I finally started “FVR” or Free Voluntary Reading time with my students this last week. For an idea on what FVR is, check out this post by K.Placido, “Sustained Silent Reading in Language Class“.
Our first day we spent 5-6 minutes reading. My goal is to do this 1-2 times per week and grow from there.
My FVR Library:
-TPRS novels, most from FluencyMatters.com: Robo en la Noche, Capibara con botas, Brandon Brown series, Peter va a Colombia, Fiesta Fatal, Felipe Alou, among others.
-Class stories that I have compiled into 2 binders.
-Stories from Blaine Ray’s “Look I can Talk” book.
-Stories purchased from TeachersPayTeachers. (You can check out some of ours at SpanishPlans, such as a Simon’s Cat embedded reading).
Since the purpose of FVR is to let the students enjoy the reading it is important not to make it cumbersome by adding some type of assignment to it. However, I am trying this reading log, more-so to let kids keep track of what they are reading so they can choose the same book if they wish to continue. We shall see if this is a something I continue with. But if you’d like a copy, you can download it as a PDF (lectura-libre-fvr-log) or editable Word file (fvr-log).
Wow, a great idea to get students responsible for reading on their own. i plan to use it for my 8th graders next quarter. I may have it be a grade too. They have already read a few simple novels but there is so much more online to explore. Smithsonian Spanish Tween Tribune is a great resource to use for this. Short stories and can all be done in Spanish too.
Thanks for sharing your reading log! This is the area I tend to go back and forth on because I imagine our Spanish I FVR time being much different than it’s actually turning out to be. I want my students to look forward to relaxing and reading, but the bottom line is if I don’t “assign” something, many of my students will not read…some will, but the majority will not. Instead, they will socialize, sleep, or “fake read.” My 2nd hour is the only group who is able to come in to class and read quietly without complaint (we also do our reading on Mondays); they do not have to do the required post-reading assignment that the other hours have to complete (but we sometimes do anyway bc they just go with the flow…love their calm and relaxed attitudes!). I have a bunch of different, creative post-reading activites for students to choose from each time they read, with my only stipulation being that they are not allowed to do the same activity more than twice. There are activities for all types of learners, and I add to our “collection” all the time, making sure to keep each one short (able to complete in ~5 min) and our selection fresh. The problem is that I feel like they are NOT enjoying their time reading, and they are only reading “just enough” to complete an assignment or get a grade, which seems to defeat the whole purpose of FVR. I’ve also noticed that some of them don’t even read enough to do the day’s assignment, but will instead use what they have read in the past (from the beginning of the book) to complete the work. I thought about cutting our 10 min reading time down to 5 min and doing it 2x/week, but it just seems like not enough reading time. I also feel like our post-reading work, which takes about 10 min longer than it should, is taking so much time away from instruction time (but for certain reasons, we have to do the work in class, instead of assigning it as “homework”). Truthfully, I don’t know if everyone in each class is even going to finish an entire book because the process is sooooo slowwww, and oftentimes, I think they spend more time re-reading parts they have already read because they forgot what was going on in the book when they last read it week ago…then, time is up, and the process begins all over again 7 days later. Perhaps, they are not reading/interacting with the text enough to care about/enjoy what is going on in the book, but I really don’t know. Any advice? Words of wisdom? Should I give more than 10 minutes at a time to read? Should I try doing it 2-3x/werk instead? Should I require them to finish their book in a given amount of time/weeks? Instead of FVR novels, should I instead give them short reads that they can finish in one sitting? Or, maybe make it so each student has to read the same thing? 2nd hour is able to do it without a problem, but I’m not sure why we are struggling in other Spanish I hours. Any thoughts/suggestions you have would be great. Thank you and so sorry this is so loooooong! Yikes! 🙂
Jaja, Your comment was longer than my original post! I’ll start off by saying that each group is different, so some kids are naturally going to love something while others will hate it. But here’s some thoughts:
Stop assigning any follow up. Just let the kids read for whatever period of time and then when time is up move on to something else. The idea beyond FVR is that it should be a non-graded practice. Tell your students, they are going to be reading for a grade, they are going to be reading for enjoyment. Let me know that you think reading is so important to take the time to do it during class and you are not even going to grade it. It removes that pressure of something they HAVE to do.
And I tell my students, if they don’t like a book, grab another one. We want them to enjoy what they are reading. Hopefully they will eventually find a story that is compelling enought to them that they forget the language and just focus on the story itself.
Perhaps the books are too challenging? I started the year by limiting the books to very simple readers (like Capibara and Brandon Brown) and short stories that I put together some either class stories or some Senor Wooly’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuCPzpsm35U&list=PLhVwmCanozzlhXktBa7tKbKY2Sl9s7wC0&index=4&t=2s Then halfway through the year I put out the rest of the novels.
I think when students feel successful reading, it motivates them more. If the reading is too hard for them, they are going to feel unmotivated. Maybe read a book together and help them know when to look words up in the glossary.
Another thing you can do is go and sit next to the kid who is not reading. They are probably trying to “look cool” but if you sit down next to them it forces them to remain on task and read. But if you are reading during this time as well, it also helps the students see the value.
To be honest, I don’t even use this reading log anymore. Instead I take a blank gradesheet and just keep a log of what each student is reading each week.
I usually wait until the end of the year to gather feedback. But maybe give the students a survey about FVR and let them give you feedback about what they like about it, what could make it better, etc and maybe that will give you some insight.
Hope this helps!!