Disclaimer... and credit where credit is due!

This blog is simply my thoughts, ideas, and suggestions related to the Daily Five and Cafe. I give full credit to the creators of both Daily 5 and Cafe, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, also known as The Sisters. I have attended their workshops, read their books, and subscribe to their website. Everything else, I've interpreted on my own! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting the Teacher Started with Listen to Reading

The next component that I introduce is Listen to Reading. For me, this is quite possibly the Daily that I'd like to improve the most!

Currently, I have two "Listening Centers" set up in my classroom. Two children can use each center during a session (for a total of 4 students.) Right now, that is the ONLY choice they have for Listen to Reading!

Last year, I finally let go of my "books on tape" and switched to all CDs. There are approximately 10 books & CDs in each Listening Center. I keep the books and CDs in Ziploc bags for easy storage. Children can choose any book they'd like... they just have to agree with their partner!

As you can imagine, the most difficult part of  this Daily is teaching children to whisper when they have their headphones on! It's hard to remember just how loud our voices are when we have headphones on and are singing along with the "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" book! When first introducing Listen to Reading, I usually model what happens when headphones are on and we sing along with the song. Yes, children's hands soon cover their ears as I belt out my rendition of  "Puff, the Magic Dragon." However, it helps them to see just how loud it is if we sing or read along in our regular voices.

What would I like to do with Listen to Reading? I've heard great things about Tag Readers. I think they could be a useful tool. I've also heard about a lot of "Listen to Reading" websites. A few of them include:
*Tumblebooks (There is a free section, but also a more extensive paid section.)
*Storylineonline (Stories read aloud by actors)
*Speakaboos (Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, Songs)
*Storynory (a new audio story added weekly)
Websites for me are a double-edged sword. Yes, they provide great sites for listening... but currently, I only have one classroom computer available. :(

My friend Jacquie also purchased individual CD players so that her Listening Centers are portable! I believe she got a few CD players and puts them in a bag with a book & CD. I love this idea! If I can get some CD players, I think I'd buy little plastic tubs to keep them in. That way, I could have the CD player and a few books in each tub. I'm on the lookout for sales! :)

I'm curious to hear your ideas for Listen to Reading. What can I add?
~Komos :)


  1. I use online sites for listen to reading. Check out this list of sites that you COULD use: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvkNU5HoBs62dEtLZmtrLWY1Vk43UGphN19nRXJEWmc&hl=en_US&authkey=CPmojsAB#gid=0

    If you use a Belkin Rockstar (https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvkNU5HoBs62dEtLZmtrLWY1Vk43UGphN19nRXJEWmc&hl=en_US&authkey=CPmojsAB#gid=0) or a similar tool, you can use one computer, iPad etc for up to 5 students to do listen to reading at a time.
    Just an idea.

  2. I put this sqworl page that I made as the home page on the student computers.


    I use splitters to have two students read together using mp3 players as well.

    Cathy I.
    Mrs. I's Class

  3. I also have a sqworl page I am going to use for listen to reading (on the computer) http://sqworl.com/e6spng


  4. Thanks so much for your comments and for sharing your resources! I'll definitely spend some time looking at them and seeing if/how I can make them work.
    ~Laura :)

  5. Hey Hey, I'm mentioned in your blog, I'm totally famous now, right?!

    Anyway - I love the personal CD Players, and they are so cheap right now because, really, who's buying CD Players anymore?! I color code the buttons so that the kids can easily start and stop the story. I have 8 different CD players that I switch out about every two weeks and they just sit in baskets. (I'll email you a pic if I can find one).

    My school has a crazy expensive subscription to MyOn.com, remind me to send you the pw :) And there is also a sub-site of Readinga-z.com called raz-kids.com that is a subscription based site for listening to books. We REALLY need to get you on donors choose to increase your technology!!

    The more I read about The Daily Five the more I see things that I'm already doing in my room ... I've owned the book for 3 years (since you told me I HAD to buy it) and I still haven't read it yet ... about time I get around to that I guess! :)

    -Miss Sticker :)

  6. Yes, Miss Sticker, you're totally famous now! I mean, you already were since we were on TV on Saturday, remember! :)

    YES!!! You should get on board and use the Daily 5 structure in your room. You can join our #Daily5 chat on Friday night at 7 for more ideas! (Shameless plug.. I'm one of the moderators!)

    I might just have to go to WalMart (yay!) to check out how cheap their CD players are. I've built up my book/CD collection with my Scholastic points, so spending some cash on the CD players would be worth it! Unless I can get going on Donors Choose... :)

    I've never heard of MyOn.com but will take a look. I've used raz-kids before but didn't renew my subscription. Actually, I used that one a lot when we had our computer lab time.

    We're gonna need to have another Breakfast Meeting, Miss Sticker, so you can help me get going on this Donors Choose stuff and I can help you get ready for the Daily Five!!

    ~Laura :)

  7. Find out if anyone is giving them away by posting at your nearby Freecycle group. Just google it! Miss B, Busy Bee

  8. We do need to get you on donors choose :)

    Check with friends who may have old CD players or even old mp3 players. I've heard of teachers who have gotten mp3 players which give lots of book choices on one device.

  9. I have some ancient books on tape, but no tape player. I have noticed that a lot teachers ask for listening centers on DonorsChoose - it just takes a while to get the project funded. I think that instead of asking for CD players, it would be better to ask for e-readers or mp3 players. It's no fun having lots of great ideas and no money to fund them ;-(

  10. Thanks for all of the suggestions and resources! I'm starting to feel better about Listen to Reading already. And feeling like I'll need Jacquie and Karyn to help me get started on Donor's Choose! :)

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  12. I just found out that my local public library has subscribed to TumbleBooks. I can access it online from home (hopefully from school). What a great service!

  13. I got 6 cd players and rechargeable batteries for my Listen to Reading. I got it funded through DonorsChoose but I was lucky to have a friend who actually funded my whole project! Now I just need to get more books on cd...

  14. I use mp3 players in my room. I bought 4 Sandisk players last year and six more (gulp) this year. I know, I have issues. Anyway, the kids love them. I can download all my books on c.d. as well as Audibles. Perfect for differentiating.

  15. One thing my students struggled with last year was getting the books, cases and cd's back together in the bags at the end of their time. Bags got ripped, cd went into the wrong cases, etc. My solution was to use packing tape and adhere the cd case to the inside cover of the book. A few had hard cases so I picked up some CD sleeves from the dollarstore. The kids did much better putting things away when this was the system.

    I have one listening centre with 5 headsets. The struggle there is that sometimes there is only one copy of the book so 5 students have to share. I have seen cheap "discman" cd players at thrift stores for $2.00. That might solve part of that issue. I'm hoping to check into it more later in the year.

    Back Hall Collaborators

  16. Onemorestory.com is what we use while doing listening in the Daily 5 and the kids love it!

  17. My kindergarten class uses tag readers. They love them! We also use bookflix online. It is so easy to teach them how to use! Much easier than teaching them how to use a tape player! :)

  18. LOVE LOVE LOVE the online books! It's so crazy how when I search online myself I can't find things like this- I'm so thankful for blogs like yours!! I will def be using tumblebooks and storyline. They are so easy to use. That's what I always struggle with for 1st graders. I want it to be easy so that they don't need me to load books for them! Hoping to have a good selection of laptops this year for my kiddos to use! Thank you for all of your help :)

  19. Hey! I'm so happy I found your blog! I, too, started Daily Five at the beginning of last year and am loving it and doing it again this next school year! At first, I had a tough time getting Listen to Reading going, and I spent too much money on headphone splitters and CD players!!! What I FINALLY remembered, though, was that my local library has a subscription for patrons to use Tumblebooks, an online collection of interactive audiobooks with the print right there on the screen. It is free for people in my area. Also, there are several free-for-all audiobook websites out there you might consider checkin' out (that is, if you have student computers at the ready in your classroom)!

  20. For Christmas, I asked my brother to purchase a cassette to mp3 converter. (He never knows what to get and this was right up his alley.) It works through your pc and makes your cassette an mp3. It's a bit time consuming, but well worth it to get the full usage out of the books-on-tape. Once you have converted, you can burn a cd or add to an mp3 player.
    Gina Klakamp

  21. For those of you with old books on tape.....I was able to convert them all using garageband on my mac (I'm sure there is a way to do it on pc..just google it!) I converted them all into mp3's, then burned audio cd's to play in personal cd players. I currently only have 2 players, but working on getting more. I taped a CD envelope right inside the cover of the book...and cut out the pic for the cassette cover and glued it on the cd....(or goggled the image) They work GREAT, and I was able to salvage my 120 books on tape!!!!!

  22. Check your local office supply stores and electronic stores on Black Friday. I was lucky and got 7 mp3 players clearanced out for $3.00 a piece. I have spent the last year (almost a year) voice recording my picture books for my students to have listening to reading.

    I have also started to voice record the Frye lists, my hope is for students to take a mp3 player, the list, and a whiteboard. They will then hear the word, must repeat the word, and write the word. I am hoping to use this for word work!