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The Psycho-Educational Teacher
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Generally speaking, all students benefit when they understand that hearing and listening are two different behaviors, and that, like reading or spelling, “good listening” is an academic skill that they can learn. Students also need to be aware of how poor listening behavior negatively affects their learning. Inattentive students in particular benefit from a scaffolded or supportive approach coupled with the explicit teaching of strategies to become better listeners. Some things that teachers can do to help the inattentive student are: Help the Student Pay Attention to Specific Auditory Information or Key Words You can scaffold this skill by slightly exaggerating and/or changing your voice’s inflection (pitch or tone) when you are presenting key auditory information. You can slightly increase and/or change the volume of your voice (speaking rate). Help the Student Distinguish the Most Important Information from what is Less Important When you first introduce a concept, present the new information slower than you would do when speaking about familiar concepts.
apple. say that disappointed Brian: _____ or _____? Can you figure out who broke Grammy’s window: _____. banana. say. For example. you can say. rather than discussing the seven major religions in a single lesson. pineapple. and deliver it in smaller chunks.” Verbally organize the information. split into four and three. carrot. _____. Break down one longer lesson into two or more mini-lessons. This is important. and tell the child exactly what you expect her to remember. _____. e. that is. Teach the student to prioritize (e. For example.g. Decide what you want the student to learn from the lesson.g. “First… second… and now the most important point…” Divide Complex Auditory Material into Smaller. Present the oral information reduced into chunks. Cut the lesson in half.Focus on the essential information. or that the student does not need to be able to understand the new material or concept. what the student must pay attention to. presented in separate lessons. Eliminate the information that is not relevant. For example. or _____? How do you know? The main idea of this article is _____. use verbal cues to alert the child that you are going to say something important. Directly tell the child which points are important. celery. The student can reduce the amount of information she needs to remember by organizing the information into categories. “This will be on the test” or “Listening now. orange. To help the student focus. listing) the more important information from what is less important. or _____. “These are the three points you need to remember…” Present the information in a way that highlights what is important. For example. Anna. Examples: What did the character. Reduce the amount of verbal information that you present at a single time. More Manageable Parts Use number or steps. .
understand. and tone of voice for clues to meaning. . and remember every word that the speaker says. Pay attention to the speaker’s facial expressions. and pineapple) and four vegetables (celery. “Do I understand this?” Ask questions or write your questions if you are confused. carrot. and beet). Active listening has a goal or intention for listening. To help maintain focus. Echo (repeat) what you hear in your mind. It is not necessary to hear. Now we are moving to _____. pays attention to main ideas. e. faking listening by simply staring at the book. Mentally paraphrase what you hear. gestures. spinach. “Okay. explicitly transition the student from one task or topic to the next.g. and pays attention to transitional or signal words. follows the sequence of the speaker’s ideas. Make sure that students understand that active listening is not about word-by-word memorization. and beet are easier to remember if the student categorizes the list as four fruits (orange.” Directly Speak with the Student about the Skill of Active Listening Make students aware of poor listening behaviors that inhibit learning. fidgeting. or daydreaming. Say. Mentally summarize (or write or sketch) the speaker’s main points. banana. pays attention to details. One of the most important skills that children can learn in school is to listen for meanings and to remember key information. Give your Students Strategies for Active Listening Some strategies that you can discuss with students are: Look at the speaker. being distracted by other noises or sights.spinach. Ask yourself. apple. Make sure your students understand that listening is an active and purposeful process. we are done with _____.
from kindergarten to post secondary. has more than twenty years of experience as a self-contained special education teacher. To download free the eGuide. Persuasive Discipline: Using Power Messages and Suggestions to Influence Children Toward Positive Behavior. Reyes. The Psycho-Educational Teacher. visit Carmen’s blog. Carmen is the author of 60+ books and articles in child guidance and in alternative teaching techniques for low-achieving students. in New York City and her native Puerto Rico. The Psycho-Educational Teacher. . Carmen is an expert in the application of behavior management strategies. and in teaching students with learning or behavior problems.About the Author Carmen Y. She also has extensive graduate training in psychology (30+ credits). Carmen has taught at all grade levels. Carmen has a bachelor’s degree in psychology (University of Puerto Rico) and a master’s degree in special education with a specialization in emotional disorders (Long Island University. and educational diagnostician. You can read the complete collection of articles on Scribd or her blog. Her classroom background. includes ten years teaching emotionally disturbed/behaviorally disordered children and four years teaching students with a learning disability or low cognitive functioning. Brooklyn: NY). resource room teacher.