This week we implemented a peer buddy system in our second grade inclusion classroom. We randomly (and I use that term loosely) selected students to become buddies. We explained that we were assigning buddies for a few reasons: 1) we have students that are new to our school, and 2) we enter as strangers and leave as friends. We truly implemented if for several of our own reasons: 1) Support and develop social skills for students with special needs, 2) Decrease bullying (Did you know bullying is at its highest in second grade?), and 3) Increase positive social-emotional health.
For the first lesson we explained our reasons for implementing the buddy system. We then talked about how to be a good friend to someone (sharing, using a friendly voice, sharing, etc). We then paired everyone up and gave them a questionnaire to complete with their partner. We explained that every 2 weeks we would switch buddies, and every 2 weeks we would interview our buddies. We then compiled a list of "How to be a buddy."
I am eager to see how the buddy system progresses throughout the school year and I anticipate positive changes in peer relationships and respect within the class.
The peer buddy interview sheet can be found on my TpT site.