As a teacher who feels passionately about reading, I take it upon myself to explicitly model what good reading looks like during lessons. However, students should not only see good reading used by their teachers. Students should also be given peer examples--and be allowed to give peers examples--of strong reading in order to develop as passionate, effective readers. This is the idea behind "Reading Buddies", a program that I implemented between first and fourth grade students.
Before visiting with the first grade class, fourth grade students were coached on how to model good oral reading, use reading strategies, and to ask questions. They were also taught how to calmly help peers when they encountered a difficult text or question. After they had completed their training, fourth grade students visited first grade classrooms to regularly read with their first grade reading buddy.
"Reading Buddies" has done wonders for first and fourth grade students. The program has promoted the development of inter-personal and communication skills in both the first and fourth grade, and it has provided students with regular opportunities for discussion. The program has also enabled students to become more adept at using reading strategies and has given students not only a real sense of achievement, but also a greater passion for reading.