May 29, 2012

Do you use Free Voluntary Reading?

USC Professor Emeritus and literacy expert, Stephen Krashen
Stephen Krashen, arguably the foremost expert in language acquisition and literacy, promotes in numerous books, papers and talks what he calls, Free Voluntary Reading (FVR).

The FVR strategy, also popularized by Nancie Atwell and Donalyn Miller, among others, encourages students to select books of interest -- books that are not too difficult for the reader. In The Power of Reading, Krashen says of Free Voluntary Reading that there are:
"No book reports; no questions at the end of a chapter. In FVR, you don't have to finish the book if you don't like it."
I have had remarkable success with FVR in my 7th and 8th grade language arts classes. The autonomy in this program fits beautifully with the philosophy of a results-only classroom. When students read books that they choose, they read more often and soon begin selecting more challenging books.

So, do you use FVR? How does your program work?