Oceanhouse Media was happy to recently hear from educator Richard Colosi, a first-grade teacher from Canandaigua, New York, who is using Dr. Seuss omBooks in his classroom to practice reading fluency.
Colosi’s students are echo reading with iPads. What is echo reading? As first-graders Emily and Molly will tell you in the video below, “it’s where a student listens to a narrator reading the text and then tracks the print with their eyes, then they echo, or imitate the reader.” Check out the students echo reading with the Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat omBooks (and their wonderful reporting skills!):
According to Colosi, echo reading is a beneficial activity for his students because they develop a metacognitive ability with reading as they begin to hear how a fluent reader reads. This has been helpful getting students to move from reading word-by-word and into fluent phrases. He adds that fluency is important because the more fluent a student reads, the better they will be able to comprehend information in the text.
Since getting iPad devices in the classroom, Colosi says he’s enjoyed enhancing his reading curriculum with the different Dr. Seuss omBooks.
“One of the first apps that I used in the classroom was The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss,” says Colosi. “The students in my classroom loved this story and when I saw that app, I knew that it would be engaging for them. Students in my class commented that they liked the ability to touch words on the page and to watch the animation on the page which zooms in and out.”
Colosi feels that the omBooks are extremely user-friendly and has seen his students easily navigating through the stories.
“What I really like are the different options available in the book apps that allow for differentiation of instruction,” says Colosi. “In my class, students who are just learning to read can explore the books using the “Read to Me” option to repeat the narration. This helps them build their word recognition and fluency skills. Students who have started to read independently can use the “Read it Myself” option. What’s nice about this option is that if a student doesn’t know a word or phrase, they can just touch to hear it. They can also attempt to read the page and then listen to the narration to make sure they read it correctly. This allows for even more independence and helps to eliminate the situations of students getting “stuck” on a word or missing key information.”
Even though his students had previously read these Dr. Seuss stories, Colosi adds that they enjoyed reading them again on the iPad and trying to sound like the narrator in the story. Plus, they particularly liked the enhancements such as the movements on the page and the sound effects.
Thanks Mr. Colosi and your first-grade class for sharing your video and story with us. It’s wonderful to see first-hand your students practicing reading fluency and having fun as they’re learning! For information on Richard Colosi, visit his website at http://www.richardcolosi.com.
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