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I use FVR (Free Voluntary Reading) in my Spanish classroom to get kids exposed to vocabulary and sentence structures and general language that they perhaps do not see or hear regularly in the classroom. I also use it to get students exposed to language in a personally meaningful way and in a way that allows students to choose their own learning experience.
One of the ideas behind FVR is to allow students to experience language through reading in a way that makes it feel less like work and more like a choice, fun experience. However, as a teacher, I want to be sure my students are getting the most from the time we use in class and I want to be able to see what they are learning. That is why I have created this daily reading tracker. It holds students accountable for using their reading time to learn and grow, while not making it feel like a heavy task.
When: At the start of class
How long?: 10 minutes of reading, Less than 5 minutes of discussion (see below for details).
Note: I teach levels 3 and 4 this year, so it's perhaps easier for my students to stay engaged with a text for 10 minutes straight. However, if you teach a lower level, I would suggest starting your FVR time at 5 minutes and work your way up throughout the year. We also have block scheduling, which REALLY helps to make FVR doable on a daily basis. I know of teachers who teach on a traditional 45/52 minute schedule, however, and they have select days of the week that they choose to do FVR.
After students spend 10 minutes reading (I set a timer on the Smartboard, play quiet Spanish guitar [which helps keep students focused and quiet] and I read with them, of course! We have to set a good example!)
Afterwards, students (who are seated in pods of 3-4) have 45 seconds per student to share about their book. I have my students use the writing prompts on their Reading Tracker to guide their 45 seconds, but encourage them to show interesting parts and ask their classmates questions if they find they have extra time to work with).
Finally, before they put away their books, I ask if there are still any unanswered questions or confusion, which we talk about as a class.