(New Hope, PA)
Digital books count, too!
There's nothing that can replace the experience of learning to read a book - turning the pages - cuddling up with a parent or listening to an animated teacher read aloud. Kids need to practice reading frequently (every day) to master it. Technology today provides practice opportunities beyond traditional books. When mom or dad can't read aloud, kids can still enjoy story-time (and practice reading) by downloading a book to a home computer or taking one with them as an iPhone/iPod app.
There are several companies offering book apps such as PicPocketBooks and StoryBoy. Other digital publishers, like Tumblebooks, offer books for the home computer. MobiStories.com is a company that offers kids' picture books in both formats. Some books are traditional "read-to-me" style stories and some titles are fully interactive, engaging the reader in the story with sights and sounds.
My favorite is The Marvelous Toy. By enhancing a traditional hardback picture book with narration, music, sound effects, enhanced illustrations the reader is utilizing multiple senses which focuses attention and can increase comprehension.
Multiple language options also introduce foreign languages in a non-textbook format. Plus, you're teaching computer skills simultaneously as kids click through each story.
If you haven't included a few digital books in your curriculum, definitely check some out and try it!
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