Monday, November 5, 2012

Practicing Listening Skills in the Early Years

We've been practicing self-control in the younger grades, but listening skills are a lifelong challenge for all of us.  This week we read Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen written by Howard Binkow and Susan Cornelison.  There is a very helpful website with many resources (videos, activities, coloring pages) at the We Do Listen Foundation.

Before I began reading, we all wiggled our bottoms on our carpet spaces to get out any extra energy.  Throughout the story, Howard gets in numerous situations where listening would have been helpful.  Students see the hilarious outcomes of him not listening, and learn how to have whole body listening.  We discussed that whether we're sitting on the carpet, at our desks, or waiting in line, there are ways to show adults that our whole body is listening.  Our eyes are looking, ears are listening, mouth is quiet, hands are down and still, and feet are down and still.  Students drew a picture of them showing whole body listening and we wrote a sentence together describing the skills they were using to listen.

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