December 18, 2002
As a student teacher, many years ago, I had to figure out a way to deliver the content of social studies and science to all kids, including the non-readers. My solution was to tape record someone narrating each chapter of the textbooks. I used family members (to vary the voices and styles) as readers and added music and sounds (bell) to keep the kids on the correct page. Tapes can be loaned with an inexpensive cassette player or recorder for homework, and absentees can catch up by listening with headsets in the back of the room. Duplicate sets of tapes and keep the originals in case one gets lost. Take off the rewrite tab so that kids can't tape over or erase the content. Commercial read-along tapes are often geared to primary and pre-school ages, so I tried to include contemporary music to increase motivation and make the 'brain based learning' connections. Knowing how to follow the words and when to turn the pages helps kids process new information without the struggle. Some students can develop sight vocabulary faster than applying phonics. Provide a related vocabulary list, with illustrations, if possible.