Guest Blogger: Listening Centers and a FREEBIE

I am so excited to start having some guest bloggers post this upcoming week! Our very first guest blogger is Crystal from The Kinder-Garden who has some great ideas and a FREEBIE to share about listening centers. Here is Crystal…
My KinderGarden
Hey everybody!  I'm Crystal from The Kinder-Garden and I am super excited to be doing my FIRST EVER guest blog post!  I just have to take a minute to tell you how much I LOVE the Techie Teacher!  I'm a huge techie so this blog just speaks to me.

To start off, we're going to do a little word association game.  Close your eyes and think of calm.  Got it?  Great! Wasn't that nice? Now close your eyes and think of listening centers.  Got it? Yowzers!

Did you picture one big CD player with multiple headphones, arguing over which buttons to push and fighting for control of the book?  Chaos?  That's what mine USED to be!  Despite everything I knew about the benefits of listening centers, I put mine up a few years ago and pretended it didn't exist.  It was so much hassle!  I KNEW my kids were missing out though.  As a Kindergarten teacher, most of my students are not independent, fluent readers capable of reading great stories themselves.  However, they need to hear those stories to become independent readers.  I just couldn't get the logistics worked out...

AHA-  Individual CD players!  Why hadn't I thought of that before?

Individual CD players take away so much of the chaos.  One child, one book, one CD!  The downfall?  You need a LOT of books on CD and those get expensive.  Oh well!

Wait!  Isn't this the Techie Teacher?  It is!  Forget about buying all those books and CDs.  Grab a microphone and start reading!  I have managed to talk 3 of my coworkers into switching to individual CD players and we are working together to record lots of books.  In the fall, I plan on asking parents to volunteer to record a story too!  Can you imagine how excited kids will be to listen to their parents or grandparents read to them at school?

I used grant money to buy several CD players and batteries. I also purchased a couple more with my own money.  I would like to have a few more, but I'll buy them as the funds arrive.  Recordable CDs are pretty cheap to begin with.  I would like to work my collection up to 8, but I'm extremely happy to be starting the school year with 5.

I don't know about you, but I like my students to produce something when they are in centers.  I find that it helps to keep them focused and holds them accountable.  I whipped up this simple recording sheet for students to use in the listening center and I'm giving it to YOU!  I won't offer this anywhere else- so grab it here!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed!  I want to give a special thanks to Julie for letting me guest blog (my first EVER!)  If you'd like to follow me you can find me at my blog, on Facebook, on twitter, on pinterest and on Teacher's Pay Teachers!