Saturday, September 6, 2014

Stop! Collaborate & Listen!

Stop, collaborate and listen. Ice is back with a bran new invention....Ok, Vanilla Ice might not be here with a brand new invention but I have a few ideas on working on those listening skills.

I don't know about your students but I have a few first grade students struggling with listening, especially when it comes to directions. Really? First graders don't listen 24/7??? I know! But we all know that on those BIG standardized tests a huge component is listening. Good listening ability is essential for learning.  In our classroom many of our weekly tests have listening components and we do have CC State Standard listening standards.
I wanted to find fun and engaging ways to challenge their listening capabilities and get them on the path to hanging on my every last word.....ok I am joking about that last part. But hey if that works...I'm bringing these home to my husband! 

I have developed a short and fun activity that I hope will help keep those little ears listening......

I call it...Listen Up! I give each of my students a sheet from the packet. Some of the pages have a picture and lines for writing, others just have pictures. When you open the freebie below you will get a better understanding. I did not include directions because I really just wing it. :) I then begin giving prompts.....color the cat black, draw a heart to the left of the cat, color the heart purple, write 2 doubles facts on the left side of the cat, write two short a words above the cat...and so on. The students are reviewing past skills and strategies while also being exposed to more vocabulary. 

                                                              click here to download

In the past I have played those old school games like Simon Says or Teacher Says in the hall or while waiting for an assembly to begin, played telephone and red light, green light. During real alouds, if there is a repetitive word or phrase we all shout it out together or I might choose a student at random to say the word/phrase. The "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed" series is great for this. 

It is also important to get kids talking about listening, being accountable for their listening skills, discussing what a good listener looks like and why it is important. I try to have an anchor chart where we discuss what a good listener looks like....I found this one on Pinterest, it is from The First Grade Parade. She used the book Lacy Walker, Nonstop Talker by Christianne C. Jones to get the kids thinking about listening.

I also like the book Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein. The kids love this story..they laugh and laugh. It seems to stick in their brains too. I have kids saying "Listen, don't be an interrupting chicken!" to one another. 

I hope these ideas help get your little friends listening up! What activities do you use in your classroom to cultivate listening skills?

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