Recorded Books’ “Sound Reading Solutions”
Like Classic Illustrated comics
and grainy videos of literary adaptations, we all know
students love “books
For a generation—or maybe the third or fourth one—uncomfortable
with the verbal medium and raised on film and television, the common wisdom
is that audio books are simply a palliative: a shortcut cheat designed to
take the pain out of parsing classic lit for slackers phobic of verbal decoding.
They couldn’t possibly have serious education value for the practicing
teacher or reading specialist, right?
Wrong: thanks to Recorded
Books’ Sound Reading
Solutions curricula and Balanced Literacy Toolkit, both
mainstream educators and special ed instructors can provide
solid benefits to their classroom through audio books.
If you don’t believe me, let statistics be your
guide. In a recent research study, thirty teachers in
fifteen middle and high schools in Boston, San Diego,
and several schools systems in Florida, students using
the Recorded Books program gained a 34 percent edge in
reading comprehension against a control group, read 77
percent more pages, and had improved fluency gains of
65 percent. Nor are those positive outcomes limited strictly
to mainstream education: according to research exhibited
at the 2002 IDA conference, secondary special needs students
showed an almost 20 percent gain in comprehension from
pre-test to post-test.
Although the company makes
available a vast selection of fiction and nonfiction
titles and class guides for grades K–12, of particular interest is their Balanced
Literacy Toolkit. The package includes 45 titles for
young adult readers and teacher mini-guides, a combination
cassette/CD player and eight Walkmans for individual
listening, class sets of print guides, vocabulary building
exercises, and even a steel cabinet to store the materials.
With selections like Go Ask Alice, The Chocolate War,
Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Rumble Fish, the discriminating
teacher can be sure of garnering maximum student interest
as well as research-based skills improvement. A diverse
set of varying “core collections” are offered
as well, including selections of Newberry Award-winning
titles and titles chosen by distinguished reading teacher,
Even better Recorded Books
suggests a number of tested teaching strategies for
classroom use, including plans for independent “sustained silent reading,” small
group reading, whole class listening, and even encouraging
family participation. For struggling and special education
use, the SmartReader product is emphasized, designed
to be played at varying speeds to support appropriate
rates for LD and remedial students.
Really, the best thing I could
do is simply direct you to the company’s catalogue,
so you can appreciate the broad range of materials
and programs that can be found there.#
For more information, log on at www.recordedbooks.com.