While I was working on my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, I taught specific lessons on Listening, Speaking, and Viewing. These were all things I'd said countless times over the years, but never took the time to put into a chart with student input that we could refer to as a class for the year. Of all I learned through the NBPTS process being intentional and specific about Listening, Speaking, and Viewing standards has become part of my classroom NORMAL. I don't know why it took me 16 years to figure it out, but I'm so glad I did.
Basically, for each of the three areas, I asked the students (starting with Listening on day ONE of the school year), "What does it look like when students are LISTENING to the teacher? What about when listening to a peer?" Here's what they came up with.
We've added to this list throughout the year and I made it cute on my computer…
The next day, we talked about how what the teachers shows students to help in learning is called, "Viewing Material." Similar to how we brainstormed how we show we're good listeners, we talked about what we should do when we're viewing something. They were fantastic!
Toward the end of the first week of school, we visited the topic of speaking. Students were completely ready to give their ideas about how to be good speakers. I love that they had such good ideas about how to be a good speaker and many of them used ideas from what we had been discussing and practicing with listening and viewing.
We use the voice levels throughout the building. I made some cute signs as reminders. They're laminated and in a place that I can remind students of expectations by pointing and explaining.