Reading Writing

On building our own FVR libraries

This post is about developing and sharing resources to enlarge our classroom libraries, with particular emphasis on creating readings for level 1 students. This has been an obsession of mine lately, please read the previous post in this series if you have not yet.

I have been approaching this idea with my classes from a couple of angles.

I have a story framework for students in my Spanish 3 class that they are using to write their own stories. It is working out to be something between an inspired idea and a train wreck… I won’t quite be certain until they are finished.

For my Spanish 1 students, however, I dusted off a story that we told in class last October. I retold the story quickly (it was super easy for them to understand now) and then asked for some background information about the characters. We then added on to the story and, once the creative juices were flowing, we ended the class with a quick write in which students added a new ending. I glanced through their quick writes to get a few ideas and then typed up the newer, longer version of the story. On Tuesday when we get back after the holiday weekend, we are going to read the final version together and they will be given one page to illustrate. I do not imagine many of the FVR books to have illustrations, but this one will.

Today I basically spent my Saturday figuring out a template so that these could be printed out and folded into neat little booklets by anyone. I made a glossary so that everything would be comprehensible. The final story is 610 words long and has a total of 155 unique words (counting verb conjugations as separate words). I will post the final product, as well as the template and instructions, hopefully by next weekend.


  1. I’m wondering how teachers learn to TPRS teach? I teach outside of boston & would love to be able to observe & learn.

    1. Hi Juanita!
      I taught for several years in Westborough, and I started my career in Lowell and Medway. I know there are wonderful TPRS teachers in Massachusetts. Take a look at Blaine Ray´s workshop schedule, there are workshops nearby this summer in Hartford (CT), Providence (RI), Burlington (VT) and Portland (ME). I noticed that Blaine is teaching the one in Portland. If you have a whole week, I HIGHLY suggest going to the National conference in Chicago this summer. You´ll learn Russian in the morning (and see firsthand how well the technique works) and learn the skills with my original mentor, Donna Tatum-Johns. Here is the link to Blaine´s website:

      Finally, join the moretprs yahoo group, introduce yourself and ask if there are any TPRS teachers in Massachusetts who would allow you to observe their classes some day. I am pretty sure that you´ll get multiple invitations.

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