Daily 5: Listen to Reading

1. How will you instill the importance (or urgency as the sisters call it) of “listening to reading” in your students and especially those who have had little “lap time” or reading done for them in their homes? To instill early learning habits at home, I use a baggie book check out system in my classroom. This usually starts the 2nd week of school. In the past, I had my students pick any book. Now, I have them all start at an easy level, until I figure out their level. Then, they may choose different books at their level. I send home reading tips approximately once every other week. My first reading tip is sent home in the ziplock bag with a popsicle stick that has an eye on it. Click below on the popsicle picture to see my Reading Together letter and tip at Google docs.
At school, it seems natural for students to be interested in listening to reading. As long as I have enough space and materials for each child, it works out well. My difficulty lies in teaching my students to use a tape player! Marsha, at Differentiated Kindergarten, has a wonderful visual for helping with that!

2. What devices or strategies are you going to use to conduct listen to reading? Will you use a community recording device with one cd and several earphones, individual CD players, taper recorder, ipod-type devices, or computers? I have several listening to reading areas. I have a tape player and 3 walkmen in a basket which is called the listening center. No earphones for the tape player. Just books on tape. I also have a CD player for songbooks or books on CD. I also use the computer for listening to reading. I use software programs, such as Instant Readers. We also use online programs, such as Starfall or Tumblebooks. At the beginning of the year, my students work on an abc starfall book that I created. Click below to visit my TPT store for a free download and directions for using Starfall's ABCs.

3. What expectation will you have for your students during “listen to reading” and how will you keep them on task and independent instead of needing your assistance when they can’t manage the devices? At the beginning of the school year, I model the listening center with the whole class.  We listen to a story together as I hold the book up for them to see. Then we talk about our reading response journals. I model the steps, and they follow along. We do this for the first 2 weeks, and I let them be. However, I have had more problems with using a tape player in more recent years. I guess they no longer use them at home!! So I really need to work on the mechanics!

In the past, at each of my centers, I use a clear plastic sleeve for holding my directions. That way, I can easily type my directions up and change them as needed. I usually doodle some picture clues when I go over the directions with my students. For example, on the second page, at the end of the computer center directions, it states you may need help. I discuss with my students how they can do that and draw some suggestions.

Google Doc Link:

4. Do you have enough “listening to reading” type materials? If not, what ideas do you have for securing these materials? Where will you store them? How will your students retrieve these items? Where will they be used (will there be a designated spot in your class for listening or reading or will it be their choice)?  I do have a nice collection of books. I have tried varied ways of storing them. I had them stored with my theme boxes, but am back to switching them into crates. I only keep a few out in a basket. I use ziplock bags to keep the books, tape, and reading responses. Yep, ziplocks are my favorite! There are designated spots for the CD and tape player. The walkman may be used around the room.

To get more listening center material, I have had parents and school staff members record themselves reading a book. It is played at the listening center. The children have fun trying to guess who it is. Then we have the mystery guest reader come in and read to the class. Sometimes I like to throw them off by inviting a PE teacher or principal. Look below for starting Mystery Reader in your class.

Google Docs Link:

5. The sisters do not really talk about this in their book, but how do you feel about listening response sheets? Will listening to reading be just for “listening” or will there be follow-up work required of your students? If there is a reading response sheet, what will they look like? I do like reading responses. My students have a reading response journal. This is where they keep track of books they listen to. If my students only listened, I think some do get restless. So having them work and respond in a journal allows them to collaborate with others and draw their ideas on paper.
6. I would be remiss to not add this so… how can this station be differentiated to meet the various learning profiles, interest, and/or readiness of your students? Since my students have a reading response journal, and the question is usually open ended, my students work at their own levels. Some may draw with only beginning sounds, while others write sentences. Usually at the beginning of the year, I have them glue a reading response into their journal. My students draw a picture and write what they can about it.

Phew! This is a long post!! In case you haven't heard... I am having a Giveaway!. Please check it out!


  1. Oooo I love the idea of a reading response journal. I'm gonna have think about that one.
    Thanks for linking up.

    A Differentiated Kindergarten


  2. Great article! We are linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.



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