Kindergarten Teacher


iPod Listening Center Setup


This year I will be using an iPod for our listening center (any version of the iPod or an old iPhone will work for this.)  I have over 70 listening centers on CD and I hope moving over to the iPod will help me streamline the process and make my class more independent. The first step is converting all the CD’s to audio files and getting them into my iTunes library. If you read below I have the step-by-step process I used to do this.

Each week I plan to add one set of books to our listening center. This year I will be using wireless headphones from Califone and I will post a review about them after my kids have used them for a few weeks. Since the iPod is connected to the wireless headphone transmitter all four headphones will play the audio from the iPod. After they have their headphones they will open the iPod Music app and search to find the title of the book in our playlist (the playlist only has books.) There are 70 titles as I mentioned so I expect this to be difficult for them at first. As they get practice I know they will learn how to use the book to help them find the correct title in the playlist and hopefully learn about ABC order in the process. Once the story starts they can sit anywhere in the room and listen to the story!

Adding CD’s to iTunes and the iPod! 

Step 1: Open iTunes (without any device plugged in) and go to the music section. On the bottom left click the plus sign to create a new playlist. You can call the playlist whatever you like, I made mine classroom books.


Step 2: Insert a audio book CD. When I do this I get the following pop-up message. Click Yes. If the pop-up doesn’t show up see step 2A

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 9.28.08 PM

Step 2A: If the above step worked skipped this step. If you did not get the message above click import CD instead.


Step 3: Once the CD starts importing I always unchecked all the boxes except the first one. I only wanted the audio with turn the page signals which was the first file on every CD I imported. Some had other files as well. You can decide which files you want to download by checking unchecking them, just do it quickly before they all download. My main reasoning for only keeping one file is so that it would be easier for me to manage in the playlists. After the download was complete I then ejected the CD (red arrow)


Step 4: Add the book you just imported to the playlist you created in step 1. In the main search bar of iTunes (top right) search the book title or author you just downloaded. When found click the small arrow on the right side to get this drop-down box below. Click “Add to” and then click on the name of the playlist you created.


Step 5:Insert a new CD and repeat the process! See step six for syncing iPod once you have all the books imported.

Extra Tip: Two of the CD’s I entered did not have the title of the book automatically imported. This is easy to fix. Go to your playlist and click twice on the name of the book. You will be able to edit the title of any of the books. Also, many of the books had the title plus “with page signals” or other text in the title. I deleted all the that extra to make it easier for my class.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 9.30.31 PM

Step 6: Plug in your iPod or iPhone to sync.

Red Arrow: click the correct device. Black Arrow: click music Blue Arrow: click sync music Green Arrow: click sync selected music Orange Arrow: click the name of the playlist you created Click Sync!



Photo Tour of My Class 2014

The first few pics are taken with the GoPro to get a wide-angle. If you have questions about anything just let me know.


The science shelf. Kids have access to the globe, hand lens, goggles, balance scale and various other tools any time.


We have seven classroom computers and two windows! I would give up the computers before the windows.


This is from the back corner looking towards the doorway


The view from my desk. The table that is closest to the camera is what I use for teacher table


The view from our doorway looking in


Every table in my room is assigned a color. The kids do not have assigned seats or assigned centers the colors just help for organization in general.

image (1)

Math tubs


The panoramic



Using the Calendar Like a Calendar


Last year I wrote about changing the focus of calendar time. The goal was to have the kids actually using the calendar. You can read about that change here.

Using the year-round calendar was a major success in my room. The kids used it daily and we referenced it often. It was common to see a kid counting how many days until the next big event, using the calendar to discuss past events and referencing the calendar in their journal writing. Since they had access to the entire year of dates they were able to use the calendar like adults us it, which is my goal.

If you want to give it a try I have the 2014-2015 file available for download below. As you can see in the picture above I simply cut sticky notes in strips and used those strips to add dates to the calendar on the side. The main reason for not writing directly on the calendar is so the words can be written larger and seen easier.

These calendars go from Aug 2014- July 2015. I display that as one full year.

2014-2015 Word Document

2014-2015 PDF Document




2014 Update: Apps We Use in Kindergarten


RED Links- New Apps to the list

Underlined Apps- What I consider MUST HAVE apps for Kindergarten!


Lego Movie Maker, Aurasma, Venn Diagram, Write About This, Tell About ThisBalloon Stickies, Audioboo, 30hands, Magnetic ABC, Hello Crayon, Pic Stitch, Pic Collage, PicPlayPost Chatterpix Kids, ToontasticFelt BoardLittle Bird TalesEducreationsSock PuppetsStoryBuddy 2, Explain EverythingDoodlecast Pro, Book CreatorStrip DesignerToontastic JrDraw and Tell HDMy StoryPuppet PalsKid in StorySkitch, Popplet


My PlayHomeToca Tea PartyRobot LabWhere’s My WaterToca KitchenSticker WorldLittle Things

Books: I started using the iPad as a listening center, here are my all time favorite books…

Collins Big Cat Books, Monster at the End of the BookDr Seuss ABCCat in The HatGreen Eggs and HamGo Away Big Green MonsterThree Little PigsThe Kissing HandThree Little GatorsThe LoraxGroovy Story of Tortoise and HareCountry Mouse City MouseTeddy’s NightMiko Goes on VacationThe Chalk Box Story

Apps for all areas:

Teach Me KFeed MeJumpstart PrePirate Phd, Princess Phd, Teach Me 1st Grade

Letter ID/Letter Sound:

Touch and Write, All About Letters, AR Flashcards,  Starfall ABCIntro to LettersInteractive AlphabetLetter of the DayAlphabetimalsAlphabet TracingEndless AlphabetLetter SchoolAlpha TotsMontessori Letter SoundsAlpha MazeFlashCardsAlien Buddies, Wet Dry Try

Letter ID/Phonics/Word Work/Writing:

Alpha WriterSpell AnimalsSound SortingPhonics Fun ( I use phonics fun 1-4), Letter SoundsABC Magic 5Cimo SpellingMonkey WordWord WonderlandSentence BuilderWord BingoFlashcard Maker


My Incredible Body, Google Earth, Brainpop Jr, AR Space DinopediaPlants HDPocket Zoo,  Barefoot World AtlasStack the StatesABC Mouse (Set 1-3)World Book Animals, InstaWeather Pro


Todo Time, Todo MathRWT Timeline, Maths Toolbox, MathDoodles, Base Ten Math, Adding and Subtracting, MyScript Calculator, Blokify Intro to MathHungry FishCounting BoardMath BingoPattern Recognition K, Math MagicLet’s Make ShapesSimple SortHaiku DeckNative NumbersMarble Math JrMonkey MathSplash Math KNumber MazeTallyTotsMontessori Number BoardGeoboardiSequencesHungry Guppy,


Tynker,  Daisy The DinosaurHopscotchMove the Turtle


colAR Mix,, iLuv Draw AnimalsGaragebandDrawing PadMoMA Art LabKid ArtEverything Butt ArtiLuv Drawing DinosaursWhiteboard,

BONUS: iPad Management Resources:

75 Resources for Management and Setup

Introducing Apps to the Class

Turning A Website Into An App Icon

Puffin App,

Using Flash Website on the iPad

iPad Headphones ,

Regulating Yelling with an App


GoNoodle Gets Kids Moving!


Do you GoNoodle? I shared about this wonderful free website over at WeAreTeachers. Click the link or picture to read more about it.



20 Great FREE Apps for Elementary


The video below is from a webinar with Region 10 where I discuss FREE apps. This is one topic in a series of hangouts I will be doing with Region 10. You can see the full schedule here. I hope you enjoy the presentation and will check out the other topics!

Watch the Video Presentation Here: Includes a brief intro to each app

The apps in the presentation are listed below…
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