Mp3 Guided Reading

One of those time hogs we all run into in the classroom is teaching reading. Ok don't get me wrong we need to teach reading, but can we do it differently? Mp3 guided reading is about creating an Mp3 that the students can access from any computer or they can download it on their iPod or other Mp3 player. The Mp3 guided reading is simply the teacher making an audio recording guiding them through what they should read. There are two programs I highly recommend for making the Mp3 recordings: Audacity or Aviary. Below you will find examples I have created and a quick guide on how I do it.

Mp3 Guided Reading

Mp3 guided reading allow students to interact with text at their own pace with the teacher's guidance. Typically when we are in school with a class of 32 we are either teaching reading from a basal reader or a trade book. We are sitting in rows with 32 students all reading along together : ) Some of our students are not keeping up, some are not paying attention, and some are board because they are much better readers than the rest. Then we ask a question and get ten hands in the air. Ok maybe you get 20, but now what. Are you going to let all 20 students answer. Even if you did that what about the other 12? Mp3 guided reading allows students to interact with text at their pace. They can listen, rewind, and most importantly have a purpose before reading each page. Click on the example below to see an example.

Mp3 Guided Reading: The Fear Place

How To

Creating an Mp3 guided reading is not difficult. All you need is a USB microphone ($10 on Amazon) and one of the two programs I listed above. Either Audacity or Aviary. Once you have those programs on your computer get out the text you are going to use with your students. I usually read the text ahead of time and write down no more than one question per page or couple of pages. Since I am not asking a lot of questions I need the questions to be good ones. When I am recording I follow the format you heard in the example above. First I give a short, but not too detailed summary of what they are about to read. Then I set the stage for reading by telling them what to look for. Finally, I ask them to pause the recording and read. Then I myself pause for a second (not long remember they are actually pausing on their end) then I ask the question. I usually have then write down their responses to turn in, but there is an easy way they can submit them on-line if you use EDU20. Below is a link to a video tutorial I created to guide someone through the process of making an Mp3 using Aviary.

Link to YouTube Video

How To Use Aviary to Create Mp3

Again you now have eliminated the second read of the story for the week, or you substituted this for one hour of class time during the week. As you use this strategy and become more comfortable you will see that it can open up time in your school day and get all the students working at their own pace.