November 19, 2003
This can happen only a few times during the school year, but it's well worth doing! When the class is loud or out of control, or when you simply need the direct attention of your students, ask them to 'listen and tell me what you hear.' This can happen when the class is not THAT rowdy, but when you just need a few minutes of quiet time! One by one the students stop and listen to environmental sounds, and raise their hands to report what was heard. They are asked to use whisper voices when responding. Some of the things they generally hear are: voices in the hallway or playground, someone tapping his foot, squeaks from people moving their chairs slightly, birds outside, cars going by, and so on. Let them listen for several minutes before asking for responses. You can even list them on the board and praise them for being such astute listeners! Then, continue on with your lesson.