Adults reading aloud is one of the core activities during the early years, but we know that new technologies, pre-recorded messages and audio books can offer opportunities to children and families that we never experienced before. When I worked in Tampa as a literacy coach and family engagement liaison, I noticed that children were having really hard transitions from home to school. Children wanted to call their families all the time to get assurance that they will be back for them.  We started building an audio library with recording of families telling their children that they will be back at the end of the day. Below is an example.

A listening center can be expensive, this why I use an iPod Touch, a headphone splitter and whatever headphones I find. Having an iPod in the classroom bring so many possibilities. Children can watch videos, listen to music and even use apps, together. You can record your own videos and audio… endless possibilities.

myversion ofaudiolibrary


With this type of audio library, you can engage all the families in your classroom to bring their favorite childhood book and record it. This allows for families to participate regardless of the language they speak. What I love about this is that everyone remembers a childhood story. When I was a kid growing up in Puerto Rico, my dad will tell me cowboy stories or town myths to go to sleep. Below is an example of Spanish story.

New take on audio libaries
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About the author

Luisa Cotto
Luisa Cotto, is the Associate Director of Engagement and Communications at United Way of Miami-Dade. In her current role, she provides her expertise in education as a professional learning facilitator, family engagement and early literacy coach. Cotto is a contributing author of Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning, co-published by Rutledge/NAEYC in 2014. In 2015, she received the Governor’s Champion of Service Award for her work in ReadingPals, a statewide volunteer program that brings volunteers every week to read to preschool age children in Miami-Dade County.

Cotto developed the curriculum used by volunteer readers. Luisa holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from University of Puerto Rico in Ponce and a master's degree in Instructional Technology from University of South Florida.
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