CHOOSE LIB R A RY BOOKS TO TAKE HOME • If your Reading Buddy has difficulty with five or more words on a page. Core Literacy Tutor Training Manual.Handout page 4 a and he I in is it of that the to was These 12 words account for 1/4 of all reading! all are as at be but for had have him his not on one said so they we with you These 32 words account for 1/3 of all reading! about an back been before big call by down first from get go has like little do her here if into just look made make me more much must my new no now off old only or other our out over right see she two up when well went were what when where which who will your some their them then there this came can come could did These 100 words account for 1/2 of all reading! Reprinted with permission . • Keep stories.

Jayne Eksteins. Toronto Public Libraries. 1998 24 R e a d i n g B ud d i e s / Classroom Connections . If you are unable to attend a session. Box 111 Toronto. ON M5A 1N1 www.You will be reading with your Reading Buddy every __________ from _______ pm to ______ pm at __________________________________ 1-800-555-6523 Hand-out adapted from Read Together Guide.O. P . The program will be launch on _________________ and the final celebration will be on ___________________. Contact Numbers 1 Responsibilities are: _____________________ 2 Responsibilities are: _____________________ Your tutor-partner is: _____________________ tel:___________________________________________ tel:___________________________________________ tel:__________________________________________ Classroom Connections Toronto’s First Post 1-888-882-8865 Frontier College 35 Jackes Avenue Toronto.classroom-connections.frontiercollege. ON M4T 1E2 www. contact the volunteer coordinator and your tutor-partner.