SOLC 2019 Day 14: The Tiniest Sound


March 2019 SOLC–Day 14
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

On a recent Friday we met the kindergartners in their classroom. The room was a buzz of activity. The little ones were working on lining up, each one clutching a piece of paper in his/her small hand. This was the day they were going to share their writing at the K-2 Assembly, and we had been invited to come along, to enjoy their final pieces and support them if necessary.


My fourth grade class has been reading with kindergarten buddies since early in the school year. Last month, the Kindergarten teacher and I decided to try having them write together. Both classes separately listened to a mentor text (Mel Evan’s the tiniest sound) and then came together to write their own response to the question “What is the tiniest sound?” The book is a lovely poetic piece, inspiring creative thought and interesting word choice. Fourth graders supported their buddies as they wrote, reminding them use their “sound power” to write down each sound they heard.

It was a delight to watch them work together. I saw one of my less-than-focused struggling readers try over and over to encourage her wiggly, wandering buddy.

“Ok, now say the word. Squeak. What sound do you hear at the beginning? S-s-s-s-s-squeak.”

She was determined and persistent, thoroughly engaged in this work with her small companion. He remained distracted, but she never gave up.

Then on Friday we walked into assembly and my fourth graders sat behind their buddies.

“I love this,” a teacher next to me stated. She gestured toward a kindergartner who was being quietly encouraged by his fourth grade partner to sit quietly. “He’s already been sitting for longer than he ever has at assembly!”

Soon the kindergartners were standing, facing the audience with my students beside them. Behind them, their responses were displayed on a large screen. Each child took the microphone, read his or her piece from their paper and then handed the microphone along. As they read, sometimes they hesitated. When necessary, my fourth graders bent down, encouraged and occasionally whispered the necessary words to them. Their support was perfect–subtle and positive.

“I just love this,” the teacher next to me commented again.

Me, too.


13 thoughts on “SOLC 2019 Day 14: The Tiniest Sound

  1. I just love your post and the sweet way multiage learning empowers everyone. It’s worth the timing and scheduling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dianeandlynne says:

    I wish I were there watching too. I love the way your “less than focused” student acted as a mentor to her unfocused Kindergartner. What a great experience for all the kids who participated. “I love this.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn says:

    These partnerships are invaluable in the way they build student leaders and lasting relationships. I wish we did more of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As one writing teacher to another, “I just love this!”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. terierrol says:

    I love this too! We do Buddy Reading in our K-8 school. The older students love being the helper and both can have a positive experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. paulabourque says:

    I love these buddy situations. I see some of the toughest kids become the sweetest buddy to younger students-we see a nurturing side that is tucked deep inside. The social emotional and the academic benefits can be profound. Thanks for sharing this–warms my heart!


  7. Cross-grade level partnerships are the best! We take advantage of the fact that we have K-8 students in one building as often as we can. This sounds like a fun and rewarding project for everyone!


  8. kd0602 says:

    I love what these “buddy” relationships do for the older kids…as they learn to mentor their younger friends! It so reminds me of the multiage class I taught for so many years…oh, I miss those daily cross-age collaborations! Thanks for sharing this precious moment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s