My school's podcast, Radio WillowWeb, has episodes by learners in grades second through fifth. Our very first show was by second graders. However, we've never produced a podcast with first graders--until now. Here are some things I learned working with these very young students on a podcast:
- We chose the topic of space since students have learned a lot about this topic that they wanted to share with others.
- The scripts were dictated to the classroom teacher. This sped up the process and allowed the teacher and students to discuss the content.
- Practicing their scripts with adults at home over spring break was really helpful for the students.
- When recording break up what the youngsters are to say into small sections. A whole paragraph is too much for most first graders to read fluently and confidently. In fact, some may have problems with one sentence. The beauty of non-linear audio editing software like GarageBand is that you can split clips and piece them together. In fact, one of the students would say just a couple of words at a time and I edited them together. The final product makes it sound like it was one continuous recording.
- A couple of students were not fluent readers. I had the most success with these students when I took their scripts away and had them repeat after me. Again, clips were strung together to make it seem like the segment was said all at once.
- For those that read from a script, I pointed to the words (kind of like karaoke), so they wouldn't speak too quickly or too slowly. I made sure that students paused at commas and periods.
- GarageBand 3 has new voice tracks that reduce background noise that we tried out. We recorded in Willowdale's media center. It's a room full of noise, but I cannot hear the noise the end product.
|GarageBand 3's Podcasting Studio has a choice of voice tracks. I chose a Noisy track to reduce the background noise--and it worked well!|
Tune into Radio WillowWeb's Willowcast #18 and listen to how well these first graders did. Do we dare podcast with kindergartners next?