Audiobook success at White Marsh Elementary

Recorded Books recently visited White Marsh Elementary School in Mechanicsville, MD, where 5th grade teachers Jennifer Cord and Laurie McGrath use audiobooks for reading instruction—whole class, independent reading, and literature circles. Librarian Peggy Ekhaus is also an audiobook enthusiast.

Mrs. Cord has had success with whole-class listening on audio and individual reading with Playaway. Mrs. Cord told us, “I had a kid jump from a 100 wpm the beginning of the year to 136 wpm today on a fluency test. She’s been using one of the Playaway books and she said, “It’s helping me read faster. I turned up the speed and I’m reading faster in my head so I can hear how I should be reading.” Mrs. McGrath’s students told us how much they like audiobooks because they are able to understand more words and enjoy the books more.

Look for more soon from our visit, including instructions on how the teachers use audio in their classroom and reactions from enthusiastic students. The slideshow below showcases just a few of the great things we saw at White Marsh!

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2 Responses

  1. I am writing a paper for my MLIS program on the use of audiobooks. Is any more information available from White Marsh Elementary on the effectiveness of audiobooks in reading instruction?

    Also, how can I contact other educators who have used audiobooks successfully in reading instruction?

  2. We’d love to see what you’re found out for your paper. Check out our Guide to Intervention and Research and Results brochure over at, and look for more info on audiobooks at White Marsh Elementary in our upcoming winter catalog. You can get on the catalog mailing list at also.

    Any other educators who use audiobooks want to chime in?

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