A listening center is crucial for any reading block. Starting out teaching I felt this would be an impossibility for my classroom and had so many unanswered questions – how much? how do I get stories? Where does it go? How do I fit it in?
Here’s my solution to get a listening center into every classroom! All you need is an internet connection and 1 ….yes 1 computer/iPad
A listening center is possible for every single classroom even small rural ones like mine. We only have 2 iPads and make this possible on a daily basis. If you have an internet connection you can make this work! That’s what makes this so great. Keep reading to see the many options available!
I use to think I had to purchase books on tape/CD but that is not the case anymore with technology! You can read books in many ways online! I love using QR codes and the listening centers available – here but there are also other ways. I use them because of the rigorous skill focus associated with each set of stories! Another great way to get book is to use EPIC! It is FREE to educators and there is such a wide story selection and each student can have a profile! Not all stories are read but it is a great option and way to expand your library. There are also great options on TPT of listening centers you can use QR codes for and there are for different themes and times of year.
We use our listening center as part of our reading rotations! My students have to listen to 1 story a week at least and take the test that accompanies their story and score 3/5 or better. They can work with partners because these types of questions are good for discussion and they will work independently for an assessment. This also helps keep them honest. If they do worse they come to me and we work on a story together at a separate time.
Listening Centers can be done at any part of the day you find time. They are short and students need to hear reading in order to become better readers. This works great as part of daily 5. We don’t use headphones because they weren’t required and we have a certain level the iPads must be turned to for reading. Since it is a quiet working time and at most I only have 2 stories being read it does not get too loud. If they abused the privilege they would have to do this as part of computer time.
Listening centers in any format are a great way to differentiate for readers in your classroom. Some students need smaller books and some like to read more complicated material. Nonfiction can be great read aloud because of the complexity. The listening centers we use have AR levels printed on the bottom and students can choose one from their level for that skill. It’s a win-win as a teacher. They get fun books (even though they are short!) and still practice a much needed skill for the week! I love having that opportunity!
I love integrating technology into my class! This is one easy way to do it! Using EPIC or QR codes to listen provides great way for students to be more oriented with technology! The listening Centers we use are self-checking so they can get immediate feedback from what they read and learned to apply the skill. So easy for a teacher to keep track of and for a student to use.
Listening to stories can also be a great whole group activity! Sometimes listening to reading just like read alouds we do in class provide different opportunities and conjure different visualizations depending on the student.