Classroom Management Ideas

Listening Skills

1. I went to my local public library and found copies of old radio shows. I took home numerous tapes from the original "Lone Ranger" radio program and developed lessons around the content of those tapes. The students were fascinated with them and soon they were listening intently, waiting for the next clue that would help them find the answers to my questions. Some students went on to develop their own radio adventures!

2. Another tactic that I have found to be successful comes from a series called Critical Thinking: Following Directions. (Midwestern Publications) The exercises have the teacher read a series of steps that the kids must do ion order to create a drawing similar to the one described in the book. They must follow the directions precisely in order for their drawing to be correct. As most children love competition, (and drawing ability is NOT a factor), they really took to this in grades two-four.

3. Similar to the above, I have cut out several geometric shapes, placed them in sip-lock bags and distributed them to each student. Working with a partner, one student places the shapes onto a piece of white construction paper, and describes as accurately as he can, the exact placement of each of the individual piece. The other student tries to do what the first partner is stating and they see if they can make their "pictures" match. I use a vertically folder piece of white construction paper so the "describer" can keep his "picture" out of view as he talks to his partner. This is a lot of fun and you will find that you can vary this activity numerous ways - even tying it into geometry, learning shapes, measuring matter, etc.
Submitted by: Jane Carlson-Pickering, M.I. Smart! Program Coordinator

Do you have ideas to to help with listening skills? Let us know!

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