Saturday, September 7, 2013

Are the kids even listening?

It all happened on Thursday.  
The class was quiet,
looking at me
and ready to hear the next set of directions.
 "What I need you to do is go to your desk,
take out your writing journal
and put the date at the top."  
I called on Kid A to repeat the directions.  
He didn't know them.  
So I called on Kid B.  
He didn't know them.  
Neither did Kid C, D or E.  
Finally, Kid F knew what to do.  
So I went back to Kid A
so he could repeat the directions
now that he heard them again.  
He didn't know them!  
Neither did Kid B!
Kid C did!  
Sooo I went back to Kid B a third time
and he knew them!!!  
Listening is something we are really going to work on.  
I wanted to share a few things
I'm trying and some new ideas for this upcoming week.
#1 - The above scenario is one listening technique
I use often.
Call on a kid for an answer.
If they don't know,
move on until you find someone who
does know the answer.
Then go back to everyone who missed
the answer and they have to
give the correct answer.
#2 - Tell your partner the directions.
I'm going to try this next week.
After I give directions,
I'm going to have everyone get up
and tell their partner the directions.
I'll give everyone a partner ahead of time.
Maybe we will keep the partners for a week or two.
I know it will take a minute for everyone
to get up and talk, but I think
my kids will like the movement.
#3 - Say the directions once.
Our students (and even my own kids)
are used to everything being said numerous times.
Try saying it once.
As all of this was happening last week,
I received this article in my email.
Perfect timing!
Check it out.
There are a few other ideas.
Sometimes a new seating arrangement can help.
I try to get the non-listeners to the front.
Ryan agrees with the idea!
Hey girl, you really rocked that new seating arrangement - way to separate the talkers.
So tell me,
how do you make sure everyone is listening?


  1. This is just what I needed to read as I start the beginning of the year. I also tend to ask students until they can know, then go back and have the students who didn't know, repeat the answer. I am so used to repeating myself, do I dare try the just say it once trick?

    Love to Learn

  2. I love the Hey Girl posters with Ryan! He's one of my faves! I like having the students pair up to check for understanding because it holds them accountable. Thanks for sharing. I try to give written directions as often as possible and also checklists for them to make sure they are on track with classroom responsibilities.
    A Teaspoon of Teaching

  3. Haha! I had this happen during the week too - I am sure they weren't listening - then we did an activity and they all cut it out wrong - they didn't watch and listen!!!!!!!!!!!!! It happens to everyone......

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

  4. I like how you return to the kids who didn't listen in the first place and make them repeat what they should have heard the first time. I read this in the book "Teach Like A Champion." See - you're a real champion! Good post and ideas!

  5. I had that problem with my class last year. It was constant. This year, I had them back for the first week, so I tried Class/Yes and Teach/Okay from Whole Brain Teaching with them. It worked like a charm. The feedback from the kids confirmed it. They said that they listened better, and that they didn't get interrupted as much.
    I get my new kids tomorrow. I am definitely going to use WBT with them.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom
    Diamond Mom's Treasury