Being a mother of two children, I turned to audio books for my reading because my time is so limited. If you haven’t heard a book via audiobooks or iBooks, please do give it a try. They give different voices to characters, and the music matches the time period. The book comes alive in the classroom. The kids feel as though the characters are upon us as their voices hail within our classroom walls. Connections and emotions come alive because students feel like the book is real.
Besides the benefits listed above, I’ve found other innovative ways to use audiobooks in the classroom. Many of my students work at their own pace. There is a checklist they follow throughout the week. If there is a reading assignment on the list and some students are ready to read and others are not, they can take the Bluetooth speaker and my device into another room to read and follow along without me being there. This of course can only happen after modeling and expectations are set, but is such a sight to see the story going off at different times throughout the day.
Often times we just listen to the chapters as a class. The sound of characters voices and the steady flow of the readers is quite soothing. It is a nice auditory reminder for when we go back and read it ourselves without the audio.
The kids enjoy the sound and authenticity. I enjoy the variety and opportunity to truly bring the book to life in the classroom. Listening to audiobooks in class is not the only way we read aloud. It is however, one way that has sparked the reading bug for my students. It’s an innovative way to share the love of learning.