Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Books on tape

Utilizing books on tape is awesome, although I guess it would depend on HOW a teacher uses them. I'm not a big fan of the recorded stories that come with Open Court (other ELA currciula would have it to, I'm sure) - that awful "ding" sound that signals a page turn. I mean, really. Does ANYONE need a signal to turn the page? Shouldn't it already be obvious? As in, once you have read all the words on any given page, it is time to turn to the next page!

But no, these curriculum creators must think the general student and teacher populace are complete morons and need a signal to know when to turn the page.

Ok, enough of that rant. Just thinking about it makes me annoyed.

I would like to use books on tape/cd/mp3 as a totally different way of experiencing text. Students will need to read the text too - recorded readings are NOT the only reading, which is the typical way many teachers use these resources. Which is very sad indeed.

It's a good first read technique though. But for deeper comprehension, there should be some interaction with the text, as in searching for a particular quote, or studying the graphics, or comparing and contrasting with another text, etc.

Recorded books are great for ELs, below level readers, and of course the Blind. Students who rely more on their audio senses for learning would benefit too.

Something I would REALLY like to do is this: acting out the reading right then and there. Sort of like that game on Who's Line is it Anyway? where there's a narrator that guides the silent actors. However, there are many things that need to be in place in the classroom before this can happen with any effectiveness. A safe environment for taking risks, practice in mime and interpretive movement, and some familiarity with improv.

Because it would NOT be a good idea to throw students into an activity like this with absolutely no preparation prior to it. Especially 4-6, which is where these activities should be found.

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