Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Keeping it Old School with a Listening Center!

I have been teaching first grade for nearly 10 years.  When I first began my student teaching (also in first grade), my cooperating teacher had a listening center.  I loved the way she had it organized and the kids seemed to like hearing the stories read aloud to them.  When I got my own classroom, I carried on the listening center tradition!  There is great value in a listening center.  Did you know that listening to reading does the following:

  • allows readers to enjoy a story
  • allows readers to experience reading as a pleasurable activity vs. an act of endurance
  • allows readers to appreciate all the elements of a story
  • builds a readers' vocabulary
  • provides the opportunity for readers to listen to fluent reading
  • provides the opportunity for repeated reading

Back in October, I posted about how I organize my literacy centers.  It's nothing fancy-schmancy.  No Daily 5 here!  Just good 'ole fashioned centers.  With buckets on tables.  And students visiting JUST ONE center per day.  If you like the card system for organizing your centers, I do have some available here.  I just use the large posters, like the one shown in the photo below.  I keep my listening center materials organized in gallon ziplock bags with the books and cd/tape inside.  I keep them in a drawer in my cabinet, but used to keep them in a laundry basket, which worked really well!  I get my materials from Scholastic with my bonus points.  I have accumulated quite the collection over the years!  Some books I have on cd and some on tape. I have a tape recorder and a small cd player so I switch them out as needed.  I keep a stack of my listening center reports on hand for my kids to complete as they finish.  There are two versions for differentiation.  I have a love/hate relationship with headphones.

Things I hate about headphones:
They get tangled
They spread lice

Things I love about headphones:
They keep the room quiet
They prevent the kids from talking during the story

What are your thoughts on headphones?  This year, I have not been using them and it's been fine.

Click the above picture for free listening center response sheets!
Do you have a listening center?!  Please tell!



Carol said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Just this week I added "Listen to Reading" to my Daily 5(almost!) rotations. I used a couple of old Ipods and the 3 computers in my room so the kids could listen to Dr. Seuss books. They loved it so it will stay part of the routine for the rest of the year. To solve the headphone problem, we asked parents to send headphones at the beginning of the year. The kids keep them in a ziplock bag to use whenever we go to computer lab and now for listen to reading.
Still Teaching After All These Years

Cindy Calenti said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates


I really like listen centers with headphones. I think with the "din" that sometimes occurs in a classroom, headphones really increase the value of the listening experience.

I always had "wipes" of some sort for the students to use to clean the headphones when they were done. Never got lice using this system. I don't know if I was just lucky or if the antibacterial wipes did the trick.

I love that you use listening center reports ... I always did also. It really helps keep the kids accountable.

Quick question: How much time do you schedule for your one a day centers?

Granny Goes to School

tandk said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have a traditional listening center but also use the computers as the listening center too. With a class of 23, some of my daily 5 groups have 5 kids so this way there's no never more than 3 students at the traditional list. center. The students access tumblebooks for the computers which is awesome because it isn't just a "movie" of the book but it shows & highlights the words.

I love your listening report accountability idea!


Kim said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

The listening center is one of the students favorite Daily Five rotations! I also use Leapfrog Tags as well as books on cassette and cd! My students sit in the hallway for listen to reading so headphones are a must. I would want headphones if they were in the classroom as well because I have up to 6 kids in a group. That is a lot of extra noise! As far as lice, I don't think it has ever been spread that way in my least I hope it hasn't! Thanks for sharing your schedule/plans on your current post!

Mrs. Yazzie's Classroom News said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yes, I like to mix the old with the new and I do have a listening center with cassette tapes. I actually have 2 boxes full of books and tapes I've purchased over the years. Funny thing is, I've never brought myself to purchase any of the book/CD sets. I do use earphones. While we occasionally have a lice issue, I've never known it to be spread by the earphones. Once lice is discovered we do an immediate class head check at the nurse's office! My listening center could house up to 6 headphones, but I place it in my classroom library as an option for reading and usually only have 2 at a time.

Thanks for posting and providing a link to the Listening Center Reports. I also like your picture that shows the forms in use. I never thought of providing students a sample sentence starter! I will do that for sure this coming year. Especially at the beginning of the year. It will help set them up for success.

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