Whew! I was a little beat yesterday to write a post. Today, I wanted to specifically blog about Mike Peto’s session about FVR (free voluntary reading). He will be posting the presentation on his blog later. He has also posted a lot before about FVR. I was truly a skeptic. We have FVR in school, and many kids hate it. They stare at a page (or two) for 30 minutes. Or they try to study. Or they try to get away with talking. Ugh. I thought- how am I supposed to turn these kids who hate reading in English into Spanish readers?! After his presentation, I feel like it is totally possible and that I HAVE to do it next year. Here is how I am going to do it:
- First, you must get a classroom library. TPRS readers are wonderful. Some other books that he recommends are Scholastic readers about dinosaurs or planets. These have a lot of cognates, so they are easy for students to read. He also recommends Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Captain Underpants. Bad books are books that are targeted to teens (Hunger Games, Narnia etc.) These are too difficult for students.
- Second, start small. Start with five minutes a few days a week. I thought, I can do that! How many times do I have a few minutes left at the end of class? (I see y’all who post about this on Pinterest! Secret: I do too!) My students would not feel threatened to read for 5 minutes.
- Allow students to stop reading a book if they do not like it. I just did this with a book that I am reading in English. I was not clicking with the characters, so I just stopped.
- Finally, here is the biggest point that I will let Mike point out:
You have to read too!
Finally, a few other details that will help. Mike gives his students grades on whether or not they read. His follow up is to have students talk to each other about what they are reading (in English) or have them write about what they are reading (in Spanish). He alternates weeks with this. He also has a sign that says Your teacher is reading… with the book that he is reading. I have to say that I am a total believer in this now. It seems really doable! I hope that you feel the same way. Here are more posts about it if you want more details.
Edited to add: Here is Mike’s presentation to read more!