Students in my second-grade class come from several small, rural communities in South Carolina. Many of their families live in poverty and struggle to provide the most basic of necessities, including food, clothing, and transportation. Our school's free or reduced-price lunch rate is over 80%. In addition, our school receives funding through Title I. The majority of my students have no access to technology outside of the school's walls. Many of my students live up to 30 miles from the closest public library.
Because many of my students' parents are unemployed and/or disabled, my students often lack the life experiences that the majority of students often take for granted.
Despite these setbacks, my students are the kindest, most accepting students around. In fact, our entire school is known for this in our larger surrounding community. Our administrators, faculty, staff, and students maintain a loving, nurturing environment where learning and personal growth are our top priorities.
I do not want my students disadvantaged due to their circumstances. Books and reading allow the whole wide world to come to them.
The use of audiobooks enhances the reading experiences of all readers, especially new and emergent readers, and struggling readers. Access to narrator-read audiobooks will reinforce and further develop the reading skills of my students. Audiobooks engage students in texts and increase students’ exposure to more words, ultimately improving their vocabulary, comprehension, and critical-thinking skills. In addition, audiobooks provide students with models of fluent, expressive reading.
For students struggling with decoding, listening to audiobooks lessens the students’ focus on sounding out words.
As a result, students are able to better comprehend and retain the content of texts.
A listening station would certainly be a motivating addition for students in my classroom. I am confident that reading will become a more pleasurable experience for my new and emergent and struggling readers.
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