Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Listen to Reading Solution

Last year, while implementing The Daily 5, I had to rethink my Listen to Reading rotation.  I have a standard 6 person listening centre, but really wanted something more portable for the kids to use. MP3 players to the rescue! I bid on 4 Mickey Mouse MP3 players on Ebay and got all of them for $40 including shipping/handling. 
Brand new MP3 players!

Next, I had to figure out how to get more books on cd so that they could be added to the MP3 players. Hmmm...Scholastic Book Clubs. Each month, they offer at least one book for between $1-$2 so I ordered the specials for a few months. Perfect, now I had books.

My next task was to record someone reading the books so that they could then be put on the MP3 players. Audacity is a free, highly recommended program that can be used for recording. It even includes special features (which I didn't use).  I bought a $12 microphone from Staples and was ready to go.

Lastly, and key to the whole process, the kids were asked to practice one of our new books so that they could record it onto Audacity. This worked really well. Kids practiced until their reading was perfect. We then recorded it, changed the recording into a MP3 format (super easy) and then put 5 books on each MP3 player. Each MP3 player was numbered 1-4. Books that went with the player were given matching numbers and then each set was put in a sturdy Ziploc bag. 

The kids absolutely loved this whole process. I ended up buying cheap headphones for the kids so that each of them had their own.  We also used Leap Pads, computers and 3 Discman's that I purchased from Kijiji for $10/each. This year, I plan on having my fellow teachers read poems into audacity to then burn to cd or put on my MP3 players. The poems will be kept together in books that I bind myself using my binding machine.

What do you do for Listen to Reading in your class?

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