Saturday, January 28, 2012

Listening Center

I incorporate a lot of the Daily 5 into my centers, but don't follow it exactly.  Because of that, I don't change the activities in my centers very often.  I'm still trying to figure out how to organize my math games and centers, which I do more traditionally, so I have more of those.  Hopefully I can get some ideas from the linky party at The Lesson Plan Diva.  Here's a picture of my listening center.
(I use the drawers, from IKEA, to organize my math manipulatives and the blue pocket chart is for class jobs.  Posts on these to come later.)

I use inexpensive 1 and 2GB MP3 players and download one story on each player.  Here's one that looks easy to use. 
 
Ease of use is key when the kids are going to be the ones operating them. I have several lessons at the beginning of the year to train students on how to use the players and how to keep the center organized. The player is in a ziplock bag in the pouch with the book and the bag, player and book are all numbered.  The headphones clasp over simple tubs to keep them organized.  Students select a book and headphones and choose a spot in the room to listen.  I love this system for several reasons:

  • Students don't fight over the buttons
  • Students can go at their own pace, starting and stopping as needed to follow along.
  • Students don't have to wait for each other to all be at the center and ready to begin playing the book. 
  • Students can listen to books at other times in the day like when work is finished early. 
Here's a picture of the pocket chart up close.  I only change the books about once a month, sometimes less depending on how often we did centers.  Students only have each center once a week, so it can last a long time without changing.  Students love to listen to their favorites several times too.  


I have purchased most of the books on CD from Scholastic and the $20 listening sets they have in the SeeSaw orders.  I have a pretty good collection now.  I also use my Scholastic points for them.  Another way to create listening books is to use a digital recorder and record yourself, the principal, custodian, lunch workers, parents, etc.  reading books that you already have and creating your own listening books.  

Here's a similar pocket chart to the one I have:

And here's a good digital recorder that links right up to your computer to easily save the file.  I use a similar model.  Be careful when purchasing a digital recorder, many do NOT have a USB hook up so files cannot be saved.  



How do you organize your listening centers?

12 comments:

  1. I tagged you in my latest post! Come on over and check it out!
    Amy
    TheResource(ful)Room!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm your newest follower! I found you through the Lesson Plan Diva's Center Organization Linky Party!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Chrissy. I'm now following you as well.

      Delete
  3. I love how you use that pocket chart! I have one, but don't have any wall space without cupboards below, so the kids can't reach anything I put in a pocket chart on the wall :( I am glad I found your blog through the linky party! I am a new follower!

    Christine

    Hopping into First Grade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christine,

      I'm following you now too! I do like my wall space. I just moved to a brand new school this year and I think they did a good job of putting the cupboards high and leaving good wall space.

      Delete
    2. How do you load the stories onto the mp3 players?

      Leah

      Delete
  4. I love your listening center idea! MY kindergarteners really struggle with our current set up(cassette players) and we are looking for a fix right now! I am wondering if this would work! I love the idea of each child having their own little mp3 player! you are brilliant!

    Miss S
    Just Teaching...Kindergarten

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the mp3 player idea! My kindergarteners are really struggling with their listening center set up. I wonder if this would work better!

    Thanks for the idea!
    Miss S
    Just Teaching...Kindergarten

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does take a bit of modeling and instruction at first, but after that, it is great! I do recommend ones that plug into the computer to charge so that you don't go through tons of batteries. If the players run low on power, students know to just set them on my desk and then between groups I just quickly plug them in so they're ready for the next day.

      Delete
    2. How do you download stories onto the MP3 player?

      Delete
    3. Technolearner,

      Most players can be connected to a computer through a USB port or cable. I use itunes to download the stories and organize them and then export them to the MP3 player or copy and paste the file. The user guide that comes with the player should give some instructions on this as well.

      Delete

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