Improve Reading Skills (& More) with Audiobooks

Improve Reading Skills (& More) with Audiobooks | Remedia Publications
Audiobooks are a proven method for improving reading fluency. The great thing about using audio in your classroom is you can use it as a whole class, small group, or individual exercise. Audio teaches students how to read and write by showing them how words are pronounced, how a breath is taken at the end of a sentence, the natural pause after a comma, how questions and exclamations should sound, and ultimately how a story should flow. Improve reading (and other) skills by implementing audio in your classroom with these tips.

Adult-Created Audio
If you can’t find a specific book on audio, you or a parent volunteer can create your own books on cassette/CD by recording yourself reading.  Add 15-20 seconds of music at the beginning of the recording so students can adjust the volume and get their book ready. Don’t forget to read the title and author’s name. An

Student-Created Audio
Student-created audio will be less hi-tech, yet more rewarding for the student reader. Choose a student who is either an excellent reader (a quicker finisher) or a struggling reader. Have the student practice reading a book. Once he/she has perfected their reading, they can record themselves reading the book. This exercise is a great way to give struggling readers extra practice reading that they won’t dread since they will feel that they have a purpose and a goal. Plus you will be giving them an extra boost of confidence because you have entrusted them with this very important task. Once they have finished, make sure they listen to their audio, write their name and the book's title on the cassette/CD, and add it to your growing collection.

Listening Devices

Reading Wand
For students who have a hard time following along, cut yellow (or any color) translucent paper into 1” squares. Glue each square to the top of a popsicle stick. Have students highlight each word as they follow along with the audio. You can even use the “reading wand” as a listening/reading game, by asking students to highlight the character’s name or to find a verb on the page.

Comprehension Skills
  • Pause the audio and have a few students reenact the last scene.
  • Pause the audio and have students draw a picture of the last sentence they heard.
  • At the end of the story or chapter, have students write a summary or timeline.
  • Ask students to write down any words that they don’t know the meaning of as they listen. At the end of the story, have them write the sentence that the word is in. Then have them look the word up in a dictionary and write the definition under the sentence. Finally, have the student re-write the sentence from the story, but in their own words, showing that they understand what the word means in that context.
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Listening Skills
  • Instead of having students read along with the book, challenge students to write all of the adjectives, adverbs, nouns, etc. they hear. This will reinforce their listening and vocabulary skills. Or ask students to keep a tally of specific sight words they hear: the - 8, there - 3, when - 5.
  • Turn the listening experience into a math problem. Every time a number is read, ask students to write it down. At the end of the story, add up the numbers. If everyone was listening, all the totals should be the same.
  • Use the audio as an art project. Have students listen for colors. If they hear the word "purple" they should begin coloring with a purple crayon. If the color "green" is read, they should begin coloring with the green crayon.

Thinking Skills
  • Get students thinking and making inferences by pausing the audio and asking them what they think will happen next.
  • Encourage students to think ahead by asking "what if" questions
  • Other good question starters are: What would you do? Where should the character go next?

Remedia's Audio
Our Mini Mysteries are available in many formats, and they all have audio available! Mini Mysteries Readers Software Program - This software program reads each mystery aloud as students follow along on-screen.  Mini Mysteries - Students become a part of each story as they listen to the professionally-recorded mysteries complete with sound effects and mood music. Includes 2 Activity Books & 2 Audio CDs.

High-Interest/Low Readability Classics - With 5 different levels to choose from, these classics are sure to excite even the most reluctant reader! Each workbook contains 10 short, easy-to-read chapters and is followed by 100 specific comprehension questions and 60 vocabulary exercises. Plus, each story is read aloud on the included Audio CD!< Critical Thinking & Classic Tales - This wonderful collection of 12 fables features activities sure to develop critical thinking skills and promote maximum comprehension. This 48-page book is accompanied by a high-quality audio CD, which gives your reluctant readers a chance to participate and achieve success.

Many more!

Extra Tips!
  • Add stickers to your playing devices to help students know which buttons to push--a green sticker on the play button and a red sticker on the stop.
  • Listening centers should be both comfortable and functional. Have some pillows and stuffed animals, but also make sure there are clipboards, pencils, and paper so students can write, draw, and take notes.
  • Check out our Pinterest board with more links and tips for using audio!