Why audio books in the classroom?

Several of my students who have never liked reading are begging for the next book.
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Several of my students who have never liked reading are begging for the next book. Why? Audiobooks, which they are devouring one after another. So what has adding (and investing in) audiobooks done for our students? Below is just a sampling of the benefits:

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Provided equity in reading experience. Students who read significantly below their grade level are able to access the same texts as their peers. This matters when we create reading communities, because they no longer feel different when they book shop.

Supported critical thinking skills. Students can develop critical thinking skills without having to spend enormous brain power on decoding. Decoding is still taught and supported through other texts; however, they now have a text that they can practice deeper thinking with that actually has deeper meaning.

Re-ignited a passion for reading. Often students who are developing readers start to hate reading. Having access via an audiobook lets students finally enjoy a story. They can be in the zone with the book because their brain is not occupied with the work of having to read, creating a deep immersion into the reading experience.

Provided new strategies for teaching reading. I can now pull out segments of text to use with a student knowing that they have the proper background knowledge, which is a key component when we build understanding.

Given us a gateway into reading with their eyes. Students finding success within the audiobook world are building their courage, their stamina, and their desire to pick up print texts.

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