Listening to Reading with QR Codes (AKA: That time I felt techie)

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

First of all… I have a TON of books on CDs.  This picture is about 5 years old.  This bin is currently bulging (not unlike my jeans) and I have 2 more just like it!  I can’t seem to pass up them up so I BUY! BUY! BUY!

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

In the past, I have always gone “old school.”  NOTE:  I grew up in the age of 8 track tapes, so CDs are still new technology in my book.  

I used to have a fancy listening center set up until it died.  I just bought a CD player from Wal-Mart and went headphone-less!  I added paint dots to the play and stop buttons and it worked BEAUTIFULLY!  I no longer had students blowing their eardrums out!  Life was grand!

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

However, due to my hoarding behaviors, I wanted to offer more choice for students in the listening center.

Listening Center QR Codes to the Rescue!

So I set my sights on converting my CD’s to QR codes.  Here is how I did it.  First I burned the CD to my computer.  I just uploaded the file that had the page turning signals onto my hard drive.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

Once this was on my computer, I needed to convert the file to an MP3 file (FYI…all Greek to me).  I used a website called Online-Convert.com.  I know there are lots of options to use, but I just used this free site.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

I uploaded the file.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

Then I selected the file conversion format.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

After that… I just saved it to my Google Drive.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

Are you still with me?   THEN I grabbed the share link from the file I wanted to use to make the QR code.

You just paste the link in the first box… then download the QR code.  NOTE:  The code will become an image that you will also save to your computer.  I just made one file folder on my computer to hold them all.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

FINALLY!  I made labels for my books!

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

I used AVERY 18163 labels.  I saved the labels in case they get damaged (I also added the title to the labels).

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

NOW they are ready to use!  THIS is the QR reader I used for my IOS devices.

I know this seems like a lot of steps, but I converted about 20 books in about 20 minutes… so it does not take a ton of time.  This is a good T.V. watching activity.

A few notes about using Google Drive… Please only share the code with your class… vs a school-wide or grade-level wide share.   These CDs are intended for a single classroom use.  It would break the copywriter’s terms of use to do otherwise.  Authors and artists work hard, so their work should be honored.  (I know you know this… but I felt compelled to say it out loud).

Now I have a basket full of handy books that students can scan and listen to!

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

I found this really cool pocket chart for the earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link).

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

Response Pages

I like to add a student response page to the book.  My friend and I have created a gazillion over the years.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is from our Back to School Set.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

Here are a few from our retired sets.  If you click HERE you can see all of the sets we have so far!

With each book, we try to include a variety of activities that work for kindergarten and first grade such as, work word, sentence word, and response pages.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

Where do we get our books?

I have always been a big fan of Scholastic Book Clubs, so we order their monthly listening center sets.  This year we are using the See Saw catalog again.

Here is the only thing… Once that month’s catalog on Scholastic is retired, you usually can’t get the books together in one set.  In other words, once the ship has sailed, you are left at the dock!

Therefore, all of our retired sets go into a half-priced status once the year is passed.  Chances are, you already have these books and CDs.  You can see these sets HERE and do a little search for the title.

We have started the 2017-2018 bundled set…so those books are still available in Scholastic’s See Saw catalog.  You can see those HERE.

Of course, another option is for you to record yourself reading one of the books using a voice recording application on your phone.

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

Ok… this concludes this episode of “That time Deedee felt techie!”  

QR Code Listening Center! See how I turned my kindergarten listening station into an iPad and digital center! Responding to literature activities, word work, and sentence work included! Great for listening to reading Daily 5!

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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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47 Responses

  1. I so need to work on this!! I have been working on converting my tapes/CDs to mp3! Thank you for sharing how to manage this!!

    1. Gwen, can you share how you are converting tapes to MP3 files? I need to know… 🙂 then I can work on the system DeeDee shared!

  2. Thank you! I was just brainstorming ways to convert my Scholastic CDs to QR codes!! This is perfect!

    1. I had 2 iPads in my class, but you could use old iPhones. They just need to be connected to wifi. They don’t need a service plan… so I used a REALLY old one!

      1. I was going to ask the same thing! So an old iPhone wll work? Without a service plan? I had no idea. I have 6 iPads……. we use them for our math curriculum. Hmmmm I’m gonna tackle this over Thanksgiving break!

  3. So I am reeeeeallly old school- I have tons of cassettes! This is the year- I am using them or ditching them. Have you ever used a cassette to MP3 converter? My thought was the same- make QRs once I have them as MP3s.

    1. No! I have not, but I have heard of people doing it. I have NO IDEA how to do it though!!!! Keep me posted on your progress! #goals

    2. I too have many many books with tapes! I would be interested in collaborating with you to see if we can figure this out. Hopefully 2 brains really are better than 1. Let me know if you are nterested.

    1. My co-worker hipped me to QR Codes but, I wasn’t very interested in them 2 years ago. You have given me an explicit way to utilize QR Codes with my reading response activities in my reading listening center. I am inspired. I am in Beaumont, Texas right now we are flooded in & The First Day of school is delayed; so, I am researching ways to improve the functioning of my classroom. You have a wonderful talent for helping us to develop ways to facilitate and manage our classrooms, I am grateful. . .

  4. What a smart idea, Deedee!! I brought home all of my books and CD’s during preplanning, because I was running out of space and the clutter was really getting to me!! I’m going to get working on this and have some books ready for next week!! You’re more techie then you think, girl! 🙂
    Have a great weekend!

  5. When I put the MP3 in google docs and the QR is created, it makes me sign in. Is there a way to avoid this?

    1. SORRY DINA! I just saw this comment. I think this is an easy fix. You just have to make sure you “share” the link. SO after you add it to Google Drive, you will want to:

      ~Right click on the item
      ~Click on the icon that has the person with the + sign (it says “share…”)
      ~That will open a new box. In the top right-hand corner, it will say “Get Sharable Link”. Click on that.
      That is the URL you will want to use to create your QR code.

      Let me know how that works.
      [email protected]

  6. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been needing for the last 2 years of my life! I too, have a hoarding issue with CDs and tapes and wanted to find a way to get my kiddos more options. Can not wait to get this started!!! You are the best!

  7. So glad I found your blog! I’m new to First Grade and desperately need a Listening Center. I don’t have any books on tapes or cds. Do I have to buy those first and convert them or is there a way around that? Thank you!
    Allison

    1. Hi there!

      Yes, I buy all my book/CD set on Scholastic through their book clubs. They are so much cheaper and you can get them with points!

  8. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing the tutorial! I used to burn and copy the file to my phone, but when I listen to music, the listening files are always added to playlist. Upload the file to the cloud and use the QR code will solve this problem.

  9. I am so excited! Brought home a stack of books to work on over the weekend. How do you print the QR codes onto the labels? I am not seeing an option to print. I printed a few, but it was one per page. Don’t want to waste all that paper.

    Thanks, Rhonda

    1. Hi there! The QR codes are saved as an image. Then I opened a word document template which matched the labels I had purchased. I just pasted the images on the labels that I bought… print and WAH! LA!

  10. I would get major points from my principal if I managed to do this successfully. She’s big into techology! 🙂

  11. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing the tutorial! I used to burn and copy the file to my phone, but when I listen to music, the listening files are always added to playlist. Upload the file to the cloud and use the QR code will solve this problem.

  12. Hello. I LOVE this idea! Does a whole group of students listen to one phone or is it just one student at that “center”? Is the phone volume loud enough or do they use headphones?

    Thanks!
    Angela

    1. No headphones at all. They just keep the volume low. It was always funny, sometimes when they turned it on, it would be super loud for a second. The entire class would whip their heads around to look at me. BUT the 3 years I went headphone-less was the BEST!

  13. I love this idea! I’m a first-year teacher and have very few books on CD, but to extend your idea, I can simply use an app and record myself reading any books I want, upload the file to Google Drive and turn it into a QR code–yeah!!!

    1. There is a picture in the blog post that shows the QR code is put on a label and placed on the back of the book. Then, you can see I put the book and the response pages in a Ziplock bag. Then when I am ready to add it to my center rotation, it is ready to go! 🙂

  14. Hello! I followed all the steps and saved on my google drive. The issue I am running into is that when I can it on a smartphone – it is asking for my google drive password. What option do I choose on the QR site?

    Thank you!

  15. Thank you! Do your students have to sign in to your google drive each time they listen to a story? When I scan the QR code I have to sign in with my email and my password. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Hi. Thank you for this but I’m stuck and hope you can help. How do I save it to the google drive? Every step before this has gone smoothly but the “save to google drive” step has me stumped. Thank you.

  16. Help!!! I can not get my tech department’s help on doing this. (I will do all the work but need certain websites unblocked). I keep getting told to convert the cds I have purchased through Scholatic is a copyright infringement. I was told since the district didn’t purchase them, I can’t do it. Anyone know where I can find legal information to prove my point?

    1. I don’t. I’m sorry.

      I wish I could advise you. I believe the purchase of the CD is intended for single classroom usage. If you could show that the drive was secure, just for you, I think you would be in compliance. If you contact Scholastic (or the place you purchased them) they might be able to help you.

  17. Thank you for sharing this! It’s fantastic, just what I needed for my listening center.

  18. I decided to do this this year knowing that all of my kids can’t share the same C.D. player! This is so great! I plan to just have students use hand sanitizer/wash their hands before using the book!

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