Use code SAVE20 for 20% off everything!
Close this search box.
Close this search box.

mp3 Listening Center and Reading Response Form – FREEBIE!

We do the Daily 5 in my classroom.
(Well, if I’m being perfectly honest, until recently it was just the Daily 3 – Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Work on Writing).

About a month ago, my kiddos were finally ready to take on their fourth Daily 5 activity: Listen to Reading.
I don’t use tapes or CDs in my classroom Listening Center. Actually, I don’t even have a central location for listening. My students use mp3 players. I love how they don’t take up very much space, are a current form of technology, are portable, and many mp3 players are very affordable to purchase.  I have a set of five mp3 players in my classroom. I use the SanDisk Sansa Clip Model (only $29 each from To manage the audio files on my computer and load them onto the mp3 players, I use Windows Media Player. It’s a free download from Microsoft.

Use mp3 player for classroom listening center
SanDisk Sansa Clip Model


Implementing new procedures, training students on the equipment, and finding and a fair way to share five pieces of equipment in a classroom of 20 students proved to be relatively simple.

The whole class learned the behavior for Listening to Reading at the same time.
Here are my classroom rules/procedures for Listen to Reading.
General rules: <
Sit at your desk.
Take your book box with you.
No talking.

1. Listen to the story
2. Complete the Listening Response Paper
3. If you finish early and have extra time, listen to the story again or read books from your box.

Lily's purple plastic purse
I adore this book


We reviewed all of these rules every day for a week. At the end of the procedure review,  five students were chosen each day to listen to reading while the rest of the class either met with me for Guided Reading or did other Daily 5 Activities. The mp3 players are very simple equipment to use. Most students just need to be shown how to work the equipment 1-2 times and then they are experts. Initially, I provided individual instruction to these students after the class settled into their Daily 5 spots. Student had to have the book out and headphones on before I would show them how to work the mp3 players. It is literally a matter of pushing two buttons to turn on the mp3 player and begin the story so I only needed to speak with each student for about 15 seconds. It has gone sooooooo smoothly.

By the end of the first week, each student had an opportunity do Listen to Reading with the mp3 players. The following week, I prepared a new story children to enjoy during our Daily 5 time. Many students could already use the mp3 players independently!

creative ideas for mp3 players in the classroom
Books, mp3 players, and headphones
are stored together in Ziploc bags


I created this very simple Listen To Reading Response Sheet. It’s perfect for Kindergarteners just getting started with the process. And did I mention that IT’S FREE!?!?!?! Click the image to download your free copy.
Free reading response form for kindergarten students
If you want students to be completely independent with the Reading Response Sheet, play an audiobook for the whole class and introduce the worksheet ahead of time. I did this the week before I introduced the mp3 players.  Doing so provided me with an opportunity to thoroughly explain the instructions, allowed students to become familiar with the assignment, and it was one less thing for me to explain while I was trying to establish procedures for Listen to Reading.

Share This Post:


Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

Leave a Comment

27 Responses

  1. I’ve been thinking about doing this! Can you explain a little more, please? Do you transfer the stories from CD’s on to your computer? If not, how do you do it? Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can transfer CDs to your computer. I use Windows Media Player to rip the CDs. I actually have a future post planned with instructions! Stay tuned!

    2. Me again! I don’t want to risk the possibility of publicly violating copyright so I’ll just give you quickie directions. You need to download Windows Media Player on your PC. After it is downloaded and installed, insert an audio CD in your computer. After about 5 seconds, a little box will pop up asking what you want to do with the CD. “Rip CD to Computer Using Windows Media Player” should be pre-selected on the list. Click that option and you’ll be good to go! I hope this helps!

  2. What a great idea! I bet I could get parents to donate a 29 dollar thing to my classroom. I never thought of that. They might even record a reading of guided reading books using Audacity. How fun would that be? Thanks for stopping by. I am going to be your newest follower!

    1. Hi Colleen,
      $29 is such a bargain isn’t it? I’m sure parents would love to purchase an inexpensive piece of technology for the classroom. As for making your own recordings, I have more info coming soon! I’m so glad you’re a follower!

  3. Hello!!! Thanks for your comment on my blog today! I am your newest follower and a fellow TBTS’er too! I do have a listening center and I love your free paper you created, it is perfect for what I am looking for! I also work for a religious school, so I look forward to what you have on your blog! Please consider also following my blog!
    seabear’s kindergarten

  4. I have used my iPod for this before. I actually bought a headphone splitter for my own children to use in the car & now use it in my classroom for this purpose. They all can sit together and listen to the same story at the same time. Then it is only necessary to purchase one device!

  5. Thank you so much for linking up to my technology kinky! It looks like we have similar systems. I love using the mp3s!


  6. I love your listening center response sheet! It’s exactly what my kiddos need! But, your site says that it’s a freebie and when I click to download, it keeps getting me to subscribe to “scribd”. I’m not too familiar with that and they want me to pay :/ Any way you could email it to me?

    1. Hi Brandy, Thanks for letting me know about the download issue. I have updated the link as a Google Doc. You should be able to download it without any trouble now.

    1. Hi Jimmie, thanks for your patience! I updated the blog post with links to the same type of headphones I use in class. I LOVE Califone headphones. They fit my students permanently, are lightweight, and durable. I hope this helps!

    2. Thank you for responding so quickly! When investing in items for the classroom, durability and function are at the top of my list. Advice and reviews from others rate high with me!

  7. Great ideas!! I really like the printout!
    Be sure to check your local office supply stores and electronic stores on Black Friday, I was able to buy 7 mp3 players clearanced out for $3.00 each at a office supply store. I have voice recorded over 250 of my picture books for my third graders to have for listening to reading. They love it!!

  8. Maria, I started Daily 5 this year and we’ve used MP3 players like you described. I started out just collecting different cheap players just to try and get started. It was an up and down experience with problems with keeping players charged, children not being able to use them, etc. Do you find the Sandisk players easy for K5 and sturdy enough? I looked at them and wondered if they were too small. I thought about iPod Shuffles but then there’s the problem of recordings and Apple software. I’m trying to decide how to use my money to invest in tech for next year.

    Donna Williams

  9. Hey Maria. I was wondering how the MP3 players held up. I am considering investing in these but do not want to spend my own money if these will not stand up to Kinder kids. Thanks!

  10. Thanks for your insight into Daily 5 Listening Centers. I am hoping to start Daily 5 in my classroom this year and I was really struggling to find a resource for the Listen to Reading task. Also, thanks for the freebie!

  11. It’s been a few years since the last comment on this thread. Have any updates been made to your Listen to Reading “stations?” I’m just to the point of being ready to take the leap and want to know if anyone has current suggestions for audio devices, recording software, etc. biggest bang for the buck! I have a Chromebook station in the classroom, had been using, but now cannot use student accounts due to privacy issues. Seems like a blessing in disguise. This way, the Chromebooks can be used for other tech uses, while smaller, more portable and less expensive mp3 devices can be utilized by even more students during those independent work times. I’m also going to search your blog… thanks in advance for insight and for the freebie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


You Might Also Like

Classroom Decor
Classroom Decor
Subject Areas
Subject Areas
Resource Type
Resource Type
Special Days

Shop on Teachers Pay Teachers