One of the great projects at our school is what we call buddy-classes where two classes are teamed up (one younger and one older) and they are required to do activities together throughout the school year to improve their social skills and learn from each other.
We have 1st – 10th grade at our Árskóli Elementary school in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland and we teamed up the following classes and they stay together:
- 1st & 6th grade
- 2nd & 7th grade
- 3rd & 8th grade
- 4th & 9th grade
- 5th and 10th grade.
When we were in 1st grade our buddy class was 6th grade. These groups follow each other for 5 years until my class becomes the 6th grade and gets 1st grade. The teachers are responsible for planning an activity at least 3 times over the year.
This project has been very successful and has established a bond between students of different ages. We have done so much together the past 3 years including:
- Decorating cookies with frosting.
- Gone sledding together and drink hot chocholate.
- Seen each others plays a few days before we go on the big stage (every class does a full play every year).
- Played board-games.
- The older students have come in and helped during math.
- Older class records audio-books for us.
- Went swimming.
- and so on….
The possibilities are endless and this is a great way to build relationships between younger and older students. It was also great to have another class to visit and get help when we needed like in math and wanted an audience for the last rehearsal of our school play.
I really hope this is something you can incorporate at your school.
Ingvi Hrannar Ómarsson
Icelandic Elementary Teacher