QR Code Listening Centers

4:00 PM

I recently added some new products to my store that I'd like to share. These are some of my most used products and they have made my life WAYYY easier. Enter: QR Code Listening Centers!

These listening centers make my literacy block a lot easier. My students are engaged and listening to high quality stories. It's so important for young readers to listen to fluent readers read aloud and this allows them do that while also interacting with technology. I like to put the books that my students listen to on my display shelf that I change monthly. This makes the books easily accessible and my students are never wasting time rooting around for the book they want in my library. This display shelf allows my thematic books for the month to be accessible to other students as well, and not all hidden in the listening center.

I love these QR codes because it is so easy for my students to use them. The iPods/old iPhones that we use for this ONLY have a QR code scanner and maybe one other app on them so it's easy to get to.  Any other apps that I can't remove are hidden in a folder on the iPod and the QR reader is the only app in the dock. This keeps the process simple and keeps my students from roaming the depths of the internet.

To prep this center is crazy easy. Simply print out your cards. I prefer card stock because they get handled by lots of little hands and we all know the wear and tear kindergartens put onto stuff!

Then I laminate them on my personal laminator. I find the plastic is just a little thicker than the large laminator I get to use through the school. Once again rough handling is a true #kindergartenproblem.

I've had this laminator going on 5 years or so now, and I LOVE it. It's starting to make a little noise here and there, but over all I have no complaints, and the finished product is just so darn sturdy!

Next, cut out your cards. Being the OCD teacher that I am, I will only do this myself to make sure they are all JUST right!

Now at this point you have a couple options: You could stick the one card you want them to use to the wall. This gives you maximum control over which book is being read. Sometimes if I notice some rumbles/disagreements about book selection happening in this center I will take away the stack of cards and just have one card posted at a time.

You could also stick them all up on a bulletin board to display all month. I've seen teachers do this when they have multiple ipads/ipods. The students can walk up, scan and go find a spot to listen in the room. I don't have enough iPods for this, so we all share a dock that allows up to 6 listeners at a time. I usually have 2-3 students at this center at once. I'd love to have 3-4 iPods and be able to let them all listen on their own! #goals

What I typically end up doing is posting the wholes stack in the center at once for them to choose from. I punch a hole in the corner of each card and slip them onto a binder ring. They can flip through all the choices, and hang them back up on the hook when they are done. This option requires the maximum amount of handling by the little people, but I've never had an issue with then getting torn up when I use card stock and my personal laminator.

My kids love these. They love feeling so grown up and using the QR code, and visitors to our class are always impressed with the kids' techy skills. I also love that they can be independent. I always do a BIG mini-lesson at the beginning of the year on how to use the iPod, what to do when you get stuck, etc... Love my document camera for this!

Lastly, I love that these are safe. I have filtered them through safeshare.com so that ALL those pesky ads are gone. You never know when a Victoria's Secret ad is going to play. You'd think google would realize that a child is most likely the audience listening to an Eric Carle book and is not Victoria's Secret's target audience, but believe me, it's happened! The month before the Alvin and the Chipmunks Movie all my videos were preceded by Alvin singing his version of Sir Mix A Lot's biggest hit. That's when I decided SafeShare was in order.

I also include a generic listening center response sheet the kids can fill out. They rate the book and then draw/write about their favorite part. I plan to include different sheets for each book in future updates, as well as more differentiated sheets for different grade levels.

So there they are! My QR Code Listening Centers. Always a huge hit in my class. I'm hoping to create lots of themes in the future as well because I love to stick a little science or social studies in to our literacy time!

Don't forget to check out the bundle to help you save some money! I'll be adding packets for each month regularly until I have a whole year's worth. Check it out!

What themes would you love to see? Oceans? Butterflies? Black History Month? I'd love to hear some suggestions!

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