Receive all updates via Facebook. Just Click the Like Button Below

Powered By | Blog Gadgets Via Blogger Widgets


Follow by Email

Google +

Grab My Button

First with Franklin

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Before Photos,Listening Center Ideas, and Freebie

Today was the first day of work in my classroom..... and let me tell you- it's a mess!  I wish I would have taken some pictures before I did anything, but that didn't happen, so I took some pictures before I started working today.  My first order of business was to paint my file cabinets.  They were ugly, really ugly.  They were seriously the worst color brown ever.  So, I decided they needed to become black.  They were moved outside (by our super nice P.E. teacher) and I went to town spray painting them.  Of course I chose a super windy day- I ended up with it all over me.  My hair was a little sticky...ewww!

I also gave my two bookshelves a coat of black paint.  One was a baby blue color and the other was just stained wood.  I think the black will look great with my Rockstar theme and also be neutral enough to blend in with other themes I might use later on.  

I'm a little embarrassed to show these pictures to you all.  Things are really a disaster at this point, but that will make the "after" pictures that much better, right????  Well, here goes nothing.....

The view as you walk in the door.  Guided reading table and lots of junk stuff piled up. 

You can see my bookcases back there before I started painting.

View if you turn right at the door.  I just got rid of one computer (it only worked part-time and I didn't feel like messing with it anymore).  

Another view of my desk area and back of room.

My SmartBoard and open shelving (I have a serious love/hate relationship with these shelves).  I love that the students can easily access stuff, but it always looks messy.  I think I'm going to invest in some matching baskets/bins to help it look a little nicer. 

So now I have to decide how I want to rearrange my furniture and start cleaning/decorating.  My husband will be gone at some training all next week, so I plan on getting some good work time in at school.  Tomorrow, though, the pool is calling my name.  It is summer break, right? I need to enjoy it!

On another note, I've been working on getting some Daily 5 things ready, too.  For the listening to reading component, I have decided to use a couple of different things.  I am going to utilize my old school tape player because I have a TON of books on tape that I inherited.  I am also going to use my iPods and iPads.  I have this super cool little thingy.  
You can click here to find it on Amazon.  I actually bought mine at Kohl's with a coupon, so it was even cheaper.  I plan on purchasing two more to use with my 2 new iPads.  My students have headphones or earbuds on their supply list.  Last year, I bought all my students their own earbuds from the Dollar Tree.  I chose to have them bring their own this year 1.) to save me a few dollars 2.) to make sure they are comfortable for each child- some of the kids had trouble with my cheapies last year.

On my iPad (and iPods) I have all of my listening books in 4 folders.  They are all labeled Listening so they are easy to find.  I keep these folders on the second screen on my iPad.  I try to make sure that my screen setup is very similar for all devices to keep it easy for students to navigate.  Most (maybe all- I can't remember) of my listening books were free apps.  One of my little darlings from last year gave me an iTunes gift card on the last day of school, so I might actually buy some licensed books, too.  

I have this app and I highly recommend it.  It features apps that are free only for a limited time- I have used it to download a lot of my free books.  You can also check on Fridays- they also features limited time free apps.  

Here are some screen shots of the apps I have in each folder- remember, they might not all be free now, but if you use Apps Gone Free I'm sure you'll find some soon.  I downloaded books all year, so it took awhile to collect all these.  

This last folder is full yet, but I'm working on it! ;)  On the last row here, see the one that says Tumblebooks?  It isn't an app, but I included this shortcut for students.  If you haven't ever heard of Tumblebooks, you should check it out.  They have iPad videos, but also offer even more videos that are available on the computer.  So, you could use Tumblebooks, a computer, and splitter to make a listening station.  Tumblebooks is free for me by using my library card through my local library.  

Now, students do an awesome job with the iPads and iPods, but I also modeled a lot before I turned them loose.  I had to teach them how to to safely handle the iPad/Pods, how to attach the splitter and headphones, how to find the folders, and how to start stories.  We listening to several books together so they could see me turn pages, adjust volume, etc.  This will save you lots of interruptions and wasted time later.  

I have used these sheet before during my listening stations.  I'm not sure I will use them with Daily 5, but I might put them at a writing station in case students need an idea.  

Wow, if you are still reading this post- I'm really impressed!  
Do you have any great listening station ideas?  Please share them with me!  

Pin It


  1. Thanks for the great listening center ideas! As you know, I'm workin ont D5 also. Since we use a basal I know that I'm going to have the kiddos listen to our main story, but still undecided about what to have them listen to after that. Maybe Tumblebooks would be good - we don't have iPads or iPods...How many do you have for your classroom?

    Teaching Little Miracles

  2. Not sure what happened but that should say: I'm working on D5 also. Ooops!


    1. Last year I had 1 iPad and 3 iPods, but I received an award and got two more iPads for next year. I'm so excited about it! Tumblebooks is great! I'm not sure what basal you have, but some of our stories I have found being read on YouTube. I normally only use those for whole group, though- I don't trust my kids not to click on something inappropriate on YouTube.

  3. Just got an ipad, so am thankful for some tips!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog this weekend! I am a new follower!

    1. I love my iPad! It is great in the classroom, too. I did post about a few of my favorite apps here:
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi Erin! Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know about your fabulous post on IPAD apps and Daily 5. These are such helpful tips. Thank you again!!


    I was also excited to discover a blogger from Illinois. I only live a short distance from you in Highland.

  5. Glad to know it was helpful! It is nice to know other bloggers that are close. I completed my undergrad at siue, so I know right where you are. :)