Listening Center

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SWBAT listen to a story and will then form an opinion based on what they heard OR SWBAT will be able to respond to and repeat what they have heard.

Big Idea

Make listening AND speaking a part of your center rotation! Later in the year, tie in writing, too!

Why This Center?

1 minutes

Listening center is the place where students are able to engage in good listening tactics to learn something!   Students listen to many types of things at this center, but they are always expected to really pay attention to what they are hearing!  When students are at listening center, they are able to hear good examples of fluent reading and/or good pronunciation skills.

How Does This Center Work?

10 minutes

What I use:
A CD/tape player
Whisper phones
Response sheets with pencils and crayons
Extra listening games

(I keep all of my books and tapes or CD’s in plastic bags by season.  I have books like Chicka Chicka in my September tub of items, while Bear Snores On is in my December tub and my Eric Carle collection is in my April tub.  I find it a lot less daunting to prepare for this center when everything is organized ahead of time.)

(I set expectations early: If you have headphones on, you cannot talk or even whisper.  When students have headphones on, they tend to yell or sing or repeat what they’re hearing; they have no idea how loud they are. So, I make sure my students know this rule and know it well.)


What I do to set up the center:
- I make it so each student has their own place with their own headphones.
- I have a zone in the middle of the two places so students can share a book while listening together.
- I put all supplies in a basket that is easily accessible.
- I have response sheets for students to complete after listening.
- I have whisper phones and extra listening games for students who get finished with listening and their response sheets.


How Does This Center Change to Meet Students' Needs Throughout the Year?

10 minutes

How does this center change to meet students’ needs throughout the year?

* For the first round of centers in the year, I let students copy my example of a response sheet.  I do this so they will know from the beginning what my expectations will be for their work.

* For a few sets of centers, after the first two rounds or so, I have students listen to phonics CD’s and tapes.  This is the time that students need to be working on beginning sounds and things of that nature.  I use dry/erase boards where students can answer, in response to their listening.  I will continue these centers at different points throughout the year to give students a break from the regular listening and responding.  I love to have students do this with vowels.  Also, I have students listen to the color songs, by Frog Street Press, towards the beginning of the year so they learn how to spell their colors (their response here is to write down each color).  In the end, this center can really be what you make it!

* I tend to, most of the time, have students listen to and respond to stories that we have already covered in whole group.  This makes their conversation with their partners and their completion of their response sheet easier and more fun.

*As the year goes on, I take time to think about the skills we are working on and I adapt the response sheets.  For example, if we are working on character, I will make the response sheet be one about characters.  If we are working on sequencing, the response sheet may have boxes for the beginning, middle and end.

* This center is really easy to mold to the needs of your students and it can match any theme you want!  It is fun for holidays, of course, as you can provide them with repeated exposure to treasured stories (from a voice other than yours)!

* “Listening games” are opportunities for students to read high frequency words to each other, roll a die and read a sentence or read to each other.  Students get exposure to all of these “games” in whole group throughout the year.

Sometimes students may simply work on listening skills at listening center, while other times, students might work on reading and/or fluency at listening center.  I tailor this center to students' needs as well as to the materials I have!

The Process Students Typically Follow

50 minutes

The process that students typically follow is this:

- Listen to your story.
- One person holds the book and the other flips the pages.
- When the story is over, talk about it with your partner.
- Go back through the story and re-tell it with your partner.

- Complete your response sheet about the story you listened to.  Turn in your work.
- Use whisper phones to read to yourself or play listening games with your partner.
- Listen to your CD/tape and respond or write while listening.
- When the activity is over, talk about it with your partner.
- Make sure your partner’s answers match yours.  Turn in your work.
- Use whisper phones to read to yourself or play listening games with your partner.