Got Novels! Now What?

How do you use novels in your classroom? As we gear up for yet another school year, I’m here to share what I do in my classroom–with a digital freebie!

I teach two novels during our year of instruction for both Level 1 Spanish and Level 2. If you’ve followed my journey, you know that I began writing in order to create strong Latino characters within diverse genres–especially science fiction and fantasy. I am a first-gen Mexican-American, and I want to offer an authentic perspective on brown culture, hopes, and dreams.

So here we go!

After a decade of teaching English, I learned a few things that I have taken with me to my current World Language classroom. Everyone has different experiences. One of mine has been that traditional classroom read alouds can be excruciatingly painful. I want students to love reading!

That’s it; that’s the entire goal.

We start with student choice. Level 1 students choose from either Seis Meses de Soledad or La Leyenda de Ted. Level 2 students choose from La Pena de Crecer or Amor y Muerte en Tiempos de Zombis.

Link to TPRS Books:

Next, we continue with more student choices. Students can read 1) individually; 2) in pairs; 3) or in groups. ONLY students reading independently can wear AirPods and listen to music as they read! Students in pairs understand that they can pair share read or just read silently with someone they can talk to if they need help. Students in groups must read out loud and take turns.

But how do I know they’re actually reading?

I circulate amongst the kiddos and listen to their pronunciation and their discussions about the characters and their adventures. As with any class, I will linger next to some of my rowdier kids and spend more time in their proximity to ensure they stay on task. (These ones are almost always in groups, so that makes it easier.)

What else?

This past year I created a digital reading log, and it was hugely successful! My students really liked being able to take charge of their own learning at their own pace. Each day of the week students completed a different task. I loved having everything mapped out ahead of time. Win-win situation!

And here you go. This link will force-copy my reading log, created with Google Slides, which you can change and adapt to your own needs.

Link to reading log:

BONUS: You can find a vocabulary review for each one of my books on Blooket!

Here’s to the new school year, and ¡buena suerte!

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