Myth 1 – “My students aren’t ready.”
Face it, this is a myth. Your students might not be ready to spend 15min/day reading 300-word, 5k length novels, but they’re probably ready to begin self-selecting short texts like class stories to read very early on. Once you have about 5-10 class stories, make some booklets and start FVR for a few minutes 1x/week. For this reason, I intend to make TPRS a priority early in the year after some TPR. In the past, I’ve built this up too much, spending a whole class or two on a story. My new plan is more shorter stories, at least 2/week.
Myth 2 – “There aren’t enough resources.”
Curating that collection of class stories takes care of this second myth, at least for a while. Also, don’t forget about writing/adapting short texts yourself!
This is an excellent way to practice writing for the novice, even if it takes you some planning time to write just a paragraph. Remember, if YOU have the time, you could expose students to the vocabulary they already understand in new contexts by writing texts outside of their class time. Even one short text that’s new to every section of Latin 1, for example, is enough novelty to get the most out of your class story FVR library.
However, let’s say you want to get some books, but your language is seriously lacking. Latin is a great example. There are 20 novellas written with sheltered vocabulary as of right now. Sure, most of them aren’t readable by first year students at the start of the year, but making those booklets of class stories should buy you some time. Rūfus lutulentus (20), Pīsō perturbātus (36), and Rūfus et arma ātra (40) are among the easiest novellas to read. After months of class story FVR, those three should provide some scaffolded reading opportunity. There are also the tiered readings in the Student FVR readers to accompany Rūfus et arma ātra. What’s special about these? Students can read 7 more expanded scenes/stories based on Rūfus topics without any additional cognitive demand (i.e. the first Expansion for each chapter introduces super clear cognates only). The rest of the Expansions with 21 more scenes/stories, could bring students up to an understandable vocabulary of 104. If students spend FVR time with this book, exposed to more sheltered vocabulary repeated in different contexts, it would bring them closer to comprehending other Pisoverse books at a similar level (i.e. Drūsilla et convīvium magārum (58), and Agrippīna: māter fortis (65) novellas), as well as ones from other authors.
So, the Rūfus et arma ātra Student FVR readers not only serve as a stepping stone, but they also contain the most variety of story lines! For teachers filling their shelves with Latin novellas to provide options, this resource has 28 scenes and stories under one cover! The stories are short, which makes them more approachable and manageable within a single FVR session (vs. starting a 3,000 word novella, for example).
Myth 3 – “I’ll never have enough funds for physical copies of books!”
OK, so this one is probably true, but I have a possible solution. Buying 5 copies of every current Latin novella would run ~$700. That’s nothing compared to some workbook/textbook budgets, but still seems steep if you don’t have funding. N.B. look for mini grants offered by your school’s parents association, or local support organization; it’s not uncommon to find them around $500. That amount would still cover 5 copies of the 14 most appropriate novellas for the students you teach. Still a bit beyond your school’s budget? So, a possible solution?
How about all 10 Pisoverse novellas/readers for $250?
Yep! That’s $100 less than it should be for 5 copies of all 10 Pisoverse novellas. This, as well as other Classroom Specials are available:
1) Order online now!
2) Email me a Purchase Order to firstname.lastname@example.org