Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Let's talk about how using podcasts in your K-2 classroom can take your student's learning to a whole new level! Engagement is about to go through the roof!
WHY PODCASTS IN THE CLASS?
So WHY podcasts? Why should I use podcasts in my room and what if I don't have 1:1 technology? That answer is simple. Podcasts provide a wide variety of topics for students to choose from and listen to. They provide students with the opportunity to practice listening skills, critical thinking, and they are engaging. Ladies and gentlemen the word choice is key! Providing your students with voice and choice in their learning can help to instantly engage any student. You mean I get to pick what I want to listen to and how I learn best, mind blown!
HOW TO GET STARTED!
Ok not let's talk about HOW to get started! If you have iPads then you more than likely already have the podcast app on your devices. You can choose podcasts for your students and create a library, within the podcast app, that they can choose from.
If you have Chromebooks in your classroom you can access podcasts through the Google Play store!
Probably my favorite, and in my opinion easiest, way for students to access podcasts is through the website www.kidslearn.com. It is SUPER user friendly, you know your students won't ask you 1,849 times how to find one, and it offers a variety of KID FRIENDLY podcasts.
GREAT PODCASTS FOR K-2 STUDENTS
What If World
Tumble Science Podcast for Kids
Curious Kid Podcast
I always start out introducing podcasts whole class. We talk about what a podcast is and how they are going to be allowed to use them during their literacy center time. I choose to introduce podcasts whole class by using the podcast Six Minutes for two reasons.
1. Each episode is (you guessed it) 6 minutes long so their attention span can handle it.
2. It's fictional and easy for the majority of the kids to enjoy!
After a few episodes of listening together I then introduce one of our first podcast graphic organizers that I have my students complete. Illustrate It is a great way for the students to put down on paper what they are visualizing in their head. It's a great soft start for getting your students interested in using podcasts and independent enough that they can complete it without help from you as the teacher. If you are looking for graphic organizers and response sheets for K-2 podcast listeners I have a resource in my TpT store you can check out called Podcasts in the Classroom.
Once your students become used to using podcasts you can begin to introduce more series or even let your students browse the App Store with you to add choices to their podcast library. One thing that I have found very useful is putting a QR and a picture of the podcast on a ring that hangs on an IKEA picture frame. Students are easily able to flip and find the podcast they would like to listen to, scan, and begin!
My recommendation is also to start out small and introduce 2-3 podcasts at a time as well as 2-3 recording sheets that can cover topics for the podcasts you have introduced or picked out for your students to listen to. You can use clear sheet protectors to house your recording sheets or place in drawers for easy grab and go as well!
So if you've been on the fence about starting podcasts my advice to you is TRY! No matter if you teach kindergarten or second grade there are so many podcasts out there for kids that cover a variety of ages and interests! Your students engagement will increase and their ability to choose and guide their own learning will show you how important student choice IS in the classroom!
I've included ILLUSTRATE IT as a FREEBIE for you to have your students use when getting started with podcasts in your classroom!
If you have any questions about getting started with podcasts in your classroom please reach out, I would love to help!