5 Tips that will help you LOVE your Listening Center

Do you have these problems with setting up and running a Listening Center?

You don't have enough books.
It's too noisy.
You don't have the "fancy smancy" listening center that costs hundreds of dollars.
The kids fight over who is running the Listening Center.

Here are a few ideas that may help you have a more organized Listening Center.

Have teachers put their resources together.  Share your listening center books.  Our first grade team has done this.  We have a common area where we keep our books.  Luckily, we had a great parent helper organize our books for us.

She was WAY organized and would seriously come all afternoon almost every day last school year.  Honestly, it was like having a personal assistant at school.  We miss her!

Anyway, here is what she came up with.

They are put in order first by "theme" that goes through the entire school year.  Then, the rest are in alphabetical order.  When we check out a set of books, we put the clothespin with our name on the books that we are using.  This way, others can see where the books are at and I know quickly where I need to return them.  

For years, I had students listen to books without any headphones.   My listening center is in the hallway right outside the door so they could listen directly from the CD player.  Here's the problem:  They were always talking and goofing around.

I got a headphone jack this year.  I thought it was going to be expensive, but it really wasn't- I got one that has 10 headphone jacks.  I had ordered it out of a school supply magazine for about $25.

Here is one from Amazon that only has four.  

Have you ever looked at the prices of a "fancy smancy" listening center?  Ridiculous!  I use a Boom Box (yes, I just said Boom Box).  It does the job.  It has both a CD player and a tape player in it.  I think I got mine at Wal-mart about 10 years ago and it still works!

I have "leaders" at the listening center.  I put a list of the center groups at the listening center (laminated) and then I just put a black dot next to the name of the person who is the leader that day.  I just go down the list each time I put a new book into the listening center.  We practice "A LOT" how to be a leader.  They are in charge of getting the books and handing them out, putting in the disc, and they are the ONLY ones who are touching the CD player.  

I mentioned above that I didn't use headphones for years.  I do now.  It is SOOO much better.  Each student has their own set of headphones.  We keep them at their "bookshelf" that is next to their table groups where we keep a lot of the supplies.  When they go to the listening center, they grab their headphones.  It is now QUIET at the listening center.  

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