Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!

In honor of the holidays, our visit with the kids was especially festive and fun! We had club members (big buddies) bring in age-appropriate books to give to the kids, and we prepared goody bags filled with treats.  To begin our visit, we played a game similar to Musical Chairs to the sound of holiday music.  Then, we passed out the goody bags, each containing a candy cane, fruit snacks, a lollipop, a juice box, smarties and stickers.  After the treats, we had a pizza party.  As the kids were finishing their food, we called them in small groups to choose two books (they were all wrapped by us during our lunch meeting).  Most of the kids opened them to make sure they were satisfied with their choices while others decided to keep the surprise for Christmas.  We closed our visit with homemade brownies (compliments of Gabby).

Thursday, November 27, 2014


This week was Thanksgiving themed.  The activities included coloring turkey drawings, completing an "I am thankful for" fill-in-the-blank book and making thank-you cards for family members, friends and teachers.

Friday, October 31, 2014


On Halloween, we set up five different stations in the classroom, each with a different activity: themed coloring sheets, playing bingo, Halloween spelling words, other worksheets, and free drawing/mask making.  Each station was directed by a team of two-four big buddies.  The little buddies rotated stations, so each child was able to partake in every activity. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Weekly Routine

We begin the visits by playing games as a group on the rug in the classroom.  The games consist of Telephone, Simon Says, Copy Cat, Do This Do That, and many others.  Oftentimes, we pose a question to the entire group and go around the circle having everyone answer (What are you thankful for?, What is your favorite color/food/animal?, What are you going to be for Halloween?, etc). Then, we break off into preassigned groups (identified by colors, i.e, the red, green and blue groups).  The groups were created keeping in mind personalities and learning styles of each buddy.  The activities completed in these smaller groups vary week to week.  There is always a reading comprehension worksheet, a page in a fill-in-the-blank story and the option of completing homework from school.  Each little buddy has a personal folder that serves as a portfolio to hold each handout, assignment, drawing, etc. When the activities are completed buddies can either read, quietly play or draw.

Getting to Know Each Other ~ Questionnaire

Below is the questionnaire that both the Lab students and UCCS students who participate in the program completed in order to get to know each other.  Everyone indicated interests, hobbies, basic family info, info about pets, likes/dislikes (food, music, books, television). The questionnaire is age-appropriate, both in terms of reading level and content. It was completed during the first visit with Lab students there to help.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Club founders Paige and Gabby with a little buddy in the entry way of the first grade classroom. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


What: A club to foster relationships between University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Lab) high school students and University of Chicago Charter School (UCCS) elementary students.  The club has an overarching academic orientation but also strives to create a feeling of friendship and fun with the younger students.  

When: Weekly lunchtime meetings with the club members to plan and discuss activities for the kids; weekly after-school visits with the UCCS students for approximately 2 hours.

Weekly Lab Meetings
The purpose of these meetings will be to reflect on the experiences we have had with our buddies, to share ideas about ways to motivate and help kids in their learning processes, to discuss the club’s goals, to brainstorm fun activities/ideas for the student visits, to ensure that all voices and thoughts are heard, to plan events such as the book drive/fundraisers, and to have fun!