About this time of the school year, in my Kindergarten class, I had students who were beginning to read. If you have never been around students who are just figuring out they can read, it's a fun time! :) They are so excited and all they want to do is read to you. They want to read to you instead of going to recess, they want to read to you instead of working in their center at center time, read, read, read! I really enjoyed this time of year when teaching Kindergarten. I could see so much progress and desire in EVERY student. (This is when I usually start missing being in the classroom!)
I hate to admit, but sometimes I just didn't have the time to listen to every child read everything they wanted to read to me. Those students that wanted to read to me always got at least one chance (oftentimes more), but their eagerness to demonstrate and practice this new skill was overwhelming some days. My last year teaching Kindergarten, I decided I would let the students read to my Digital Voice Recorder. A Digital Voice Recorder is just a little device that will record whatever you want to record...digitally. No cassettes to worry with. (iPods will work too!) Yes, I let my Kindergarten students use it! I demonstrated how to use it, color coding the buttons: Green means go (record), red means stop (stop). I stressed the importance of saying their name first and the title of the book. Then, they just read the book. On those days when my classroom was a little louder than normal, I would allow students to step outside my room into the hallway and do their recording. My goal was, they could use the Digital Voice Recorder when I was busy helping other students. That way they could get the practice of reading and still feel like someone was listening to them. I told the students that I would listen to them read each night...and I did! :) I would listen to them read their story and make notes of things I needed to help each student with. Then, the next day in class, I would have an exact idea of what to work on with the students.
If you have parent permission, it would be great to post some of these digital recordings on your class website. Then parents (grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.) would have the opportunity to listen to their child read anytime they want! What a great way to include the family in this milestone event!