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What’s so special about readalongs…especially ours?

Readalongs make a great impression!
Readalongs help students learn how to read and develop language skills, as a supplement and support to reading. When students see a word and hear it at the same time, it creates a double imprint and impression in their minds. This allows them to more effectively retain words in their memory and make associations between the visual and auditory nature of words.

Live Oak Media Readalongs weave together narrative reading, art, and music to bring an enhanced listening and reading experience to children. Each readalong is more than a reading of the book - it is a full performance, with the words and art telling the story, the music creating the emotionality, and the sound effects reinforcing the action. The end result is a medium that is entertaining, imaginative and artistically developed, as well as educational.

When we produce our readalongs, we extend this concept of associative learning by using various production techniques to reinforce the reading experience. Here’s how:

Pacing
Without interfering with the natural flow of the text, we allow time for children to look at the pictures and make associations between the story and the illustrations that support it. We pace the narrator’s reading of the story so that it is not too fast to frustrate the beginning reader, or too slow to allow them to lose interest. We also use page turn signals on the first side or track for the beginning reader, and remove them on the second side or track for the more independent reader.

Sound Effects
We use sound effects to represent words and events in the story. Reinforcing the text with sounds of a door slamming, a piece of paper being crumbled, a thud, or footsteps are all ways of making a greater impression in the child’s memory.

Music
The music we use in our readalongs is originally composed and carefully selected to support the telling of the story. Music speaks most to the emotions — we use specific instruments to evoke particular moods and distinctive musical styles to capture the nature of the characters and the story. In our line of Live Oak Music Makers, music takes center stage, featuring books based on songs, composers, and musical genres.

Who uses our readalongs?
CHILDREN, PARENTS, PUBLIC LIBRARIANS, SCHOOL LIBRARIANS, ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM TEACHERS, ESL BILINGUAL TEACHERS, READING AND REMEDIAL READING TEACHERS, SPECIAL EDUCATION, ELEMENTARY ENGLISH TEACHERS AND MUSIC TEACHERS, AMONG OTHERS.

  • Librarians use them to help their teachers: with reading, math and history lessons, with dyslexic students, with bilingual students
  • Librarians and teachers send home books, CDs and CD players in "Literature to Go" programs so that children and their parents can share the listening experience.
  • ELL students use readalongs to learn English - children can see the words and hear the correct pronunciation; if the students are able to take the books and CDs home along with a CD player the entire family listens and learns right along with them .
  • English-speaking students use Spanish readalongs in dual language programs to learn to speak Spanish (even at the middle and high school levels)
  • Parents use readalongs when traveling with children - in the car as travel kits, but also when they arrive at their destinations for a quiet story time
  • Classroom teachers use them as a supplement after reading a story to the class -- use a listening center with the same book and an audio CD to reinforce the story.
  • Preschool students listen to readalongs and at the end of their listening session draw a picture of their favorite part of the story.
  • Parents use readalongs to help with bedtime - while putting the baby to bed, they put a read-along story on for the older child, who can turn the pages at the signal.

Still not convinced you need readalongs? Check out the list of 30 Reasons Why Readalongs Are Great. We hope you enjoy listening to our readalongs - and we'd love to hear from you about how you use readalongs and why YOU think they're great. Email us at: info@liveoakmedia.com.

Thanks for listening!

Arnie and Debra Cardillo
Live Oak Media
Where Great Children’s Books Play Nicely