January 15, 2013

Listening to Stories

One of the activities that early readers can do at school and at home is listen to stories as they watch the words and the pictures. We have looked at this more closely in our grade 1 & 2 classrooms this past year and we are curious about whether increased listening time will help with reading fluency. One disclaimer I should make early on is that when my young adult children were small I had some songs on tape, but I wasn't a big fan of mechanized story voices--I wanted there to be a human connection when a child was being read to and I refused to purchase the popular toys of the time (like Teddy Ruxpin) that had taped stories embedded inside their fake fur. I still believe in that human connection for reading time, but I value the option of additional time on their own for children to hear great stories and vocabulary that might be beyond their reading level.

Some of the sites that are available online are:
  1. TumbleBooks if you are a Portland Library Card Holder. Phrases are highlighted.
  2. Storyline Online has stories read aloud by actors.
  3. Oxford Owl has many ebooks that can be read aloud.
Some of these are now configured to work around Flash issues on an iPad. If you setup a home button from Safari to go to TumbleBooks it automatically goes to the Mobile Devices page that has books that don't need Flash.

For more sites the students at YES go to our Educational Resources site for instance on the Reading and Writing page for second grade.


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