Listening Center Plus


How many times have we all said, “There’s only one of me!” Here’s a way to double your teaching time: create your own audio books with a twist.

Record your own voice reading a story, but include guided instruction for the students to follow. For example, if students are learning how to write a report on famous Americans, in your recording,  you can ask students to stop at certain points in the story to record information that they should include in their report. If you are focusing on a reading strategy such as making connections, you can ask students to stop and discuss or write about a connection to the story. It’s like having you sit right next to them!

You can also have students create their own audio book for the classroom library. If you have a guided reading group working on fluency rate or expression, they can record their reading of a book. When they have mastered the rate and expression, have those students record the story and add it to the classroom library for the other students to listen to at the listening center.

It gets better . . . creating an audio book is easy using garage band (which comes standard on most Macs). Garage band has special effects, sounds, music, and even allows you to change your voice so you can read the part of another character and sound like a totally different person! It also allows you to insert music. You can download informational songs and use them to create lessons. Due to copyright laws, I cannot share an entire story or song with you, but I can share a preview of some lessons I have created so you get the idea: click here for a sample. You can send any of your podcast creations to iTunes and burn it onto a CD for your listening center. It’s inexpensive and a powerful teaching tool !

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