Talk So That Kids Will Listen - Bright Idea!


How to Talk So That Kids Will Listen
Now, that seems like a bright idea, doesn't it? Have you ever thought that there even IS a way that teachers might talk that would cause kiddos to sit up and take notice? OR that there is a way that teachers talk that would let them know that they really don't have to listen?
The first tip....
Don't repeat directions
When you do that, you really are sending the message that they don't have to listen the first time....because you're going to repeat it again, anyway. Does this look familiar?


Believe me, it's hard to get out of the habit of repeating directions. But think about it..why listen if it's going to come around again? 

Here are some tips:

Have kiddos wait to follow the directions. If they start moving to retrieve supplies, chances are they're going to have a hard time attending.
  1. Deliver instrucitons in manageable chunks: "You're going to do three things: First, you will need your scissors and glue stick. Next, you're going to cut the words from the bottom of the page. Then, sort the words into the correct column and glue them in place."
  2. Strategically ask specific students to repeat one of the steps.
  3. Ask if there are any questions.
  4. Paraphrase and send them on their way.
  5. Now here's the hard part--- don't repeat. 
Of course, there are going to be kiddos who come up and ask, "What are we supposed to do?" "What page did you say?" So, how do you handle that without repeating the directions?
Sincerely, sympathetically say,
"Bummer. I hope you find someone who was listening."

Kiddos will really figure out that they do need to listen the first time...and it doesn't take them very long. And you won't have to say that very often before that happens, either. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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