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Do you wish you had a listening center but can’t afford the expense that comes along with purchasing the books and CDs that you need to have one? Ugh. Why does everything have to COST MONEY? And guess who is usually footing the bill….yes. Us. The poor, starving teachers of the world. Woe is me.

I digress.

But did you know you can use the books you have to create your OWN listening center? Yep! You can record your own readings of any book you have in your library for your kiddos to follow along. It’s even way cooler to have “mystery readers” record the readings to see if the kiddos can figure out who it is. Mr. Glenn is a popular choice in my room {the hubs}, even though he frequently tries to protest recordings with the lame “I can’t read” excuse. You could have the principal read, specials teachers, even parents can do this from home — it’s that easy!

So all you do is choose a book to read. Record yourself reading using your smartphone {I personally like to also record the actual book as I read along} and upload it to YouTube. My advice is to record someplace that is well-lit and quiet. You don’t need Olivia coming in annoucing that she has to go number two while you are recording a reading of The Kissing Hand. {Note: you can even skip this step if you don’t have time to record and just search YouTube for read alouds. There are literally a million read alouds on YouTube!}Once you have it on YouTube, you get the link and take it into SafeShare is a really good resource for teachers to use because it allows kiddos to view videos without the fear of them seeing stuff that would embarrass my grandma. YouTube is horrible, even if the “Parental Controls” are set. Whose parents are these, anyway?!

Once you are in SafeShare, you just bring in your YouTube link It literally could not be any easier. All you do is paste your link right on the home page where it says {you guessed it!} “Paste a

YouTube or Vimeo link”. Then click “Generate SafeView”. Dude, if I can do this — anyone can! I promise. Once your video is uploaded, you just hit “Submit” and the video automatically pops up. If you scroll down to the bottom, you will see a sharable link. Copy it. 

Now you will need to choose a QR code generator {I use this one, but any will do}. Follow the steps to generate your QR code and ta-da! You have a QR code that you can use in your classroom! If you have PowerPoint, you can make cute little QR code cards for kiddos to scan. You can included these as a center, post them around the room, or use them in dessert tubs! My team has been talking about doing a ReadBox this summer and making a cute version of “RedBox”  and hanging the QR codes on the box that we make. How cute would that be!? I include a small snippet of the book on the bottom of each QR code, just so it’s east to keep organized.

That’s it! Now you can use your iPads, old SmartPhones, or even old iPods to listen to the stories. We have iPads that we can use, but this next school year, I am going to shamelessly beg for old phones or iPods for our listening center. Won’t hurt, and I definitely ain’t too proud to beg.

Hope this helped! Happy Scanning! If you have questions, leave a comment! I’m sure someone else has the same question!


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