Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Active Listening Proficiency Scale

Back a million years ago when I taught 3rd grade before, I used to make a t-chart to show what Active Listening was and what Active Listening was not.  Then we would do some practice scenarios where students were actively listening and some scenarios where students were not actively listening and we would talk about the differences.
In Kindergarten, we always spent a lot of time talking about what it means to listen.  We practiced a lot- we practice the whole year.
There are a million cute visuals out there on active listening- or whole body listening. And they are all wonderful!  But this year, with my brain thinking about proficiency scales, I decided to create a proficiency scale for Active Listening.  I plan to go through this process with my students, but I needed to do one ahead of time to think it through.

When I do proficiency scales with my students I explain the numbers this way:
4- Above and beyond
3- Just right- exactly where you should be
2- Almost there- just missing a few things
1- A good start but a long way to go

I started with that "just right" listener- and asked myself what that student is doing. Going back to my kinder days, this listener is listening with his ears, his eyes, his body, his hands and feet, and his brain.  Those became the criteria for the "3".  Then I bumped it back to a "2"- maybe they are doing everything except one of those.  Then I bumped it back to a "1"- maybe they are missing two of the criteria.  Then we always end with the "4" and it's always the hardest because sometimes the "3" has everything you want.  For the "4" on the active listening proficiency scale, I decided that I would use the last criteria we talk about in Kinder and that is the heart- the listener cares about what the speaker is saying.  But I added to this and said that the listener is engaged in a conversation with the speaker.  I thought that would add that extra above and beyond that the "4" needs.

It's not perfect and you'll need to make it your own with your students, but it's a different twist on a common back to school topic.  Here are some pictures of what's in the FREEBIE. To help you make your anchor chart, I added some adorable pictures from Melonheadz that you can use as labels for your descriptors, the numbers for the proficiency scale and a title if you want to use it.

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