Sunday, August 1, 2010

L is for Listen

     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
 and my personal all time favorite, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes.

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!


halpey1 said...

Very cool!

Buena said...

I've always liked to make my own cassettes...I wasn't really sure how to do a CD...but I think I can figure it out now! I like doing my own because I can point out things, put in comments...and give instructions for a follow-up activity at the end. (i.e., after reading The Big Orange Splot, I gave the instructions "Now get out your crayons and paper and draw a picture of YOUR dream house.") Even if you have explained what to do after finishing a reminder is always helpful.)

ChiTown Girl said...

Isn't this fun? I do the same thing Buena does, and put instructions for activities at the end. If you record them separately, as another track, the kids can repeat that track to hear the directions again.

Thank God for Scholastic Bonus Points, huh? That's pretty much how I've stocked my entire listening library! Sometimes, when I'm feeling crazy, I'll even order the CD, but only if I have enough points.

A big-wig from Scholastic has been our 'Principal for the Day' the past two years, and the first year he came, we got to talking, and long story short, he sent me about $500 worth of books and CDs for my classroom for FREE! It was one of the nicest gifts I've ever received.

Lisa said...

Love love love the reminder idea! I always have them either journal about what they read or fill out a "book report" which is basically a work sheet I created. Actually, I think I'll attach that...stay tuned!

M said...

I came by from Chi Town Girl's blog...
I have been recording books on cassette for years...guess it is time to switch to CD!

Love your is never too old to keep learning :)

Kelly said...

Love this. I have no idea why it never occurred to me to make my own books on cd. I have a mac too so I guess I could do it somehow. Might have to play with this.

I like your response sheet too. I have the kids do their favorite part, but I'm not good about saving them and I think the kids sort of know that I am not all that into it and their work on it reflects that. Bad teacher, I know.

Desiree Wong said...

stumbled upon your blog and i'm so glad i did! i've been wanting to set up a listening center, but didn't feel like i had enough books on cd. i have a mac and since i read your post i decided to try it out! it worked great!! thank you so much for the september i'm sure my class will be thankful as well!