What didn’t work…
Listening Center used to be the bane of my existence…
- finding a new book every week…
- making sure it wasn’t too long…
- making sure the tape worked…
- making sure I had multiple copies…
- making sure the headphones worked…
- making sure I had an activity for each book…ugh.
Listening Center Organization
Then, I finally figured it out. Listening Center is another center that once the process is taught…you’re golden.
Listening Center is a beginning center.
That is, the students who are going to the Listening Center go there at the beginning of center time.
By making sure they started at listening center, everyone heard it together…and then moved on. A small group of heterogeneously grouped students listened to the tape – WITHOUT headphones. The volume was low, but everyone else in the room could hear the tape. During this time, I did running records for the day. I don’t pull any groups until after the story, so that no one misses the story.
What does work…I promise!
Now, I use listening center as another way to practice comprehension.
I choose one book PER MONTH! That’s right…just 1.
Students also have all the materials they need in one place.
The students have 4 opportunities to hear the book, while the product for each week is different.
Students are asked on Week 1 to enjoy the book.
They listen to the book for its entertainment value.
After listening to the story, they get a folded piece of 12 x 18 manila paper and write the title and the author on the cover of their booklet.
At the beginning of the year, I write the title and author on sentence strips for the students to reference at the table.
Setting the Weekly Goal
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.
They also illustrate the book.
Students listen to the story again, but this week the goal is to listen for characters.
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. As the year progresses, they write the character names independently. You can provide post-it note flags so they can flag the character names.
Students listen to the story again.
This week’s goal is all about the setting.
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 strips.
They can get a “bonus sticker” if they can tell two different settings.
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…”
We can also use starters: I do not like it when …, My favorite part is…, The funny part is…, you get the idea.
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. It also helped with my sanity.