FVR Library

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29 thoughts on “FVR Library”

  1. Perfect! Love it! Gave me some great ideas I hadn’t thought of! Thank you! I think there are lots of binders around here. I can have my TA work on some of this too!!!

    1. The Señor Jordan stories are available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

      I like the idea of using old binders that would otherwise end up in the trash. For about $10, I bought a box of 50 clear report covers the sliding bar binders. They may not be quite as durable but they take up less space.

  2. Ben we gotta put this in the new book. I’m in sunny LA and my brain is enjoying the rest. But on one hand I’m feeling that clock ticking. But can you do me a favor and go into the document and add s note to add this resource? Please?

  3. Hi Greg,
    It is helpful. Way to show us how to keep it simple and affordable. Blaine and Carol have worked to create increasingly more comprehensible readings and to keep them affordable. But there are limits to budgets and we need reading without limits.

    RE the author of Starla la destructora…Weston Shippy is a teacher in Silverton, OR where the action takes places. So I think it is a legal name.

  4. I thought Starla la destructora was written by Tina under a pen name, LOL.

    By the way, I am doing Ben and Tina’s children’s book project this week in all my classes. That means I will have 60 children’s books for use next year!

      1. Not really my ingenuity I just took it from “The Natural Approach to the Year Book”. I am having them do it on Google Documents so that I can edit for good grammar.

        You should also check out “Spanish Plans” on Teachers Pay Teachers site. I am on Teachers Pay Teachers too with some FCR readers my store name is “The CI Guy”

        Also Mike Peto and Brett Chonko have free stories on their sites if you Google them.

          1. Nathaniel, what Krashen calls FVR, Tina and I have chosen to call Free Choice Reading. It’s too complex to go into really. We like the term better for a lot of reasons and so have chosen to use it instead of FVR.

          2. While working on a comment below it hit me…duh…fcr…free choice…it is what you are interacting with Ben and Greg about right now.

            More important than the name is the daily incorporation of FCR. I like it as a daily precursor. Except that with my Spanish 4s we were running half the period or more. So I started doing different schedules like every other day and every other week.

            One of the problems has always been that the early comprehensible readers followed the textbook mentality. So the easiest books were present tense. There were not easy past tense books. This is starting to change now. But I started rewriting the easier books in the past so that I could use them with my Spanish 3/4 students who had no reading experience but needed exposure to the verbal landscape. (Then I discovered that French children’s books are all written in the passé simple.)

          3. I like that your advanced kids are reading half the period. My view is that reading is truly the high road in language acquisition and that the best use of time would be that they read, at the upper levels, 100% of the time.

          4. Right on, if they are actually reading, why not let them read every day all day? If an admin pops in you can stop and do 30 second book reviews.

          5. It sounds like hyperbole but I really do believe that if they did 80% reading input and 20% auditory input or something along those lines, it would bring the best gains.

  5. Ben & Tina,
    I just wanted to comment on the term FVR. The V for Voluntary is like the V for Volonté (will/desire/wish). I have seen a lot of references to the V implying that what is voluntary is whether or one wishes to read or not. The voluntary refers to being able to choose what one wants to read, of the the options available.

    The F for Free refers to the cost to the reader. One of the key variables in how much one reads is how much reading material is available to the reader. So the books are available to the reader at no cost. That way kids from book impoverished families have the same change (in class, at least) as kids from book rich families.

    To my mind, choice and voluntary are synonymous. Putting free in front of voluntary sounds like there should be a comma present preserving the idea of no cost to the reader. Free in front of choice creates emphasizes that it is a choice: free choice–free to choose. There is no predestination involved in which book the students reads.

    Nothing against the free choice moniker, but in reinforcing that the choice is “libre” we lose the idea that the choice is “gratis/gratuit.”

    1. I regularly interchangeably call it SSR, FVR, or FCR just because I have been using materials from Krashen, Bryce Hedstrom and by Ben Slavic.

      “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

      I might streamline what I call it next year just for the sake of consistency.

    2. Well, Ben, you know me well enough that I like to know what words mean–it’s just part of what makes me me. I might start calling it Free Choice now, too. Sounds democratic and student-centered.

      I started using Sustained Silent Reading after hearing Jim Trelease and reading his great book.

      Then I switched to Free Voluntary Reading after doing some research to get grants to build Spanish and French reading libraries.

      Recently, I have been saying individual reading in contrast with class reading, probably parallel to you and Tina saying individually-created drawings versus class-created drawing (instead of OWI and Invisibles).

      But Individual Reading (IR) doesn’t tell me much more than the silent in SSR. In fact, it tells me less, because the sustained indicates that reading is considered important enough to carve regular time out for it. It also indicates that there is true rigor (as per Herr Harrell’s articles). I am not sure the extensive of ER tells us much more that sustained.

      FVR with Krashen puts the focus on making enough reading material available to everyone so that they can choose what they read.

      I noticed recently that Carol Gaab refers to the new readers as Comprehension-based readers. So we can make another acronym: CBR.

      They all express aspects of what we are looking for: stuff kids can read on their own that is beyond class-created readings.

      Like you say, Greg, it is not the label but the activity. Watching the kids get lost in a reader for for 10-20 minutes or more at a time looks and smells like a rose. And a class full looks and smells like a rose garden.

      1. Two points Nathaniel:

        1. I like IR as a term. A lot. So simple. IR and CR. And as you may know, CR for me is a disaster and why I pointedly express that we should avoid it totally in level 1 and limit it in level 2 classes. Because of equity, and for no other reason. Because the quickest way to make a kid feel stupid is to put him or her in a class with readers, when that kid hasn’t been so privileged.

        And so the only reading that should be done in level is classes is of texts based on stories.

        2. I wonder where Carol got the term “comprehension-based”.

    3. I was just reading something by Mike Peto. He calls himself a krashenista and passes the test by calling his program pleasure reading. His goal is to create internal motivation for reading and subvert what he calls “the game.” I understand this to mean a schooling approach to reading. Teachers do schooling things to get kids to read. Kids do counter-schooling things to get the grade without doing the reading. The whole process creates non-readers since those who actually do read are just doing so for the grade. Well, that is another aspect of what we are aiming for.

      1. The “Schooling Approach to Reading” – this is a very fine term and a very accurate descriptor of what CI has become. It could be expanded into “The Schooling Approach to Language Acquistion”. It’s made a few TPRS cartels. I don’t have a problem with that, unless it happens at the expense of the many and to the benefit of the few.

        I am a petoista as well as a krashenista. Tina and I both are. Can I use this term as from you when I work with teachers? It’s a big umbrella term and I love it. The cartels are so into the novels and I think it is hurting kids. I know it is.

        Nathaniel can I put this comment on FB? It has layers and layers of truth.

        1. Sometimes the novels are the ONLY way traditional teachers will do anything that resembles CI, so they are useful in that sense. Also for coexistence of CI teachers with traditional colleagues. For this reason, I have done two novels this year. One novel we got bored with and went back the Invisibles though.

          That being said, novels are being used by some as kind of a textbook replacement. Most teachers don’t want to go into a class and just speak the language. Even the Invisibles process, many teachers just don’t want to get in front of a class, create a character, type up the story or do write and discuss, create a classroom library, etc. They want to get kids into groups and go back to their desk. Then when the project is done they spend 2 -3 class periods when presenting. When you are the “language parent” you put yourself out there. Now the responsibility is on the teacher to make themselves comprehensible. Now the responsibility is on the teacher to improve.
          Many people’s ego can’t handle that.

          I was in a car accident last week (minor neck injury but I have a lot of headaches) so I decided to give myself a break and do the children’s book project. Some “spa” days as Tina would say. What’s scary to me about this project is some teachers do projects all year. You basically just sit at your desk and check in with them every one in awhile.

          And the kids think they are learning and doing something by producing language but simply listening to the language can seem to them like “we are not doing anything in this class”. The school system definitely has them conditioned.

          A lot of teachers have solely focused on their own language proficiency during their college years and then gone to the education department to learn how to teach, where they treat language like subject matter, which we know from BVP, language is not subject matter to be taught. That is why they need the textbook or novel crutch.

          At the same time, I think it does show the need for some sort of SYSTEM. Instead of a novel and a teacher’s guide, the Invisibles teachers have your “Natural Approach to a Year Book”. The difference is in your system, the starting point is the student interest.

          1. Greg I didn’t even know that the Invisibles was a true “system” until after writing the two books about them so I appreciate your comment. It really is a system, and one that works. I hope your neck gets better. Tina was in an Uber a year ago and it ran into a tree, not really going fast, but she is just now getting over her neck sproing on that one. Hope you feel better real soon!

          2. So sorry about your neck, Greg! Boy, it’s a reminder to me to be careful… I look off into the distance way to much when I’m driving.

      2. Very helpful ruminations, Nathaniel. I’m afraid my heritage Spanish classes have gotten too noisy during FCR time. I’m working on that and I think setting purpose with them by explaining that we want them to read with pleasure has to be part of it. I might also do more read alouds.

  6. Sometimes the novels are the ONLY way traditional teachers will do anything that resembles CI, so they are useful in that sense.
    Yes Greg there’s a lot of Truth in your reply. I say that without a framework of what CI is, teachers have no direction to continue the process. They may say that they doing CI 50% of the time or whatever. When teachers mindsets shift, their enthusiasm shifts and then they spend their energy on what is important–providing equity via CI.

    On Thursday my admin went against my recommendation to hire someone who was easy going and coachable for another teacher whose former admins said “was amazing”. Who’s gonna be working weekly with our new hire? Me and my other colleague. Anyway, shoot me an email Greg so we can chat about Dept worse and successes. steve.ordiano@gmail.com

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