Sticky Note Reading

This idea comes from Janet Holzer on the moreTPRS list and it is excellent! This reading activity starts with the teacher reading the story aloud in the target language while students write “problem words” that they do not understand (major words only, not “a” or “the”) on sticky notes. Janet defines a “problem word” as a word students don’t know that keeps them from understanding the whole sentence. After you have read a section aloud for about 5 minutes, have students stop and translate for five minutes with a partner while comparing sticky notes. Tell them to use a noise or a filler word (ie. “something”, “blank”) for unknown words. Then they should try to guess the unknown words. After the initial reading, have them switch partners once or twice and do the same thing. After each rotation of partners, ask them to do a 10-finger comprehension check to show you how much they understand. Then after they have finished, ask kids to volunteer the translations for words that they had trouble with but figured out (this helps the kids who didn’t figure out those words).

Source: Janet Holzer, moreTPRS

Draw and Copy

This reading activity is great because in order to do it, students will need to re-read the story several times. The idea is to have them draw four pictures from a recent story that you have already read and translated as a class. To do this, they have to first decode the story on their own, then remind themselves of what everything means, and finally they have to carefully choose which parts of the story they can actually draw. Then they must choose an appropriate sentence for each of the four pictures and copy it underneath each picture.

Source: Michele Whaley, mjTPRS

Free Reading Discussion

After your class has spent some time free reading, it is nice to have some sort of activity to do. Since we don’t want to make students dislike free reading by assessing it, one activity that you can do is to help students have a discussion. Put some examples on the board of things that they can say about their books and then model a few sentences for them and tell them a little bit about your book. Put students into groups and have them tell the other students about their own books. It is nice if they still have the books at this point because they can show them to the other students at the same time. After everyone has finished sharing with their group, ask for volunteers to share something about their book with the whole class. These statements that the students provide can then be circled and you can ask lots of questions and compare different students’ books, which will provide lots of comprehensible input to your students.

Source: Kristy Placido, moreTPRS

Ready Signal

When reading a story with your class, instead of having students translate the story out loud right away, try picking a willing barometer student to help out. When that student is ready he or she raises their hand and the class begins translating. This way no students are left behind because they weren’t ready yet.

Source: Jody Noble via Michele Whaley, mjTPRS

Reading A-Z

Reading A-Z is a complete reading program with affordable books, lesson plans, worksheets and assessments to teach leveled reading, phonics, phonemic awareness, alphabet, vocabulary, and comprehension to K-5. These books and materials can be projected on a SmartBoard or something similar and can also be printed and folded into an actual book.

Materials are available in Spanish, French or English but a subscription is required ($89.95 per classroom annually).