This has been another busy week. On Thursday, I got to work at 6:30am like always, but I didn't leave work until 8:00pm. It was a week with extra meetings and lots and lots of documentation. None the less, I thought I would take a few minutes and share how I've chosen to manage Listen to Reading during our Daily 5.
During Daily 5 my students have two different options for Listen to Reading. They can go to the computers and listen to books on Tumblebooks, Pebble Go, Online Storytime at Barnes and Noble, and Storyline Online or they can choose a book and listen to it on an MP3 player.
I used to use a cassette player and have multiple headphones plugged into it so 2 or more students could listen at the same time. Last year, I converted all of my cassette tapes to MP3's using Audacity a free audio editor and recorder. I load 10-15 books on the the MP3 players at a time. I've put a number label on the back of each book. Then I put the same number on the MP3 player, as a part of the title, to make it easier for my students to find. When I introduce the MP3 players to my students at the beginning of the year, I'll admit it is a little tricky. However, it only takes 2-3 days to find a few of my Firsties that get it right away. They become my experts and help the other students until everyone knows how to use them. Now it's a cinch!
Here is the basket of January books my students can choose from when they want to listen on the MP3 player. I change out the books about once a month.
I have 6 MP3 players and they are each stored in a plastic bag
with instructions on how to use them.
The bags are hanging on this wire rack that I got from Really Good Stuff. It sets on the back counter and works perfectly for storing the bags of MP3 players and headphones.
Here is an example of the MP3 players I have. I chose these because they were cheaper than most MP3 players and they had good ratings. I got them on Amazon. They are the SanDisk Sansa m230 512 MB.
I love that my students can choose what book they want to listen to. Each of these students are listening to a different book!
I used to get so frustrated with the cassette player. I can't tell you how many times I would be in the middle of a Guided Reading group and I would have to stop to see why the player wasn't working, or I would have to fix the tape that had been pulled out of the cassette.
I would never go back to the cassette player! I love the MP3 players. I'm never interrupted now. Occasionally the rechargeable batteries need changed, but I have 3 extra MP3 players. When an MP3 player isn't working, my students know to lay it on my desk and get another one. I quickly change out the battery between groups or when I get a chance.
I think the MP3 players have totally been worth the investment! My students can choose which books they want to listen to, and they can listen to as many as they want to during their Listen to Reading for Daily 5.