Vooks was created to promote a love of reading beginning at a very early age. Vooks provides the opportunity for “a read aloud to be a joyful celebration for all.” (Walther, 2019). The team at Vooks joins the celebration of parents, teachers, students, authors, and illustrators to bring this joy to children all around the world by providing the first ever streaming service that brings children’s books to life with animated illustrations, read-along text, and narrated story.
As Vooks is being used more and more in classrooms, we want to ensure that Vooks is educationally grounded and supports the work of teachers that we value so much! Vooks was not created specifically to support or promote one particular educational theory to teach reading, Vooks was created to promote a love of reading. In so doing, using Vooks as a resource in the teaching of reading is supported by various current and respected educational theories in the teaching of reading. A brief discussion of the theories and research supporting the use of Vooks in the classroom follows.
Vooks takes its place in the available resources to promote the role of speaking and listening in K-5 literacy. If literacy levels are to improve, the earliest grades must include oral language in a purposeful way, helping students master the written word. According to Fromkin, et al, 2006; Holt, et al, 2010; Pence & Justice, 2007; Stuart, et al, 2002, listening and speaking are prerequisites to reading and writing. http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/Appendix A Research supports that children’s oral language competence is strongly predictive of the ease of learning to read and write.
In 1995, Hart and Risley studied young children both at home and at school, and found that the total number of words children had heard as preschoolers predicted how many words they understood and how quickly they could learn new words in kindergarten. Preschoolers who had heard more words had larger vocabularies once in kindergarten. This trend continued through the third grade, and their early language competency from preschool years still accurately predicted language and reading comprehension. There is strong evidence that this continues at least through the middle grades. Children who are talked to and read to are most often the ones with the largest vocabularies, giving them the advantage in the classroom. (Dana Suskind Thirty Million Words Dutton (2015)).
Read alouds expose children to the most sophisticated words, because most conversations are in incomplete sentences and simpler words. This research strongly supports the use of Vooks in the classroom as well as at home to provide opportunities for children to be exposed to oral language that promotes growth. Many homes and schools, unfortunately, do not have adequate libraries from which children can choose the books they love to read. Vooks has a large selection of books that is growing continuously.
Because children’s listening comprehension outpaces their reading comprehension being read to will build knowledge. Read alouds provide children with access to information and experiences even when they cannot read all of the words. Children’s mental energy can then be concentrated on the words and ideas in the text; which will eventually better prepare them to read independently. Vooks gives children an added benefit by providing the read-a-long text as well so children can have “eyes on text” and also be exposed to the written word.
Donalyn Miller in two of her books, Reading in the Wildand The Book Whisperer promotes the idea that students need to be excited about reading for pleasure in order to prepare them to understand demanding academic texts. https://bookwhisperer.com/books/reading-in-the-wild/
Vooks increases engagement and encourages the rich conversations that promote oral language as well as complex understanding of the text. Reading aloud also promotes social and emotional growth. Using Vooks is a good way to deal with difficult topics. It is easier to approach children with a topic and the choices that a character has made than to lecture about a real experience in which the adult thinks the wrong choice was made. Vooks offers many stories that deal with these issues.
Vooks recognizes the controversy surrounding screen time. It is easy for children to get hooked on screens because all they have to do is push a button and all of the magic happens. Adults need to set limits and Vooks supports this. It is easy for children to spend hours on screens while adults are busy and before long the child has not read a book for pleasure in years. However, we are in an age where technology is moving faster than anything has in previous history. Technology allows children easy access to a breadth of information unparalleled in the past. It would be easy for children to forget all about books. However because of the engaging animation, narration, and read along text that Vooks uses, children’s attention span will actually increase. Reading aloud sets the stage for reading a book.
Reading aloud provides parents and teachers endless opportunities to highlight great writing and model reading strategies. But reading instruction is not the only benefit of reading aloud. Reading aloud builds community through offering children an opportunity to share experiences and build connections. Reading aloud exposes children to books, authors, and genres. http://trelease-on-reading.com/ Vooks provides a variety of curated books on various topics relevant to today’s children. Reading aloud supports developing readers by providing examples of fluent readers reading the text with expression. The lack of a student’s competency in fluency is often a hindrance to comprehension, even in older children. And a very important benefit of the read aloud is that it promotes the love of reading. Most of us have a fond childhood memory of a favorite book, and often times this book was read aloud. Vooks provides that experience to children.
Vooks supports parents and teachers in the instruction of reading by providing engaging presentation of children’s books and resources to help. We are current in the research of reading instruction and the benefits of read alouds and keep an ever vigilant eye on the screen time research. We strive to provide access to Vooks to all children. We do all of this while remaining true to our goal: to promote the love of reading. Check out the titles available at vooks.com.
Vooks Education Specialist