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The Place for Expert Reading Advice

Reading Spotlight Blog - Back to School...Focus on Listening

Teach Kids to Listen the First Time


As students advance through school,

listening skills receive less and less instruction

with each progressive year.

From the first day of school, no matter what grade,

it is important that students learn to listen attentively

to the teacher and to each other…

the first time!!!


A good way to accomplish this is:



No, this is not asking too much

from a teacher or a parent.

When giving directions, for example,

  • Be certain that the work is at an appropriate instructional level.
  • Be sure your directions will be clear and pointed by checking them over beforehand.
  • It helps learners if the directions are also printed in front of them for multi-modality instruction.
  • Tell students that you will not be repeating the directions, so they should listen carefully.
  • Give the clear and precise directions.
  • Encourage students in listening to each other, too.
  • Then ask if there is anyone who has specific questions about the assignment.
  • Clarify uncertainties.
  • Ask if there is anyone who still does not understand what to do.
  • If so, then, and this is the key, remind them that you don’t repeat.
  • Ask the class if someone who does understand is willing to help explain. Ask this person to re-explain the directions to the class.
  • This plan also encourages listening to each other as well as class cooperation.
  • Allow non-comprehending students to come to your desk or to another student for extra help at first, but remind them to listen better next time.

For enjoyable practice in listening skills, check out Reading Spotlight’s Listening Skills: Four Audience Participation Plays. The set includes several more ideas for encouraging good listening in class. The first play, The First Day of School, is available FREE.


Fun, too!  Enjoy the smiles!

© Reading Spotlight 2017


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