SSR Detail

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.



14 thoughts on “SSR Detail”

  1. I have all but abandoned Classical FVR except for when we’re doing/illustrating & some kids finish early…then they can grab a FVR book. They’re mostly looking at illustrations methinks.
    However, I do occasionally have a “book walk” under the doc cam. I approach the book walk in 2 ways. Either I pre-script the existing text – I cover it with a lined post-it and rewrite it before I use it in the lesson, OR, I cover the text and ask about the picture, and write the text on the post-it in real time, as the Ss answer my Qs. (I often have to re-write the post-it if I do a ‘live’ writing to bring it in bounds and for maximum simplicity).
    I did this process for the Halloween story, “In a Dark, Dark Room.” I had an English version but the story is perfect for the WL classroom since it’s both repetitive and episodic. SO MANY REPS. The illustrations were just mysterious enough to make the whole thing fun before Halloween. It’s also a good story to MAD LIBS (I just deemed it a verb) by find-and-replacing all the objects with other creepy Halloween-related objects (so many cognates: cemetery, vampire, zombie, monster, etc.)
    BTW our presentation for the summer conferences in on Adapting and Creating Elementary Texts.

    1. You mentioned this at Halloween. I followed up with this for Sp 2 and Sp 3, using an online ppt presentation. The kids had the words in one column and wrote the English in a second column. Every so often someone calls out “oscuro, muy oscuro.” They loved it (although I couldn’t tell at first). It is a safe, scary story.

      Search for “Oscuro, Muy Oscuro.”

  2. I have discovered the same problem with the more complicated picture books and also prefer TPRS novels for my students.

    Another solution that I accidentally encountered was an idea that I got from Julie Soldner (sorry if I spelled that wrong, Julie) when I observed her class last year:
    For the last week of class, when everyone’s tired of school, I had small groups of 3-4 turn one of our class stories (they keep them in their notebook) into a hardback book. Each page had 1-2 sentences from the story and had to be illustrated by hand or computer generated. They also included an “About the Author” pages, which was great review for basic structures like name, past times, age, etc. (CWB info.) My students loved the project and it was a great way to end the year. What I hadn’t realized until the books were done, was that I had just increased my library with student-produced books that were full of the structures that this year’s classes would be learning also! Great idea, Julie!

    Btw, you can purchase blank, hardback books on Amazon, with varying page #s.

    1. I did this as well using the program Comic Life to make comic strips. My 6th graders filled in a simple story script mad-libs style, double checked it with me, then made it into full page comic strips. Some kids used pictures from google while others drew their own and took pictures. Like Lori said above, including an About The Author section was a great way to reinforce personal details and get reps on first person forms. I printed them out in full colour, laminated them, and put them in our classroom library. Great early finishing tasks.

  3. Along these lines of SSR, my students have each been reading a novel of their choice for this quarter. I’m wanting to have them create some sort of project for the end of the quarter that demonstrates their understanding of the book, without killing the joy of reading. This class is artistic and likes projects, so I think it will be good. One option will be to make a poster that advertises the book, another will be a collage with captions. Any other ideas?

  4. How many of those children’s books were read aloud to the children before the children started reading them themselves. And how many times was each book read, and that daily.

    As my daughter would say at the end of each reading with a twinkle in h er eye, “Just one more time and that WILL be it.” Yep. It was time to move onto chapter books.

    1. Alisa, THANK YOU for this website! It will be super handy for this time of year to mix it up! Wowie. So many different pieces of paper with stuff on them that I don’t have to make up!

      And super timing too bc I have to turn in a “Quality Performance Assessment” Assessment Validation Sheet. Huh? No idea how to fit what I do into this form. But now I can say I use a graphic organizer and sound like a smarty pants 😀

    2. Ditto what Jen said!! Thank you, Alisa! What a great resource! These are great options for students to demonstrate that they have understood the book.

      Also, some of these graphic organizers will be great for student response to songs. We usually listen to a song all week (Ave que Emigra while reading Esperanza, etc.) and discuss the significance and the vocabulary as well as doing cloze activities. Many of these graphic organizers will work well for students to fill in as they listen.

  5. Or you could model one of the graphic orgs (GO’s) on screen as a class, and then ask Ss to make a poster/project including the info in the graphic org…if you get rated on displaying such student work (I don’t, PTL)

  6. Saludos,

    I enjoy the 15-18-20 minutos of FVR (or just R) that I/we have in my 9-12 grades. I do this R activity in 4/5 ways.

    (a) I have one box with 50 books that I put next to the student. They don’t need to walk to grab a few more.

    (b)Binders: I have been collecting assignments where they draw and write (a few words). I have one binder per student.

    (c)Minibooks: I have 1200 minibooks that I have collected over the years.

    (d)Textbook: “Explore them”, I said.

    (e)National Geographics and Muy Interesante magazines

    (f)Prensa rosa: princesses, pseudo-famous, etc.

    (g)Novels: García Marquez, some Spanish versions (Great Gatsbty) they are reading in their English classes, TPRS novels, Junnie B Jones novels, biographies, …

    Sometimes I tell them what to read. With upper levels they pick.

    This is great for my mental health: I am reading a novel about Trujillo, caliés, … very interesting!!! (I have 95 minute classes)

    If we want them to read: I should model it.

    Sometimes they figure out the meaning of new words. That (I think) is more powerful that any PQA or Circling. They learn how to fish, without my help. How much they understand is not a question any more, since I am minimizing the impact of darwinian-mechanistic approaches (testing, linear thinking, grading the ungradeable, …

    To build confidence: recently Gabor Maté mentioned something about children’s growth. Parents should invite dependency in order to promote independence. I think they should see that we are there to support them (inviting dependence) in order to build … competence. I am still thinking about it.

    I enjoy FVR (or whatever name it should have): one of the most important thing we can do is to convert a non-reader into a reader.

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

Research Question

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

We Have the Research

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben