1. How will you instill the importance (or urgency as the sisters call it) of 'listening to reading' in your students and especially those students who have had little 'lap time' or reading done for them in their own homes?
I personally have no problems with this part of listening. They love it! I think there is something soothing and magical about the headphones! We have to have lessons on not talking with the headphones on, though, otherwise they yell at their friend next to them.
2. What devices or strategies are you going to use to conduct listen to reading?' Will you use a community recording device with one cd and several earphones, individual cd players, tape recorders, ipod-type devices or computers?
I use computers (Starfall and Tumblebooks) and MP3 players in my room for listening.
One summer I took all of the books on tape that I had accumulated through my years of teaching and transferred them to my computer (I used a cord to connect the computer to a tape player and a free program called Aud. the details are on my website if you need more directions.). Then I transferred 12 or 13 to each MP3 player (I originally used Fisher Price players, then Discovery players. I know it is harder to find them now but I found some on Ebay at the time. I like ones actually made for kids because they are sturdier and easier for the kids to use. I am thinking about asking the parents at my school to donate any old Mp3 players or ipods that they no longer use and setting up some of those.)
I labelled each player with a number and put it in a tub with the coordinating books. I let the kids choose which books to read. Each tub has a variety, including non-fiction, holiday books, series books, and picture books. They can listen until I play the music to clean up.
These are the listening bins and the kind of MP3 players I have (they were much cheaper when I bought them!)
They are independent as long as everything goes smoothly. (Ha!) If they can't get the computer to work, I usually just go over and help them get started. If they can't get an MP3 player to work, I have them put it by my desk so I can check it later and get another one or share a friend.
4. Do you have enough 'listening to reading' type materials? If not, what ideas do you have for securing these materials? Where will you store them? How will your students retrieve these items? Where will they be used (will there be a designated spot in your class for listen or reading or will it be their choice)?
I let them listen anywhere in the room. The players are kept under the whiteboard, unless I can think of a new brilliant place to put them. I really like the tubs I use: they are deep and have a lid that hooks on.
3. What expectations will you have for your students during 'listen to reading' and how will you keep them on task and independent instead of needing your assistance when they can't manage 'devices?'
As I said, I don't find this to be a big problem. If someone does not behave on the computer, they will lose that privilege. This is an easier time for them than playing a game, for example, because they are not taking turns, they both listen to the book at the same time.
4. The sisters do not really talk about this in their book, but how do you feel about listening response sheets? Will listening to reading be just for 'listening' or will there be follow-up work required of your students? If there is reading response sheets, what will they look like?
I do not ask my students for a follow up sheet. I believe the benefit of listening is to hear the books, to gain fluency, and enjoy the story. I prefer they use the time to hear another book if they can. Some of my friends have them draw their favorite part of the book.
5. I would be remiss to not add this so . . . how can this station be differentiated to meet the various learning profiles, interests and/or readiness of your students?
My students get to choose which books they want to hear. All of the students are able to participate in listening.
Check out the other posts on Listening at A Differentiated Kindergarten.
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