11-07-11: Maplewood students soar into reading
11-07-11: Maplewood students soar into reading

Each week, sixth graders in Sue Armstrong's class pair with third graders in Laurie Patoff's class to take turns reading to one another. This fall the students "soared into reading" by making and launching tissue paper hot air balloons.

More than 50 students filled the playground to set their colorful balloons skyward, using hot air from a hairdryer to fill their handmade creations.

The sixth graders meet with their third-grade reading buddies once a week to read, Armstrong said. The classes also do some science and art projects together throughout the year.

The hot air balloon project is a great start to the new school year, Armstrong said, as they are encouraged to "soar into reading."

Sixth grader Paulo Barrera said he likes the partnership with the younger students, because "we are their role models."

Third grader Jonah Gross said the hot air balloon that he and his sixth-grade buddy, Nick Johnson, worked on together was "really fun."

After watching their balloon fly through the air, he exclaimed, "Mine flew really high!"