One of the most popular literacy centers in my room is the Listening Center.
In our school we are lucky to have a book room full of leveled books and literacy material as well as our school library where we can borrow books on CD or tape for use in the center. I also have various titles in my room, but I am always looking to add to our choices.
Buying multiple copies and CD's of favorite stories can get expensive, most starting at $35.00 for a CD and multiple copies of books to accompany it.
I love to read aloud to my students, especially books with rhyme. I find rhyming books are engaging for them, and entertaining for me as well. I have favorite stories that I could read over and over and the kids certainly have their favorite stories, so I decided rather than spend my allotted instructional supply money or my own hard earned cash, I would make my own.
I still needed multiple copies of favorite stories and thought using up some of my Scholastic Points would be a good way to get copies without having to pay a lot of money for them.
I chose 7 titles, books I love to read aloud and books I know they would want to listen to and ordered 4 copies of each book.
Titles such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
All tallied I got 28 books for less than 10.00 in shipping cost, quite a bargain!
I know a lot of teachers tape their own CD's but since I had never done it before I was just a little intimidated by the little microphone on my computer. I never really like the sound of my recorded voice, but it's something I just had to get over!
So I pulled up the Garage Band Application on my Mac and got started.
I began by reading the title, author and illustrator and didn't forget to say, "When you hear the chime, please turn the page!"
The hard part was remembering to ring the chime before each page turn!
It took a few "takes" before I was happy with my expression and clarity but once I was, I was pretty happy with the final result.
A carefully designed CD cover, and tah-dah...instant listening station!
After listening, I always give the kids a task, sometimes I'll ask them to journal about what they heard, sometimes simply to draw a picture, or often I'll give them a "book report" to complete. As the year progresses I make these a little more challenging by adding a space for their written thoughts. I collect these and include them in their reading portfolio which goes home at the end of the year. These are a good way for the me and the kids to keep track of all the books they've read...or in this case listened to!