Getting Students to Listen

09 June 2012



Teaching students to listen is no easy task. Sometimes, I feel like I am trying to herd a bunch of cats! I use a “Whole Body Listening” poster in my classroom.  The speech pathologists and ABA teachers at my school introduced me to “Whole Body Listening.”  They use a Whole Body Listening Social Story they created through Boardmaker to give the students an idea of what whole body listening looks like.  The idea behind the social story is based on an article written by Susanne Poulette (Truesdale) called “Whole-Body Listening: Developing Active Auditory Skills.”  As you know, many students on the spectrum struggle with eye contact while speaking.  I have found that through my years of mainstreaming, the social story worked well for all of my students.  It is a great way to remind students of what active listening involves.  I decided to make these posters to refer to when I wanted my students to actively listen.  The mini-posters can be cut laminated and taped down to students’ desk.  These are great for non-verbal cues.  Now, when I need students to listen, I simply say “Whole Body Listening.” Click the picture above to download my posters and class-made book activity for free.  


I have always used this book, Listen and Learn by Cheri J. Meiners as an introduction to listening in my classroom. 
 

Another adorable book is called Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow.

Through a bit more internet searching, I found this book called Whole Body Listening Larry at School!.  It was also inspired by Susanne Poulette's article.  I think this book would be great to read to your students on the first few days of school.  

Please, do not make "Whole Body Listening" a rule.  Most students cannot sit still for long periods of time.   In my own classroom, I allow students to stand to do do work as long as they push their chair in and stand behind it.  I find they like to stand during center time and while creating art projects.  I also ask my OT therapists to borrow "Movin' Sit Cushions,"  these help the especially fidgety children by letting them bounce or move a bit in their chair while still sitting down.  Another tip would be to place Velcro inside the student's desk.  He/ she can run his/her fingers along the soft and hard Velcro instead of playing with things in his/her desk. 




I hope these freebies help your students!

For more listening ideas and to link up with yours, go to Blog Hoppin' by clicking below.


Here is a link for an article about Susanne Poulette. 

*Susanne Poulette, a New York speech pathologist coined the term "Whole-Body Listening" with this article (click {here} to read it): Whole-Body Listening: Developing Active Auditory Skills, Susanne P. Truesdale Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools Vol.21 183-184 July 1990.




34 comments:

  1. Thank you so much! It will be so helpful to use to teach my kindergarteners! I printed and laminated all your word wall stuff last night and now I need to cut it all out. Gotta buy your green border and get some black fabric. I bought materials today to make a cute circle banner that will say- Word Wall. Thank you for all your inspiration!
    www.kindertrips.blogspot.com

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  2. What great posters! And thank you for sharing your ideas!

    Heather (heathernnance@yahoo.com)

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  3. Thank you so much for the cute posters. I have one similar in my classroom but I like your so much better. I love the idea of the class book idea. I will be doing that the first week of school! Yah!!!

    Mrs.Egley’sKindergarten

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  4. Thank you for the whole body listening posters! I think they will be a valuable asset at the beginning of next year. :)

    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  5. This is so very helpful! I love the velcro idea. My students also love to tap their pencils, as I'm sure yours do too, so I remind them to tap their arms or brains, not their desk. I've also seen deflated bicycle tires around chair so students can bounce their legs freely. Thanks for the tips!

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  6. This is wonderful! Angela Watson always says that we should tell (and show) students EXACTLY what we're looking for, since they're not mind readers. I've often found that my students have no idea what I mean when I tell them I need them to "be a good listener." These posters will be so helpful in showing my students exactly what I mean.

    I've used the Velcro idea before -- it works! Another idea: cut a pool noodle (you know, those foam ones) in thirds and place a part underneath a wiggly student's desk. Let him/her place the noodle under his/her feet and roll it back and forth as he/she is working. They're moving and having to concentrate so hard on that that their upper body normally stays still enough to do work. It's a beautiful thing. :)

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  7. I love the idea of the Velcro inside desks and the noodle for students' feet. I would have never thought of either one! Thanks!

    These posters are great, too. I let my students stand to work, too. Personally, I'm a "stander", too, so it seems natural to me. I never understood teachers who insist that their students sit. Blah.

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  8. We use "Whole Body Listening" and it works great! I love this reference pack. We will be using this on the first day of school this fall. Thank you! P.S. Thank you for the book tips, too.

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  9. I love the idea of using whole body listening!

    Jenna
    Just diving In

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  10. I love it! Thank you! I would love to hear more about your What We Wore the First day of School book?

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  11. Great idea! I love the idea of whole body listening. I am definitely giving this a try at the beginning of the school year! Love the posters. Really like the polka dot border! I am trying to have a bright polka dot theme! Any chance of getting the posters with the bright multi colored polka dots that the title page has?? If not, love them anyway! THANKS!
    tjulch@mpsomaha.org

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    Replies
    1. There are free bright green polka dot posters in the preview download for this TpT file: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Polka-Dot-Classroom-Labels-and-Signs-149614

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  12. I'll use this at the beginning of school next year. Thanks! It doesn't bother me for students to stand unless they are blocking the vie wof another student.

    I've been following you for a while, I'd love for you to follow me.
    I teach 1st.
    Kelly @I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher.

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  13. Thanks for the freebies! I love the Listen and Learn book for the beginning of the year...that author has a whole series of helpful character ed. books (as you probably already know)!

    Kelly
    Kindergarten Kel

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  14. Thank you so much for the freebies! I'll be teaching 4K this fall (after spending the last 6 years in 1st grade) so I hope I'll be able to use whole body listening with my classes.

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  15. If you get those really big, thick rubber bands you can slip them over the front legs of the chair too so the kids have a springy foot rest! I also have some ball chairs in my classroom. I use them for those kiddos that have trouble figuring out where their body is in space - the ones who fall out of their chairs 5 times a day unexpectedly! I also had to laugh when you said you felt like you were herding cats - that's a familiar feeling, thus my blog name :)

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

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  16. Hi there! We use "stop and Think" social skills training and the "steps" for listening go well with your very cute poster! Thanks.
    Here is the website to the ealry childhood collections. I wrote a grant to have the songs and posters and I love them. The web page has 3 free songs - the listening song is great. Beware it WILL get stuck in your head!
    http://www.projectachieve.info/stop-think/preschool-products.html
    Enjoy
    jh

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  17. Hi there, your poster is perfect! I use Stop and think social skills training. here is their web page. there are 3 free songs (I am addicted and got a grant to get the whole thing)
    http://www.projectachieve.info/stop-think/preschool-products.html
    the listening song is my favorite. Beware- the tune WILL get stuck in your head (but isn't that the point!)
    thanks again
    jh

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  18. You are AMAZING!! Thank you so much for making and sharing these posters. I'm off to check out the books you mentioned! <3

    Mary
    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

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  19. This was a very helpful post. Your freebies are awesome! =D

    Cheryl

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  20. These will be so helpful next year. I love the book recommendations! I am going to Amazon to order it now! Thanks for sharing.
    Barbara
    happyteachingfirst.blogspot.com

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  21. Hi, I heard about your blog from another blogger...wow, you are AMAZING! So glad to have found you! Would love for you to stop by if you have a moment to my newbie blog :)
    Tori

    Tori's Teacher Tips

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  22. Thank you so much for the helpful information and posters. I will be ordering that second book to go along with the poster. Thanks again!

    Delighted in Second

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  23. I'm your newest follower and brand new blogger! Come check out my blog!

    Amanda
    Teaching Maddeness

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  24. Thanks for sharing! Love the idea of the velcro!

    Every New Beginning

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  25. Hi! I'm your newest follower thanks to Heather's Heart. Feel free to visit me at my "new" blog: Teaching Kindergarten Kiddos.

    ~ Lisa

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  27. OUr speech pathologist also did a whole "intervention" with our class using Whole Body Listening Larry at School, and his other one Whole Body Listening Larry at Home. The kids really latched on to them! We are always using the language to reinforce the listening ideas, and these posters would really help! I will definitely be using these and passing them along to our speech therapist to add to her interventions. Also try Superflex and the Unthinkables!

    Thanks for sharing!

    fromafirstyearteacher.blogspot.com

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  28. Thanks for the free posters and book suggestions. I have used the velcro, balls and large rubber bands before. An OT once told me to have these children use the monkey bars too as it uses their upper body to center them, especially children with sensory issues:)

    Tammy
    The Resourceful Apple

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  29. Looks fantastic!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  30. thanks for the idea.
    Faye's busy bees
    asfaye1@gmail,com

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  31. Hi! Great posters! Is it ok if I use them on my blog. I will give you credit and link to your blog. Please let me know. Thanks!
    Amelia

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    Replies
    1. Yes, as long as you link back that is always fine. Thank you.

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