Thursday, January 21, 2016

Listen Up {Setting up the Listening Center}

I have been teaching 7 years... and have just now FINALLY gotten around to setting up a listening center.


Here's the backstory:

Inherited casset tapes... Not easy enough for Preschoolers to use.

Moved to Kindergarten.

Slowly accumulated books on CD... (They slowly accumulated dust.)

Too many other projects... Not enough time.


...One day I received some books on CD as gift from one of the first grade teachers. I decided it was time. I found a few CD players to get the listening center up and running over Christmas break.

(Ideally, iPod Nanos would be my device of choice if it weren't for the age old problem... $$$)

Luckily Wal-Mart had these portable CD players in stock. Perfect for the humble beginnings of my listening station.

I added green and red sharpie to help my littles find the Play and Stop buttons.
(Brought back memories of my teenage years when I would clip one of these bad boys to my pants waistband and jam out to Rebecca St. James. But not too crazy... or the CD would loose its place!)

IKEA wins again with this adorable sign holder.

I bought 2 CD players with headphones to start and found some random storage containers to organize everything.

The CD players were about $23/each and the headphones $5/each. Instead of buying more, I found a great idea on another blog to use a splitter so more than one student can listen on the CD player at a time.

My students LOVE the listening center! I'm talking choose it during free choice time LOVE it!

I've already purchased several more books on CD to rotate through the center. I plan to keep only a few book in their at a time to help with making choices and keeping the center new and exciting. (That will also help with finding the corresponding CD.)

If you are like me and have put off setting up a listening center... start small! Get a few books with audio using Scholastic bonus points and you can even ask your class families if anyone has some portable CD players not in use that they are willing to donate.

Listening to reading is a great way for students to hear reading fluency modeled. This is also an engaging center to use during guided reading - students are rarely off-track when they are listening to a favorite story!

If you have any helpful tips or tricks for me as I grow this center, please share by leaving a comment below. Thanks!

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