Listening Station

Listening Center

UDL 1.3 UDL 3.3

A Listening Station is a center-based engagement strategy in which students listen to an audio recording (e.g., of a book, speech, other educational videos) in order to increase reading fluency and deepen comprehension through auditory processing. A Listening Station contains equipment to play audio files (e.g., tape or CD player, iPod, iPad, sets of headphones) and a variety of texts. A teacher first establishes a routine by modeling and reinforcing expectations for participating at a Listening Station. After, students use the Listening Station independently (e.g., individually, with a partner, or a small group). This strategy supports students through auditory, kinesthetic and visual input.

Implementation Tips

Prepare a Listening Station by designating a quiet spot in the classroom with equipment to play audio files and the materials students will need to work independently, such as labels for equipment or table dividers to partition students and minimize distractions.
Developing a Listening Station
Develop a rich audio library by pre-recording readings of classroom library books and other popular texts. While recording audio files, read texts at a natural pace, acknowledge punctuation, and use a storyteller’s voice (e.g., change intonation). Save or label each recording with the text’s title for easy student reference.
Pre-plan if students will access the station individually, in partnerships, or in small groups. Pairings should be strategic so that there is minimal need for teacher redirection during station use. Provide [[ | audio splitters ]] so that students can listen simultaneously.
Model how to properly access and use the materials at the Listening Station as well as how to clean up. Provide students with routine reminders before using the station and follow-up reminders when finished (e.g., “Remember to place headphones neatly on top of the books so that the wires don’t get damaged.”).
Selecting Texts
Select a variety of texts to feature at the station that are of high interest to students. Make sure the station is outfitted with multiple paired texts and recordings to keep students productive throughout the activity (e.g., many stories will not last the length of the center time).
Student Reflections
Create an assignment for students to complete after listening to a text at the station, such as a [[ | book recommendation follow-up activity ]] and provide enough copies so that each student can complete the assignment for each audio clip accessed.
Building Routines
Combine the Listening Station with other station activities, such as Morning, Literacy or Word Study Stations and create a simple schedule for students to regularly use the station by creating small groups that will rotate through the station each day of the week.


Building Reading Comprehension
After a shared reading lesson where a Kindergarten teacher models how to retell a story using “quick sketch” sequencing (e.g., illustrating on a tri-folded paper what happened first, next, and last in each column), the teacher has students practice retelling by creating their own “quick sketches” of the books they hear at a Listening Station. The teacher reminds students how to use station materials and then students independently choose books out of a bin and select the paired recording of each text saved on an iPad. As students complete retells, the teacher reviews student sketches to monitor for understanding.
Making Content Accessible
While learning about Colonial America, a 5th Grade teacher creates a Listening Station to support students with reading and analyzing content on an instructional level with guidance. First, the teacher pre-records transcripts of articles about individuals on the Mayflower, such as Scholastic’s [[ | First Mate ]] or [[ | Ship’s Cooper ]]. Next, the teacher explains to the class how to use the information they hear to take notes about what life was like in the past. As students participate in the Listening Station, they have the ability to pause the recording to highlight or add notes to printed copies of the text as ideas develop.

Related Strategies