Monday, August 13, 2012

mp3 Listening Center and Reading Response Freebie

Hi everyone! This is Maria from Kinder-Craze and I am thrilled to share my first-ever post on Technology Tailgate!

As I was busy organizing my classroom for my new batch of Kinders (only 10 days away) I rifled through my collection of classroom mp3 players and I was inspired to share my updated spin on the Listening Center.

We do the Daily 5 in my classroom.
(Well, if I'm being perfectly honest, during my first year of Daily 5 instruction the class only made it up to the Daily 4).

Luckily the 4th activity (Listen to Reading) in my classroom was super-fun because it used TECHNOLGY!

SanDisk Sansa Clip Model
I don't use tapes or CDs in my classroom Listening Center. Actually, I don't even have a central location for listening. My students use mp3 players. I love how they don't take up very much space, are a current form of technology, are portable, and many mp3 players are very affordable to purchase.  I have a set of five mp3 players in my classroom. I use the SanDisk Sansa Clip Model (only $29 each from To manage the audio files on my computer and load them onto the mp3 players, I use Windows Media Player. It's a free download from Microsoft.

Implementing new procedures, training students on the equipment, and finding and a fair way to share five pieces of equipment in a classroom of 20 students proved to be relatively simple.

The whole class learned the behavior for Listening to Reading at the same time.
Here are my classroom rules/procedures for Listen to Reading.

I adore this book
General rules: 
Sit at your desk.
Take your book box with you.
No talking.

1. Listen to the story
2. Complete the Listening Response Paper
3. If you finish early and have extra time, listen to the story again or read books from your box.

Books, mp3 players, and headphones
are stored together in Ziploc bags
We reviewed all of these rules every day for a week. At the end of the procedure review,  five students were chosen each day to listen to reading while the rest of the class either met with me for Guided Reading or did other Daily 5 Activities. The mp3 players are very simple equipment to use. Most students just need to be shown how to work the equipment 1-2 times and then they are experts. Initially, I provided individual instruction to these students after the class settled into their Daily 5 spots. Student had to have the book out and headphones on before I would show them how to work the mp3 players. It is literally a matter of pushing two buttons to turn on the mp3 player and begin the story so I only needed to speak with each student for about 15 seconds. It has gone sooooooo smoothly.

By the end of the first week, each student had an opportunity do Listen to Reading with the mp3 players. The following week, I prepared a new story children to enjoy during our Daily 5 time. Many students could already use the mp3 players independently!

I created this very simple Listen To Reading Response Sheet. It's perfect for Kindergarteners just getting started with the process. The best part- it's free! Click the image to download your free copy.

Font credits: Minya Nouvelle and Print Clearly

If you want students to be completely independent with the Reading Response Sheet, play an audiobook for the whole class and introduce the worksheet ahead of time. I did this the week before I introduced the mp3 players.  Doing so provided me with an opportunity to thoroughly explain the instructions, allowed students to become familiar with the assignment, and it was one less thing for me to explain while I was trying to establish procedures for Listen to Reading.

Keep tailgating, everyone! I'll be sure to visit again soon with another practical use for classroom technology.

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  1. Where do you get all your MP3 audios of the stories?

  2. I have the same question Michele!

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