Here are some questions by Karen O., a Spanish 1 & 2 teacher that is starting a free reading program at her school.
I just read How to Prevent Readicide NTPRS 2012 and your other handouts on Light Reading specifically for levels 1 and 2. Thank you so much for sharing them.
Here are my questions:
1. Do you have kids do a Light Reading novel before or after an Academic Reading novel? Or does it matter?
I have kids do free reading for a couple of months before they read a novel for a Light Reading Book Report. I barely do any whole class/academic reading anymore because self-selected reading is so much more powerful. I have a saying posted in my room:
“You all have different interests and different abilities so you should be reading different books.”
2. Do you do Light Reading using your reading schedule…10 min/2x a week for level 1 and 15 min/3x a week for level 2?
Yes, more or less. We get off of the schedule a lot–either my own doing or by circumstances at school, but we make extra time when they are reading a novel for a Light Reading Book Report–about 20/3x per week.
3. If a student finishes his novel early, does he go on to read another one or other Free Reading?
Yes. They can choose to read whatever they like, but they must read something in the target language.
4. Do you keep up the schedule until the last reader finishes or do you have a final date by which everyone has to finish?
We always have to draw the line someplace, so some students have to take books home or come in outside of class time to finish. Usually they do it when they see they have a zero int he grade book.
5. Do you have a ball park idea of how many weeks it takes an “average” level 1 or 2 student to finish one Light Reading?
For most students it takes between 1 1/2 to 3 hours of total reading time for an average 6,000 word novel. So it takes about three weeks of class time, if they have 20 minutes 2-3 times per week.
6. I don’t have a very big library, and I have ordered 5 copies of 8-9 different level 1-2 readers.
That is a good start. much better than buying a whole class set of one novel like I did when I first started having students read novels. The variety gives students more options and more likelihood that they will find something that appeals to them.
Keep up the good work.