My first 2 years of teaching, I was very pessimistic about doing a reader (like Pobre Ana) in class. What? Read a whole novel in Spanish? My students? They can’t do it. However, after making the TPRS switch I believe my students can!
After finally receiving my shipment from TPRS on Wednesday, I began perusing through the little novels and looking for vocab that my students would easily recognize and knew. I was worried that the official TPRS books like Pobre Ana or El Viaje Perdido might not excite my students. As my school is on the watch list for reading and 70% or so of my students hate to read, I had to pick a GOOD book. No, a GREAT book. I decided that in two days on Friday I would attempt the novel in my Spanish 2 and 3 classes.
I told students they were allowed to bring snacks and/or treats, and we sat around my carpet at the front of the room like in kindergarten. I told students they were allowed to lay however they wanted as long as they followed along in the book. And I simply read out loud to them in Spanish. I didn’t have a worksheet for the to complete and I didn’t force them to discuss the book in Spanish.
My students did surprisingly well! I was worried that one or two students would dominate the questions/answers, but surprisingly even my lower levels seemed to pick up the important parts! I was also worried because today was Homecoming, but all of my classes from 1st hour to my very last at the end of the day were fully engaged and on their best behavior! I believe all credit is owed to the calming affect that “carpet” time has. It’s instilled in us in kindergarten, so why shouldn’t it work now? I also feel guilty about discussing in English, but how else would I know if they truly understood? Besides, they were getting a TON of input by listening to me read out loud.
The icing on the cake was when the English teacher told me she couldn’t get her classes to read for 10 minutes today. I said, “That’s too bad,” but on the inside I was beaming. My students read along with me for more than 10 minutes, in SPANISH, and they enjoyed it!
I look forward to continuing these novels!