Ipods in the Classroom for Listen to Reading

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Isn't this FUN!!!  I absolutely LOVE these Bright Idea Blog Hops.  I have learned sooooooo much from the last two hops!

Today I just wanted to share with you how I organized my Listen to Reading Station in my classroom during our Daily 5 Rotations.  

I have been teaching second grade for 21 years so I have a HUGE..did I say HUGE...collection of books on cassette tapes.  I'm not sure if you have ever tried to teach children how to work a cassette player, but it is deathly NOT FUN!  I have tried and tried and tried...over and over again to help my little ones understand the ins and outs of cassette players over the years to NO AVAIL!  So I have decided to STOP TRYING and go with the times....in came...ipods!  Yes...children today can work technology better than we can especially if it begins with an "i" :)  So I caved!  I wanted to buy 6 ipods for my classroom, but they are REALLY expensive and I just don't happen to have that kind of cash laying around...so I head on over to ebay and found myself these adorable "iPods" that work REALLY well at $16.00 a pop!  Not bad...huh!

I organized the 6 iPods and typed out a list of books that are in each bin.  I color coordinated each laminated card so that we knew which bin each book belonged to.  My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE using the ipods in the classroom and they can't get enough of them!

This regular iPod is used for my Listen to Reading Station where I have 6 copies per book.

I spent most of my summer transferring my cassette tapes over to mp3 files...it wasn't fun..but when it was done, I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders!  I used a really cool program called Audacity.   This program allows you to change your cassettes into mp3 files really easily and then they can be put on mp3 players.  Now...I would LOVE to show you how to do this...but you would probably not learn it correctly from me...so I am going to forward you to the wonderful Nicole over at Teaching With Style because she created an AWESOME video on how to transfer these files over using Audacity.

Here is the link to Audacity...

Click this image to head on over to Nicole's blog to learn how to convert your cassettes to mp3 files with Audacity!  Nicole was a godsend to me and her video tutorial is SUPER easy to follow!

When I was ready to teach my students HOW to use the iPods, I met with the class on the carpet and put 3 - 4 children in each group with an iPod and I explained how to use the iPods...and that was IT!!!  YES....I said it...THAT WAS IT!!!  ONE 20 MINUTE TEACHING SESSION and they knew how to use them!  It doesn't get any better than that.  Now if a child ever has difficulty using one, which only happened in the beginning, one of the other students quickly helped them and it was smooth sailing.  If this is something that is on your "to do" list, I highly recommend it!  Best thing I have done in my classroom to help with the management and organization of my Daily 5 Rotations!

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