Feliz and I initiated a Reading Buddies program at the Korea International School. We brought together her 2nd graders and my 5th graders once a week. The purpose was simply to read together. Often, the older students would read their own novels to the younger ones. When this happened, the 2nd graders were clearly enthralled. It was definitely beneficial for the 5th grade students too. I firmly believe that teaching a skill is the best way to master it. Watching my students explain why a word is pronounced a specific way, or explaining context within a story, showed me that they firmly understood what they were reading.
Midway through the year, when our schedules were growing a bit more hectic, Feliz and I decided that we should stop the program and use the time for our core lessons. When we told our classes, they were both devastated. I didn't realize they valued this time so much. In the end, we compromised and began meeting every other week. It was a great experience for both me and my students, and I would love to initiate a Reading Buddies program with my next class.