Do you have problems with your students communicating with one another? So often, I feel like a translator between my students "Johnny…Billy said he wants the markers." I get so frustrated that my students will not listen to one another on their own!
So we decided to target the skill of listening in my classroom last year. We introduced the unit with having the students sort pictures of people who look like they are listening versus people who are not listening. We focused on people making eye contact with the other person.
Next we practiced our "listening face." I would show them what a good listener looks like step by step.
1. Sit up straight
2. Hands to yourself (folded nicely in your lap or on the table)
3. Eyes on the person you are listening to (usually me to begin with).
Once we could all "put on our listening faces," we started playing The Listening Game.
1. For this game, one person is in charge (the game show host) and has to pick one question (i.e. What's your favorite snack?).
2. The game show host goes around the group (we usually play sitting in a circle or at a table) and asks each person the same question.
3. Once everyone has been asked the question, the game show host begins to quiz each kid on the other kids' answers. For instance "Johnny, what is Billy's favorite snack?"
4. The child has to have listened to his peers so that he can remember how they answered the question. When the child answers correctly, everyone says "ding ding ding" and if they answer incorrectly, everyone one makes a buzzer sound "eeehhhhhh."
At first, only a couple kids were paying attention, but with praise, practice, and rewards (for the winners), pretty much everyone in the class caught on! Now to see if this can generalize to our day to day life!