Saturday, July 13, 2013

Listen Up! Listen Center Can Be Great

Listening Center is one of those centers I used to hate, but with a little adjustments, it's now one of my favorites. 1 book a month; a different purpose each week.
I don't know about you, but LISTENING CENTER used to be the bane of my existence.  Every week finding a new book…making sure it wasn’t too long…making sure the tape worked…making sure I had multiple copies…ugh.  Then, I finally figured it out:

I was making too many changes.

Teach Process, Change Product

LISTENING CENTER is another center that once the process is taught…you’re golden. 

For classroom set up purposes...we hang a sign where the students will work.  Every classroom is a little bit different, so I've had the listening center set up different ways.  Sometimes I have the tape player on the table where they will work.  The table also has a bucket with their listening center booklets.  Sometimes, there isn't a plug available...so I have the students lay on the floor and listen to the book, then go to the table with the booklets.  One year, I had my students keep their booklets with them in a file box they took to every center, every day.  Regardless, as long as you establish the place and keep it constant, it will be fine.
Listening Center is one of those centers I used to hate, but with a little adjustments, it's now one of my favorites. 1 book a month; a different purpose each week.

Setting a Purpose for Listening

The secret to loving the Listening Center?  I choose one book PER MONTH!  That’s right…just 1.  The students have 4 opportunities to hear the book, while the product for each week is different. Now, my Listening Center supports comprehension.  Each week we set a purpose for listening.
Listening Center is one of those centers I used to hate, but with a little adjustments, it's now one of my favorites. 1 book a month; a different purpose each week.
Week 1 – Students listen to the story.  The purpose is to be entertained!  Then, write the title and the author on the cover of their Listening Center booklet (2 pages of manila paper, folded, and stapled).  At the beginning of the year, I write the title and author on sentence strips for the students to reference at the table.  Once I got a SmartBoard, I wrote the title and author on the SmartBoard for student reference.  Towards the middle of the year, I teach them to write the title using the books.

Week 2 – Students listen to the story.  Students will write the main character names and either illustrate the characters or glue provided pictures from the story.  At the beginning of the year, we decide who the main characters are as a group and I write the names on sentence strips for reference at the center.  Later in the year, we discuss the characters orally, but they have to locate the names in the book.
Listening Center is one of those centers I used to hate, but with a little adjustments, it's now one of my favorites. 1 book a month; a different purpose each week.
Week 3 – Students listen to the story.  Students will write about the setting in the story and write a phrase.  At the beginning of the year, we decide what the main setting is as a group and I write it on a sentence strip.  Once again, as the year goes on they have to locate the information in the book.

Week 4 – Students listen to the story a final time and write a response to the story.  At the beginning of the year, I provide the sentence starter, “I like it when…”  As the year progresses they can choose, "I like it when..." or "I do not like it when..."  

Changing my Listening Center from a weekly book to a monthly book helped my students with reading comprehension.  My students could have book talks about the characters, setting, and events easily.

Cute illustrations

Listening Center is one of those centers I used to hate, but with a little adjustments, it's now one of my favorites. 1 book a month; a different purpose each week.
(Oops...Forgot a pic of the last week.)

2 comments:

  1. Just like mine too. I'm going to look into using my class iPad for listening center next year.

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  2. Thanks, Cathy. This is going to be a great year! Thanks for all the info and ideas.

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