Introducing Meaningful Listening Skills

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Objective

SWBAT practice routines to help develop skills for participating in collaborative conversations with diverse partners.

Big Idea

Are We Listening? Kindergarteners learn the importance of meaningful listening.

Teacher Background Knowledge

1 minutes

I teach this lesson within the first few days of school to the whole group.  I think this lesson should be taught early to maximize the newness of the kids being together.  Also, when I teach this at the beginning, I can and go ahead and draw the students into these best practices from the beginning. (I really think it's important to set expectations early!)

This lesson needs groupings of pairs.  I like to use many different methods for this grouping.  Since this lesson will be taught so early, I may not have intentional partnering yet, and that is okay; however, I like to at least assign students #1's and #2's.  (I do this ahead of time.)

Here is how I try to really make listening meaningful to kids and make this lessons stick!

Set (Drawing them in)

3 minutes

I like to introduce my students to the listening side of Speaking and Listening.

At this time, I have students all seated on the carpet, facing me.

"Today, we are going to talk about some rules for our classroom!  We are going to discuss what it really means to listen to a partner or group."
"Raise your hand if you think you can listen." (Students will raise hands again.) 
"Alright, so all of us CAN indeed listen...  Well, since we all know we can; let's learn how to do it correctly!  By the end of our discussion today, you will be able to describe what it means to listen in a way that is meaningful to you and others.  Are you ready?  Turn your listening ears on, and let's get to it!"

At this time, I might also introduce our our discussion rules.

I Do (Teacher Models)

10 minutes

"I am so glad you've turned your listening ears on; that is the first step to being a good listener!  Let's talk about the other things it takes to be a good listener!"
Tilt your head back and look at the ceiling. 
Say, "If you wanted to talk to me, and I was doing this, would you think I was listening to you?"  (Students will say "no" or shake their heads.)
"You're right, you wouldn't think I was listening.  When we are really listening, we look at the person who is talking.  That way, they know we are listening!"
"So, who can tell me what we just said makes a good listener?"  (Call on a student to answer and guide them to the correct answer if they didn't give you a complete sentence correctly conveying your message.)
"Rule number 1 for listening is to look at who is speaking!  GREAT!"
"Now, I would like for everyone to turn to their partner..."
"and #1's, tell #2's the rule..... "(take 5-7 seconds to let them share.)
"Now, #2's, tell #1's the rule..... "(take 5-7 seconds to let them share.)"
"Great everyone, let's keep moving."
Begin playing with your hands and moving your feet.
Say, "If you were talking to me and I was doing this, would you think I was listening to you?"
(Students will say "no" or shake their heads.)
"You're right again, you wouldn't think I was listening.  When we are really listening, we respect the person who is talking.  That way, they know we are listening!"
"So, who can tell me the second thing we just said makes a good listener?"  (Call on a student to answer and guide them to the correct answer if they didn't give you a complete sentence correctly conveying your message.)
"Rule number 2 for listening is to respect the person who is talking!  GREAT!"
"Now, I would like for everyone to turn to their partner..."
"and #1's, tell #2's the rule..... "(take 5-7 seconds to let them share.)
"Now, #2's, tell #1's the rule..... "(take 5-7 seconds to let them share.)"
"Great everyone, we are almost to our last rule!"
Sit there and stare- say nothing.
Say, "If you were talking to me and I was just looking at you, not moving or anything, would you think I was listening to you?"
(Students will say "no" or shake their heads.)
"You're right again, you wouldn't think I was listening.  When we are really listening, we nod our heads and we respond to the person who is speaking."
"So, who can tell me the last thing we just said makes a good listener?"  (Call on a student to answer and guide them to the correct answer if they didn't give you a complete sentence correctly conveying your message.)
"Rule number 3 for listening is to respond to the person who is speaking!  GREAT!"
"Now, I would like for everyone to turn to their partner..."
"and #1's, tell #2's the rule..... "(take 5-7 seconds to let them share.)
"Now, #2's, tell #1's the rule..... "(take 5-7 seconds to let them share.)"
"Good job, everyone!  Now, let's go over all of the rules together."
Finally, I review all of the rules where Teacher Says It, Then Students Repeat.  I do this two times.

You Do (Students Practice)

15 minutes

Here, I have the students pair off and move to a new spot in the room.  (I would use the same #1's and #2's that they have been using.)

Once they are in their spots, I have them repeat the rules to each other.  I guide them through each rule by prompting.  By doing this, I have the time to walk around and monitor each group and hear them talking to each other.  At this time, I also monitor the talking and make sure everyone knows the rules.
"If your partner did not tell you one of the rules or accidentally mixed up one of the rules, please take this time to help them out!"  (I give students about 30 seconds.)

"Great!  Now that we know the rules, we are going to put them into practice.  I want you to look at me and follow all of the rules for listening.  Now, we are going to work on being great listeners!  So, here's your mission: you are going to tell your partner who you are and one thing that is special about you.  Then, you are going to LISTEN while they tell you who they are and one thing that is special about them.  If you are a #1, you will go first.  If you are a #2, you will go second. 
"As #1 talks, what are you #2's going to do?" (They will respond, "listen!")
"GREAT!  And, as #2 talks, what are you #1's going to do?  (They will respond, "listen!")
"Alright, then... It sounds like we are ready!  You have about 5 minutes.  I will tell you when it is time to switch listeners.  GO!"
This is the time to walk around, monitor the students who are listening and redirect those students who are not.  I give productive feedback, such as, "I love how you are looking at your partner and nodding as he/she talks!"
I switch half-way through and repeat this process again with the other half of the class.
When the conversation is finished, I ring a bell/timer and call attention back to myself.
Then, I call out a few students who were really listening well and tell the students, "I loved how ____ was listening because I saw ____ do _____."  This will reinforce your point to those students who may have not been the best listeners through this exercise.  We cheer for those students who I called out for excellent listening.

Now, call everyone back to the whole group!

Closure and Congrats (Summary by Teacher and Students)

5 minutes

When all of the students are facing me, I begin speaking.
If students are not facing me, looking at me and being quiet, I wait until they do so.  If this happens, this is a great time to reinforce that these are MY expectations for not only partners and groups but for me as well.

"I am so pleased with the listening I saw coming from you guys today!  I feel like you really owned the rules for listening and made it fun for your partner to talk to you because you were listening so well!  Congratulations!  Do you think we can always listen this well?" (students will say yes)
"I am really looking forward to seeing all of you listen to each other!  When we listen, we learn more and we work so much better together!  When we really listen, we can talk to all different partners about all different things... and that is what I want you to remember for the day.  I will say it one more time and then I want you to say it with me; so listen!"
"When we really listen, we can talk to all different partners about all different things."
"Now, help me say what we can do." Students will chorally say this with the teacher, "When we really listen, we can talk to all different partners about all different things."
"Great job.  Now, you tell me what you can do!"
Students will chorally say this without guidance, "When we really listen, we can talk to all different partners about all different things."

"That is fabulous!  Yes!  When we really listen, so many things are possible.  I look forward to watching you all listen to each other as we talk about all different sorts of things this year!  Thank you for working so well with your partner today!  Everybody, give me an air-high-five!"