Sunday, 6 April 2014

Listen to Reading (with a freebie)

I have jumped into The Daily 5 this year and after working intensively with my class in the fall, teaching, modeling, practicing, practicing, practicing, they really came on board.  It has been wonderful.  When other people come into my room they marvel at how quiet it is (and I have a very rambunctious group this year with boys outnumbering girls almost 2:1) and how engaged they all are.

I marvel that we finally pulled it together and how it has freed me up to meet with small groups.  I have done Guided Reading for the past 15 years and introduced a Language Arts centers format early on, and have been quite pleased with the way they worked, but The Daily 5 is something else again!

I have acquired quite a wide range of books on tape over the years from Scholastic which have been the foundation for my Listening Centers.  Yes, I still have an antique tape recorder that has jacks for four sets of headphones, and the kids love listening to them. 

Robert Munch's website by far the favourite listening site for my class. He reads over 50 of his books and the iPod is in constant demand. I bought a splitter for the headphone jack so that two kids can listen at once and I put a link for the website on the home screen of the iPod so it is easy to access. Listening to Robert Munch read is so popular in my class that is rare if a day goes by without at least one student visiting it. Luckily our school library has a great collection of Munsch books because they love reading along and looking at the pictures as they listen. 

There are also lots of apps that offer excellent listening experiences. The one that is getting a lot of playtime in my room are Storyline Online. 

This site is free and is sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild. There is a small, but increasing number, of excellent books on the site, narrated by actors. The favourite selection in my class at the moment is A Bad Case of Stripes, read by Sean Astin. Camryn Manheim's rendition of Enemy Pie is a close second.  

I like to have some accountability built into their sessions so I made a couple of forms that they can choose to take with them to the listening device that they choose.  You can see this first one which is about making connections to the text in the picture above.  Many of my second graders are loving the idea of making connections to the world around them or to other things they've read.  Some are still enjoying relating what they read to their own experiences.

 I made the second sheet after our wonderful librarian read this terrific book to my class.  It is about a child who doesn't think she can draw and her teacher who encourages her to try.  After hearing the story the kids entered into a lively discussion and we talked about how a book can change the way we think about things.   


To help give them some ideas when they are filling out their book recommendations sheet we made up this chart.  I went over it with them for several days so they were pretty familiar with some of the things that they could include in their recommendation.

 If you would like to use these sheets in your classroom just click here.

And now I'm off to see the Muppet Movie followed by sushi.
Hope you have had a great weekend!



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