My Secret On How To Make Listening Fun

My Secret On How To Make Listening Fun by A Word On Third

I'm going to level with you. This time of year, listening can be really difficult in my room! I am not a fan of repeating myself, but it's easy for me to fall into this trap. Then kids listen even less! Do you struggle with the same thing? 

I'm going to share my super practical, super easy, and super effective tip for getting kids to listen in class. I break this out whenever I feel my kids are going to have a difficult time... which is often when the end of the year is right around the corner! The more I use it, the calmer I am. Plus... it's fun!

I got this idea from Responsive Classroom. Many RC teachers use this in their morning meetings, but I've pushed it out into the rest of the day. It's simple... when you need kids to listen, tell them they are going to play a game called "Who Remembers?" After the speaker is finished talking, ask them if they remember certain details of what was shared. THAT IS ALL. YOU HAVE. TO. DO. 

Let's say you want kids to learn about each other during Morning Meeting and the kids share an activity they did over the weekend. Before they share, tell them you'll play who remembers afterwards. After everyone shares, you might ask what a particular student did over the weekend and see who remembers. You might also ask who remembers the student who participated in a specific activity. When you make a little game out of things for your kids, life is just more fun. Plus, you're practicing important speaking a listening skills.

Here are some times I like to play "Who Remembers?" in my classroom:
  • During a Morning Meeting Share
  • When giving important directions
  • When I want someone to re-tell the gist of a mini-lesson
  • When the class shares their learning during the closure portion of a lesson
  • During the connection/hook portion of a lesson if I want students to remember previous learning to start of the day
  • After students participate in a turn-and-talk (They can share their partners idea.)
  • Before a read-aloud (This can be a fun way to re-tell and rev up your brain for reading.)

You can vary how you play. You might not always tell students they will be playing "Who Remembers?" Either way, the more joyful and excited you are and the more you positively reinforce their learning behaviors, the better the game will be. However, because you've held students accountable for remembering, they are naturally more inclined to try harder to listen. If a student remembers incorrectly, that's OK. They can ask for help! It's not about embarrassing someone--it's about the kids taking ownership of what they hear and learn.

I hope this strategy helps you! When are you going to try this tip? Comment below!

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