In Daily Five, we are following what research tells us are the best activities to have children become successful readers. Almost all of the students have built up their stamina to 20 minutes in the activity we call 'Read to Self' and most are ready to add another activity to their repertoire. I have brought four IPod Touch into the classroom. This is the reason that a set of earphones/earbuds was on their school supply list. Using the wonderful gift certificates that I received last year, I have put a variety of stories onto the devices and the students are listening to the story as they follow along with a very motivational tool in the classroom.
I have also brought in a device called "Play-away" that can be signed out through our own public library. Basically it is a device that has a story pre-recorded onto it, and by adding a battery and headphones/earbuds, it too becomes a listening device. While some students are doing 'Read to Self' others are 'Listening to Reading'. Once the entire program is up and running, the students will begin to make daily choices on which 3 of the 5 activities they will participate in each day. Most often, I will be directing them based on their own individual needs that I will be assessing for (that's the whole assessment FOR learning aspect that I am sure that you have heard about!)