Sunday, December 16, 2012


"We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”
― Zeno of Citium, as quoted by Diogenes Laërtius

I probably say "I am looking for good listeners" a hundred times a day! Listening is such an important skill that is so often overlooked in our lesson planning. Today's blog post is dedicated to helping students become active listeners throughout the day. Here are a few ideas...

1. Teach students what it means to be an active listener. Make a chart defining it.
2. Give your students three step directions and tell them that you are only going to repeat the directions one time. If they know this in advance, they are forced to listen. Do this frequently in all activities and follow through!
3. Model what it means to be an active listener by showing this to your students when they are speaking.
4. Hold them accountable for listening. If you give them all of the notes and directions in writing, they don't need to listen! Be sure that they are expected to be an active participant in the lesson.
5. Surprise them! Make sure you have a classroom environment where students know they might be called on to talk at any time. There's no "zoning out" in these types of rooms!

Download this FREE Christmas Listening activity to help your students reflect on their listening skills in class.


  1. You are so right. This also goes hand in hand with following directions. Many students like to jump right into the activity, and then ask me,"Wait, what do I do?" Sometimes I'll put something tricky in the directions to see who actually reads them (or listens to them!); for example, put your name on this paper and turn it in without completing it for a 100% quiz grade. Zero students turned it in. haha I will definitely give your listening activity a try and pair it with a following directions mini lesson :)

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