Saturday 4 April 2015

You Oughta Know About An Easy Listening Station Idea

Welcome to the "You Oughta Know" blog hop! This is my first time linking up with Mrs. McClain over at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for her monthly "You Oughta Know" blog hop and I am so excited to be here with you this morning! All the bloggers participating are going to be sharing something that you "oughta know" about for your classroom! So after you read my post, check the link-ups below to visit all the other participating blog hoppers! :)

Today I am going to share with you how I set up my "Listen to Reading" station. It took a little time to get it all set up, but now it is easy-peasy and pretty much takes care of itself! It is a station I never have to prep for. All I have to do is charge the mp3 players about once a week.

I have a collection of almost 80 books with CDs! That is quite a bit and you definitely don't need that many to start your own listening station. I buy most of my CDs from the Scholastic Book Orders. They always have great packs of books and CDs for usually a good price! I have also found some at the dollar store, Walmart, and Amazon! Sometimes you can find books that include a link to free audio file download (like our class favourite Pete the Cat!). Then I bought some cheap mp3 players from Walmart. They were about $18 each and have lasted me two years already with no problems.

I upload all my CDs into iTunes. I number all my books to make it easier for students to find them on the mp3 player. Then in iTunes I change the title to the number, the artist to the book title, the album to the author, and add an image of the book as cover art. 

I have six mp3 players and put all the books on each of them. I don't change the books out throughout the year--I give them full access to all the books, all year long. Sometimes you want to listen to a Christmas story in February. Why not? It's all about choice for me! When the students go to the list of songs on the mp3 player, they just see a list of numbers. They don't have to navigate through a list of 80 book titles, they just have to find the correct number! (It's also a little number order/counting practice too. Woo hoo!)

Each book has a label on the spine. The image on the front coordinates to the basket the books belong in, so they don't end up in the classroom library or a student's book box. The number on the back is the track number. So when students go to the listening centre, they grab any of the mp3 players and choose a book. Then they look at the number and find that number track on the mp3 players.

When they press play, they will see an image of the book to let them know it's the correct number!

I keep the basket of books on a shelf with each mp3 player and headphones in it's own little basket. Students just grab a book, grab a basket, and are ready to listen to reading!

Here are two of my boys listening to same book together. They each had their own mp3 players, but just pressed play at the same time so they could share the book. I love how their minds work at this age! :) 

It does take a few weeks to get all of my students trained on how to use the mp3 players, but most of them pick it up really quickly! There were a couple students that struggled with it, but they would just ask one of the other students in the group to help them, so I never had any issues with that! 

That's it for me this time! Now that you have read my blog post, hop over to any one of these other great bloggers to see what else you "oughta know" about!


  1. I've loaded my books on MP3 players, but my kids were having trouble finding the books. I love the idea of numbering them. Thanks for the tip!

  2. That is nothing short of genius!!!

  3. Great ideas! I have really struggled with how to incorporate listen to reading the past few years since moving to first grade. I will be looking into this further for sure!

  4. Wonderful!! We don't have Lit. centers at our school now, so I'm pinning this for "later." I think it is definitely worth the small investment of time & money.

  5. This is awesome! I will have to do this! I have soooooo many CD's I'd love to be able to have them all loaded in one place!

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

  6. I love the idea of numbering the books and children find that number on the digital device. I have books on tape. Children do not know how to use tape players!!!! My goal is to turn them all into digital versions and have a digital listening center like you have. Thanks for the good ideas!

    Kindergarten Planet

  7. I love your listening center! Very organized and easy for the students to use.

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

  8. What kind of MP3 players do you have? I need to get myself some of those :)

    1. Or even the brand that you have. I didn't even know that other MP3 players could work with itunes! :s