The READ 180 audiobook library is a great hit with many of our students. The audiobooks allow them to successfully read texts at or above grade level, and without all the frustrations that might normally arise.
Like so many aspects of READ 180, the more our students understand about how the audiobooks are supposed to help them, the greater the impact will be. So here are just a couple of things you might want to cover with them...
What skills do audiobooks boost?
Many students (and even a few teachers) are under the false impression that since the book is read to them, audiobooks are more of an enjoyable pastime than something that will really impact their reading skills.
"It's fun," one of my students told me at the beginning of the year. "I like it. But it's not real reading."
However, educational research has clearly shown that listening to audiobooks increases...
- Sight-word automaticity
And, having the students follow along with the book, as they must do in READ 180 increases these benefits.
What's with the coach?
Each READ 180 audiobook has two actors or performers... one who reads the book (the narrator) and one who stops the narration to talk about the book (the coach).
The coach asks predictive questions, recaps interesting events, and goes over unfamiliar words.
As teachers, we quickly recognize that the coach is performing think-a-louds, modeling the sorts of behaviors we want our students to undertake when they are reading by themselves. But this is not as obvious to most students.
If left to their own devices, many of our students may take the coach's modeling as a chance to space out. Some become very frustrated with the interruptions and I have caught more than a few skipping over them.
It is well worth taking the time to explain what the coach is doing and why he is doing it. Once our students understand that they are modeling the two voices that should be going on inside every reader's mind, they are much less likely to exhibit inattention and much more likely to reap the benefits.