Learning to listen

img_2948A common lament for teachers is the lack of listening skills in our students.

There’s nothing more frustrating for a teacher than seeing children talk through performances.

Move off before all the instructions are given.

Come back and ask a question for something you communicated 30 seconds earlier.

I’ve often thought that this is simply a result of bad pedagogy. Kids aren’t meant to sit still and listen for long periods of time.

Last week we reached a critical juncture in our book, Under the Mountain. The kids were enthralled there were gasps, glances, connections to other books and films.  I looked up at the clock and was shocked to discover the kids had been listening for almost 45 minutes.  Rather than being fidgety, they were begging to continue the story.

Most days the children will ask.  “When are we reading Wonder?” “Is it time for Under the Mountain?”

The books we read get checked out of the library and pop up in conversation.

Listening to stories is something my class enjoys.

But the children aren’t just listening.

A lot of the chidlren will draw or doodle as I read. Questions or ideas get written down to discuss later. We’ll do quick buddy talks during the read.

Mostly they are relaxing and getting lost in literature.


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