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PocketChart/Listening Center...a compromise!

Two of my least favorite centers are pocketchart and listening. (I know, I know....don't stone me.....) I think there are great activities for both but they often seem to be overwhelming for the kiddos.

PocketChart center tends to get boring...(sorry it can) and Listening center doesn't provide enough for them to do. So I compromised! I put these centers together.....

I have a little nook for my PocketChart center.

In this center kids can do the normal things: match student names and pictures, sort words and names into how many letters they have, how many vowels and consonants, syllables, etc.

Here is my fun twist! I placed a stereo with headphones. I love nursery rhymes and I find kids in 1st and 2nd grade have a hard time recognizing them. So I spend extra time in kinder with nursery rhymes. (They are great for oral language, vocabulary, and retelling).

Each week we read a nursery rhyme, discuss it, act it out, etc. I have a CD with funky versions of many different nursery rhymes on it. My FABULOUS friend, Sherry, recorded each nursery rhyme song on a blank CD 3 times.  I have 1 nursery rhyme song on a CD by itself (so kids cannot just listen to whatever). The kids love ROCKIN' out to the nursery rhyme each week.

But....that's not all. As the kids listen to the nursery rhyme they are busy coloring, cutting, and making a sequence book that correlates to the nursery rhyme. They can use the pocketchart to sequence the pictures and retell the story before stapling it (with a non-staple stapler of course).

PocketChart center is now a BIG FAVORITE in my room!

Have you ever tried combining a couple of centers to provide more flexibility and choice? Let's discuss below :0)


  1. Cute idea Jeannie! I too think nursery rhymes and poems are important.
    Conversations in Literacy

  2. I am going to share this with my K teachers. This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    Thinking Out Loud

  3. Thanks Lori!! I was always amazed (when I taught 1st and 2nd) how many kids didn't know common nursery rhymes. I remember saying....."their kinder teacher must not have taught them.....:0) so I think that sticks in the back of my mind :0)

  4. Thanks jana!! I love how this center now get so many great literacy activities rolled into one. The kids love having the choice of doing word sorting activities or listening and making a sequence book.... It is a definite hit! I wished I had thought of it sooner :0)

  5. ooooo . . . I love the idea of them being active while listening. My kiddos know how to pause so I was thinking after reading your post that they could stop and check for understanding or stop and respond after a certain part . . . EXCELLENT! :)

    Second Grade Math Maniac

  6. Hey, I love your blog! I'm your newest follower. Since moving to kindergarten this year after teaching 1st grade, listening center has been rather difficult!! Argh!! Thanks for your post!

    The Daily Alphabet

  7. Angela - Welcome to Kindergarten and the Kindergarten Lifestyle!! I am glad you found this blog!!

    I also taught 1st grade before coming to kinder.....(In fact, I've taught 1st and 2nd)..... It is such a change. But kinder is my Favorite!!

  8. Cute ideas! Isn't it amazing (and sad!) how few nursery rhymes they know these days?

  9. Lisa - I know what you mean.... And it's even more sad when you can guess which kids will and will not know them before you introduce them......

    I remember teaching 2nd grade and I'd read one and they'd look at me like they never heard it before....that is what makes me so determined to do it now as a kinder teacher - not to mention nursery rhymes are so great for so many literacy skills!

  10. I teach 1st grade and I recently combined my pocket chart and writing centers for the same reason. The kids just seem to get so bored in those centers so quickly. Great idea! Thanks! I also love your center chart with the pictures of each child! I will definitely be doing that this year.