Listening to someone read a story aloud is a gift. At Excelsior Elementary, a class of fourth grade students recorded themselves reading books aloud so that two kindergarten classes could listen to them. Teachers Kristen Lea, Lauren Rice and Dawn Christensen worked together to put together this project to create connections between students and allow for a unique learning experience.
“Mrs. Lea’s fourth grade class spent time reading the books and recording their voices to match the text. The fourth graders linked their recordings to a QR code that was specific to each book. The books then were sent back to my Kindergarten class where we spent time listening to the books on our ipads,” explained Rice. “The kinders scanned the QR code and then followed along in the book while they listened to the recording. Once they finished listening to a book they could get a new one to switch it with!”
“As a team, we realized most fourth grade students still need to work on reading fluently,” added Lea. “Kristen thought of a way for the fourth graders to practice fluency by recording themselves reading picture books borrowed from a Kindergarten classroom library. The fourth graders practiced reading their books multiple times with fluency and expression.”
Through helping the fourth graders with their reading skills and fluency, and giving the kindergarten classes a fun activity, the recorded stories were beneficial for all of the students involved and helped to create connections between students in different grades.
“The books would have been too tricky for our Kinders to read independently, so it was fun for them to still be able to enjoy a book at a higher level,” concluded Rice. “It was so fun for my class to hear older kids read to them. This was such a great option since we aren’t doing 4th grade buddies in person, but they could still connect with another class and share a fun experience around reading!”
The project provided innovative learning experiences and fostered student connection. All three of the teachers agreed that this is an activity that they will be doing again in the future.