Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Using iPods for Listening Centers

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I've spent a great deal of time catching up with friends, reading books and relaxing at the lake! I'm currently traveling on the East Coast. So fabulous to get away for a bit {and meet up with some of my BBFs!}

This was a popular post on my blog, so I thought I'd share it with all of you! 

Like many others, I've used Listening Centers in my classroom for years.  Not only is listening to a fluent model an important part of a balanced literacy program, it is also one of the few times you can get a first grader to be quiet!

For years, I spent countless money and burned through Scholastic points to curate a collection of Listening Center books and tapes.  Fast forward to 2013 and kids have no idea what a tape is, making those expensive Listening Center sets near obsolete!
I always chuckle when I see this picture on Pinterest because it's so true! 

Since the dawn of iPods, kids seriously have no idea how to use a Walkman! I felt like I spent a great deal of my Daily 5 time showing kids how to press play, stop and flip the tape over to rewind {which is a totally strange idea anyway!}

Well one day...genius struck! I realized I needed to get iPods into the classroom because kids are so familiar with them! So, I begged asked my principal to buy me some iPods. He was able to order one, which is awesome, but definitely not enough to keep those little ones quiet! 

Genius struck again...I asked parents to donate their old iPhones so we could use them as iPods during Daily 5 time! I strategically campaigned for these old iPhones just as parents were upgrading to the iPhone 5.  :)

Here's how I store my iPods for Daily 5 use. I found these adorable mini-caddies in the dollar spot at Target.  We had a big lesson on how to take care of the iPods and keep the earbuds as tangle-free as possibly!

Now, I'm not gonna lie - it was a HUGE time commitment to convert all of my tapes to mp3s, but it was SO worth it! It's a super simple process, just time consuming.  Really, all you need to do is plug the converter into your computer, press play on the tape, let it play out and select "convert to mp3" once it's done. It then automatically loads it into iTunes! 

To do this, I bought the ion Tape Express.  Oddly, I found it at Kohl's, but they do sell it on Amazon. Click the picture to see it on Amazon. 

I also spent a little time organizing my library on iTunes in the hope that it would make using the iPods a little simpler for the kids.

I only put the Music app on the dock so the kids wouldn't be distracted by anything! 
For each story, I added the cover photo so it would be easier for the non-readers to find! 
When they find the story, they simply tap the title and snuggle up with the book! 
As I said, it was a laborious project, but it was totally worth it! I feel so techie :) 

Occasionally, I ask my students to fill out a response to the book.  

Click {here} to snag a copy. 
Font: Rowdy in Room 300 Graphics: Ashley Hughes Border: Dancing Crayon Designs

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1 comment:

  1. JUST what I was looking for... I am so glad I found your blog before I started reading all of the books into the recorder of the phone or something just as horrid! Ha! I ordered my ion already... super excited - thanks again!