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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Teacher Interventions When the Disruptive Behavior is Related to the Anti-Social Skills that the Student Has Developed: Teaching Students to Listen

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. Accordingly, our mentees should know how to teach students to replace the anti-social skills they have mastered with productive, and effective pro-social skills such as the ability to listen to others.

The Magic Listening Ball Lesson: A Teacher Intervention Designed to Empower Students to Listen to Others (*Solomon & Solomon, 1987)

Enduring Jewish Knowledge: These middot: Shmiat HaOzen-being a good listener, Binat HaLev-having an understanding heart

Materials Needed: Nerf ball, koosh ball, or small bean bag

1. Introduce the ball as a special one that teaches students how to become better listeners.
2. The teacher records these four words on the chalkboard: Topic, Story, Question, Answer.
3. Ask the students to put their pens or pencils down while you tell them a short story. Your story will include: a topic, the story, pose a question, and then you will choose someone in class to answer your question by tossing that student the “Magic Listening Ball.” Remind students that they may not take notes on what you are about to say.
4.Model what you want the students to do.
A. Say, “This is my topic” (e.g. “My favorite Jewish holiday is ...” Note: You can select any topic such as favorite Jewish food, experience, middah, story in the Tanach, etc.)
B. Say, “This is my story” (e.g. You tell a story about your topic. My favorite Jewish holiday is Pesach because …)
C. Say, “This is my question” (e.g. What is your favorite Jewish holiday?)
D. Say, “What is your answer?”
5. Tell students that you are about to toss the Magic Listening Ball to one student in the class, and invite that student to: (1) State your topic; (2) Tell a summary of your story; (3) Restate your question, and (4) Give an answer to your question. Note: If the student cannot perform all four tasks, the other students can offer assistance. Obviously, you can modify this activity to meet the cognitive abilities of your students. Thus, this activity can be changed into a two-step procedure. (1)This is my story, and (2) this is my question.
6. Invite students to form dyads, and replicate the procedure in pairs with each student given a chance to state a topic, tell a story, pose a question, and ask for an answer. Each student can use a “Magic Listening Pencil” or other object to hand to his/her partner when practicing this listening exercise.
7. The teacher monitors, and gives feedback to each dyad practicing this listening exercise.

*Solomon, R. & Solomon, E. (1987). The Handbook for the Fourth R: Relationship Skills. Columbia, MD. National Institute for Relationship Training, Inc .

On the next post we will describe how to teach students another important pro-social skill, respectful listening.

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