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!

Long and Short Vowel Review

Happy New Year!  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  We sure did!  
We enjoyed spending lots of time with family and friends and not having to set our alarms at night!
I go back next week and our sound focus for the week in our first grade Treasures reading program is long i.  We will be focusing on long i words with a silent e.  A few weeks before our winter break our focus was long a words with a silent e.  So this week I plan on doing A LOT of review with silent e!  I also plan on reviewing short vowel sounds as well,  mostly focusing on a & i.  
We are currently working on a few new silent e products for our store and they should be up by next weekend!  
Below we've got a few bingo freebies, as well as some great links to other sites for vowel practice ideas/activities.

I plan on using these bingo freebies below during my reading stations next week and the following week.  
My first graders just love bingo!  

Here's how we play this partner game!

1.  Each pair of kids needs one spinner (place a clear spinner over the top, or use a pencil and a paperclip). 
2.  Each pair will need one or two worksheets (your pair could could share a worksheet each using a different color, or have their own).  
3.  Player one spins first.  If the spinner lands on a long or short section, player one finds, reads, and colors in a long or short vowel word word on the bingo worksheet. 
4.  If the spinner lands on the "free choice" section, the player gets to choose a word of his/her choice to read and color.  
5.  This continues until one of the players gets five in a row!

If you'd like a copy of these bingo games, just click the picture below, or {HERE}!

If you have a SMART Board, this is a fun activity that I have used. 
 It includes both long and short vowel practice. 

We found this AWESOME anchor chart on Pinterest! I'll definitely be creating this with my first graders next week!  It's from Teaching With Style  and you can find this anchor chart and several others {HERE} on her site! 

 Love this cute video!  Great for long/short vowel practice!

Here's a little freebie from Mrs. Pollard!  My first graders used this last year at a literacy station and they LOVED it!  I plan on using it again after we learn all of the long vowel sounds.  You can find this freebie on our Pinterest board HERE or in her TPT store HERE 

Have other ideas/activities to help your kiddos with long vowel practice? 
 Comment below!  
We'd love to here your ideas!
We hope you all have a wonderful week!