Recently, our district decided to unify our reading instruction practices by implementing The Daily 5 and CAFE by 2015-16. The five parts of The Daily 5 include Writing, Word Work, Read to Someone, Read to Self, and Listen to Reading. As teachers started assessing where they were, and how they could best implement Daily 5, they noticed that there was a dearth of audio books available for Listen to Reading. The premise behind Listen to Reading is not only to listen to stories, but to follow along in the text. Hence, it’s necessary to have an extensive library of audio books AND the accompanying texts.
To solve this problem, I enlisted the help of the National Junior Honors Society. These students are constantly in need of community service hours, and besides, who doesn’t love to read children’s books? Classroom teachers gave me books from their classroom libraries. I took them to after school sessions at the Junior High, and the students there used iPads and the Voice Record Pro app to record the stories. Files were converted to MP3 versions (the app recorded them in MP4), renamed, and uploaded to Google Drive (here are the recording directions I made for the students). Once in Drive, QR Codes were made and uploaded to Drive. All parts were then added to a Google Doc (Title, Author, Illustrator, audio file link, and QR Code). Finally, QR Codes were printed and affixed to the front of the books with packing tape. By sharing the Google Doc Master List, teachers can search (using that handy CNTRL + F feature) for books they have in their library which already have a QR Code available. Primary students then scan the codes and listen!
It takes a bit of behind-the-scenes work, but I believe this to be a low-cost (as in just about FREE!) way to increase your classroom audio book libraries.