Kindergarten Listening Centers

Hello friends! It's Erin, making a rare appearance on the blog today! Since changing schools, and moving to kindergarten, along with raising my 4 crazy kiddos, I don't have time to blog as often as I'd like. The pile of posts and freebies, products to upload, and things to create grows rather quickly in my little world. Luckily I had a few minutes to share with you have I changed my listening center since moving to Kindergarten.

My new school is lucky enough to have all the technology that we can ask for. I was offered to go 1:1 iPads this year, but after some thought I decided to just go 1:2, and see how that goes first. It definitely changed how I run my listening center, since my kids don't have to use my iPod Shuffles as much. I didn't abandon them completely, but i have definitely organized them a bit differently that I did in first grade. Last year I used 5 iPod shuffles (which I still LOVE), and had them organized into colored bins, which included the books that were on those iPods. I only put about 15-20 minutes worth of stories, and they usually went with the theme of what we were learning.

To make this a little bit easier for my kinders to keep organized, I added this poster at my listening station. This really helped keep the kinders more independent when cleaning up the station. Books always seem to get stuck into the wrong box, which can create a mess. Now they know exactly where the books belong. This only takes a few minutes to create, and is super helpful for my kids.

While this is a fabulous way to run my listening, I am having to change the books weekly now. I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough books on cd to last the whole year. Plus I have many stories I want my kinders to listen to, that I don't have on cd. That's when I found QR codes. BEST. THING. EVER. My school really tries to save paper, so we used QR codes for a TON of stuff at the beginning of the year. So easy to make! So now, I rotate my listening center between my shuffles, and their iPads. At the listening center, I include a sheet like this.

It took me introducing the procedure to run this once, and they've got it. Our story this week is Snowmen at Night, so we are listening to snowmen books. This was the first Listening center that I created, and my goal is to create at least 1 a month. I will share them you as I create them!

To use these with your iPads, all you need is a QR reader app. I use this one, just because that's what our tech guy put on our iPads. It works great for the littles.

They just scan the qr code, and it takes them strait to the SafeSearch version of whatever youtube video I've found for the story.  For instance, if you scan the QR code for There Was A Cold Lady... it will send you {HERE}.

Would you like to make these yourself? Follow these 3 steps!
1. Find the link for the story you want them to listen to on youtube.
2. Go to the SAFESHARE website ({HERE} and make the link safe for kids, with no adds. 
3. Copy that link into the QR Code Generator {HERE}
Then just take a screenshot of the code and you are good to go!

And if you've made it to the end of this post, you can get a copy of Our Snowman Stories QR Code Freebie. Enjoy!

And on a sidenote, how stinking cute are these ABC bean bags one of my student's grandma made me over Christmas Break?!?! LOVE!


  1. I'm jealous of your beanbags! Oh you can do so much with those!! How nice of that grandma!! Thanks for the advise on the listening centers!!

  2. I could not get the Snowman Story QR Codes to work... :( I do love the bean bags!

  3. This is fantastic! I am using this with my own kids books that they love reading at home so that they can listen to stories when we travel rather than watching the same movies over and over again. I am also sharing with my girls' Kindergarten teacher. I used to teach but stay at home with my kids now so you have blown this 'itching to get back in the classroom' moms mind. Thank you!

  4. I was able to download, but the QR code did not work.