While browsing some blog posts this morning I came across a very interesting idea that Kathy Cassidy has for students to practice reading smoothly (reading fluency) and record and learn from listening to themselves read using Vocaroo. Students can hear if they are reading fluently or not and compare it to what fluent reading should sound like. I think this allows students to take a bit of responsibility of their own learning and be able to identify their own growth.
The program that she used to help her grade one’s improve their communication skills is Vocaroo (she found out about it via Twitter…surprise surprise)
“Vocaroo’s website says, “Vocaroo is a shiny new service for sending voice messages across the interwebs.” It allows you to record your voice, play it back to listen, and then provides you with a url or the html to embed an icon into a webpage or blog.”
After experimenting with it myself, I found out that this tool is extremely quick and easy to use. I decided to read a nursery rhyme while recording my reading on Vocaroo to see if I read smoothly or not.
I could see myself using this tool in a variety of ways as well; I think that since it is so easy to use, you could use it as a center for students to practice their reading independently and for you to listen to it later on to assess their communication skills. Since there were not any complicated steps to it, Vocaroo is easily linked to your class blog for parents to listen to as well. Students can be proud of their progress and it can be heard by using this tool throughout the school year.
The only con I found with it, besides the fact that it won’t upload directly onto my blog, was that if a student makes a mistake with his/her reading, he/she cannot edit the recording and has to begin recording again from the very beginning. Despite the one very small con, this tool will definitely be on my list of things to try with my class next year.