December 19, 2012

Get Your Students to Listen, INSTANTLY

After such a long and hard week, we are ALL very distracted. Here are 2 tips to get your students to listen and understand what you expect them to do.

If you read my post about REPETITION you know I try to work it into my own day and the children's day whenever possible. Whether it's coming in the classroom and hanging up my keys and coat in the same place (Mr. Rogers style) or reviewing information from a lesson.

Here's how repetition can make your most distracted students listen INSTANTLY!

Kids love to TALK. They love the sound of their own voice. So when I have instructions to give that are important I have the students REPEAT them.

Here's how it works:
For example when we made pinch pots with Kindergarten this is how we used
REPEAT after me.
Teacher: "Class"
Students: "Yes!"
Teacher: "Repeat after me"
Students: "Repeat after me"
Teacher: "First I will roll a ball."
Students: "First I will roll a ball."
Teacher: "Next I will put my thumb in it"
Students: "Next I will put my thumb in it."
Teacher: "Then I will pinch and turn." . . .

This repeating thing works better with the older grades if you use humor.

For example I make up a SILLY PLEDGE that the students repeat.

"I promise to not wash my hands in the sink because I have clay on them. I know that clay will clog our sink. If our sink is clogged then it will overflow. If it overflows our art room will flood. If our art room floods then (insert name here) new sneakers will get ruined. (You can elaborate as much as you have time for) So I promise not to wash my hands in the sink today. I will wait for a wet paper towel."

Repeating Directions or Repeating a Silly Pledge really makes all kids accountable for the directions. Everybody heard it, if everybody said it!


Katie Morris said...

Great idea. I wish I had thought of this earlier today!

Phyl said...

Yup! I often did the same thing, whether with clay (pinch, turn, pinch, turn); or keeping brushes clean (wipe, wash, wipe) or whatever else we were doing. Even go around the room and have each person repeat directions back one at a time. Good advice!