Friday, May 24, 2013

Homemade Listening Center


Listening to reading is a great way for children to learn how to read.  When a child listens to someone read they hear how a fluent reader sounds.

Fluent Readers Have...
  1. Speed- The rate of reading, this can be assessed by how many words a child can read in one minute
  2. Accuracy- Correctly identifying words on the first attempt
  3. Expression- When a reader uses phasing, tone, and pitch so the reading sounds conversational
  4. Comprehension- When a reader understands what is being read and is able to construct meaning (This is the ultimate GOAL of reading!)
There are many ways for a child to develop reading fluency but the focus of this post is LISTENING to good readers through a "listening center."

A listening center includes a...
  • Tape and/or CD player
  • Headphones (optional)
  • Tape or CD with the book being read
  • Book to follow along with the tape/CD
You can find a "book on tape" at your local library but what if you can't find a book that correlates with what you are studying?  Well, YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN!

As an elementary school teacher I often made my own "books on tape."  I enjoy coordinating everything, including the listening center, so when I couldn't find a book for the listening center that matched my theme/focus I would create my own. 

How to make your own book on tape for your listening center at home...
1. Purchase a blank tape ($1 store)
2. Find/purchase a bell for turn the page signal (I have a call bell I use)
3. Choose a story
4. Begin recording (most tape players have a record button)
5. Start by telling the listener, "When you hear this sound /ding/ turn the page."
6. Begin by introducing the title and author then read the story
7. Don't forget to ring the bell as you turn the page
8. Customize your tape by adding an assignment at the end or comprehension questions!!
9. TA-DA you have your own homemade listening center!
(I usually re-record over the story for my next book so there is only one story on the tape.  This makes it easier to rewind and get to the beginning for repeated listening and it cuts down on having multiple tapes.)

Looking to make it more fun?  Have grandma or grandpa record a story or any special person!


  1. I love your blog!!! The listening center is such a helpful tip! I followed your blog, and we'll read more when I have time :)

  2. How old is your girl? My Camilla has turned 19 months today :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by! My little girl just turned two! I'm so glad you found a helpful tip! It is my desire to reach out to moms and I appreciate your comment! God bless you!!

  3. This is such a great idea! I was just reading earlier today (in The Well Trained Mind) about doing this too. They were saying it's a great way to 'read out loud' to your kids for longer periods than you are able to. Older kids probably wouldn't want to listen to you read the same story over and over, but you could put the same tape on every day for a little one during their 'room playtime' or something like that. Then they can listen to the spoken word even more! Thanks for sharing this idea!


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