How To Get Students To Listen

This past weekend I led an impromptu workshop with teachers at EdCamp Boston about listening.  I guessed about ten teachers would show up and be interested in talking about how to get students to listen.  I underestimated.  More than 25 teachers crammed into a small conference room and expressed frustration at their students for not listening.  Here are 10 things I learned from the session:

  1. Research shows 65-90% of our time is spent listening, yet it’s a skill that’s entirely omitted from classroom instruction
  2. Unless we do something with what we hear, the brain won’t process it
  3. Studies show you can LEARN to LISTEN
  4. Kids listen more to their peer than they do to their teachers (how do teachers capitalize on this?)
  5. Here’s one exercise to train students to listen: Life with the Wright Family
  6. If you keep kids interested and engaged, the listening will happen
  7. Include listening as part of a student’s grade
  8. Record instructions for students to listen to at home Audioboo or Vocaroo – have them respond with audio as well
  9. Change up the pace of your classroom – pepper the students with rapid fire questions to see if they are listening
  10. Make sure you, as their teacher, are a good listener and modeling good listening skills

I would love to hear your feedback or thoughts on how these ideas help in your classroom!

Monica Brady-Myerov
Public Radio Reporter and Founder of Listenwise