Listening Skills: Listen & Draw, E.S.L., Sub Plans, Inside Recess, R.T.I., Parent-Teacher Conferences, & More!


How do you teach promote active listening? Before you can effectively teach procedures and academic skills, your students need to listen and attend to what you are saying.  Do you have a "Listen Larry"?

  • After going over the directions of an assignment, you can always count on "Listen Larry" to raise his hand or come to your desk because he has no idea what he is supposed to do.
  • "Listen Larry" often turns in assignments that are missing important details, details that you emphasized in your directions.
  • "Listen Larry" is usually the last one to line up at recess.  Sometimes you even have to send a student to find him because he doesn't hear the whistle that you use to tell your class to line up.
  • At clean up time, "Listen Larry" will continue working in his center.  Often a classmate has to tap him on the shoulder to tell him that it is time to stop.
There are different reasons for poor listening skills.  I have compiled a Pinterest board of blog posts with tips and research about listening skills.  


Click HERE to check out my A+ Listening Skills Pinterest board.


Last year, I wrote a blog post with a listening activity to show what I did at the beginning of the year.  Teachers emailed me asking for more of these listen and draw activities.  I now have a series of Listen and Draw activities that you can use throughout the year.  Plus a FREEBIE for you try. 


I have a new type of Listen & Draw packet that has CVC words for the theme.  This is a great way to work on reading skills and promote active listening at the same time.
You can differentiate the writing assignment of this activity. I recommend doing this as a teacher directed activity in the beginning.  You may want to introduce this in a small group setting if your class has a wide range of abilities.  You can give different groups different expectations for the writing assignment portion of the activity.  There is an extra writing page included for your students who are ready to write a paragraph or story about the picture.


You can add technology to this, too with a listening center. 
Once your students are comfortable with the format, you can record the directions, ask a parent volunteer, or drama department at your local high school if there is a student who is interested in doing this for you.  Students are often looking for community service opportunities.

After each step, either pause to give students time to do the work or use some type of noise maker like a bell or xylophone.  Tell your students to push the “stop” button when he/she hears the sound.  Push the “go” button after he/she follows the directions and is ready for the next step.  

All of the Listen and Draw packets have a sign with the directions when you use this as a teacher directed activity.  It is helpful to hang it up as a reminder.
I added another sign for directions if you use it this as a listening center in the CVC Word packet.  You can have this a copy of it, too. Click HERE for this FREEBIE.


This can be used many different ways.  

EMERGENCY SUB PLANS:  Great activity for your sub.
R.T.I. DOCUMENTATION:  Shows proof of listening skills and writing skills growth over time for R.T.I.
INSIDE RECESS - FRIDAY FUN DAY:  Students will love the art part of these activities.  You will love the fact that your students are quiet so they can listen to the directions.
E.S.L. / E.L.L. teachers love these activities! 

Great way to teach prepositions, too!



Add these to your seasonal plans.  There are Listen & seasonal Draw packets plus one that can be used at any time of the year and the CVC words themed one.

THE DETAILS:
Go over the directions and then hang the sign as a reminder. This is an easy prep activity. The only supplies your students will need are the assignment, crayons, and a pencil.

Each Listen & Draw packets includes 
12 Listen and Draw activities with a different theme.  For each activity there is:
-Teacher direction page
-Blackline student page

-Colorful page showing what the art portion of the listening activity could look like.  Art work answers may vary.


You can also add these listening skills lessons to your students' portfolios.  They are great documentation and useful at parent-teacher conferences.


These can also be used for RTI.

This is the original packet.  The lessons in this packet can be used at any time of the year.
Original: Listen & Draw.  

Would you like to try a FREE sample?  Click on the picture below.

I have other Listen and Draw packets.


CVC Words theme
Click HERE to check it out.


Fall theme
Click HERE to check this out.


Christmas theme
Click HERE to check this out.


Winter theme
Click HERE to check this out.


Spring theme
Click HERE to check this out.


Summer theme
Click HERE to check it out.



Bundle: includes all except for the Christmas packet. 
Click HERE to check out the bundle.
 I plan to make holiday themed packets this year and will make a bundle of them at the end of the year.

How do you teach listening skills?








Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE.
Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Books and articles online plus freebie



Do you have a favorite online source for books and articles?  I am always looking for new sources and found a couple that you should check out.
































Unite for Literacy is an amazing source of FREE books online.  
  • The language option is a bonus of this site.  Perfect for teachers with ESL or bilingual students.  In the graphic above are a few of the language options available for the stories to be read to your students.
  • Stories are organized by topic so you can easily integrate these with your social studies and science lessons.  
The only information this site collects from you is the county that you reside so they can continue to improve children's access to books.





























Tween Tribune Jr. is a site sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.  This is a great source of FREE informational text articles about a wide variety of topics.  

  • Articles are organized by topics so you can integrate them with your social studies and science lesson.
  • Lexile levels are given also so you can differentiate to meet the needs of your students.
  • You can click on "Spanish" at the top of the site to convert the site from English to Spanish.
I have a Pinterest board with other site you may want to check out.

Click HERE

I just revised and added to my Magazines and More packet.  If you previously purchased it, you may go to "my purchases" to download the new version.


The new version now includes 2 reading tracker pages. Students will use one of the pages for keeping track of the articles (online or magazines) that they read.  Use the other page to document the non-fiction books that they listen to or read.  

Tip:  I think it is helpful to print them on different colored paper.


There are two versions of each assignment, one for articles and one for non-fiction books.  The assignments look similar, but have a different border to help students.

Would you like to try this?  I have a FREE sample for you.

Click HERE for the FREE sample.


Click HERE if you'd like to see the preview file.









Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Time to Line Up! FREE printables


One of the best ways  I found to line up students is in number order.  Each student is assigned a number at the beginning of the year.  It's their order for lining up.  Each week there is a line leader and caboose so there are 2 students who aren't in the correct order.  This stops all of the "he's cutting in line" complaints that you normally hear.  Initially students may complain about the order.  Once they figure out that everyone will eventually be the line leader and everyone will eventually be the caboose, they don't complain about the fact that #2 is always closer to the front of the line than #18.  It is much easier to see if you are missing students when you pick them up from recess using this system.  Your students will have the line order memorized before you will, so they will quickly tell you who is missing.  We don't line up in number order to walk to our spots for the fire drill.  But, once we are outside, we get in our proper order so we can see if anyone is missing.



You can use die cut numbers or numbers from a bulletin board set like the ones in the picture.  The red and green set are from Dollar Tree.


I use calendar numbers for many different things in the classroom.  Calendar numbers are colorful and small.  Use these to add to your theme or to add some seasonal fun.

  • Label coat hooks
  • Label cubbies
  • Label students' spot to line up


You can add a little math when you line up your students if you tape numbers on the floor.  This shows students where they are going to stand.  Add a seasonal touch by changing the number order each season.  



I like to change the color, too! In the fall I used orange / yellow, in the winter use red / green, in the spring use pink / red, and at the end of the year use orange / green.  Sometimes I use one color for each number.  Example:  in December all of the odd numbers would be red and all of the even numbers would be green.  When lining up ask students with an odd number to line up first.  Your students will quickly learn odd and even numbers.  Another example: in February, make all of the numbers in the ones place red and all the numbers in the tens place pink.  When lining up you can give different problems like: When lining up you can give different problems like: 

•If your number has an odd number in the tens place, you may line up. 
•If your number in the ones place is equal to 3 + 4, you may line up. 
•If your number is odd you may line up.
•If your number is even you may line up.
•If the sum of 4 + 2 + 3 is your number you may line up.
•If today’s day is your number you may line up.

Your students will quickly become mental math wizards!

How do you line up your class?  Click HERE to try out this FREE system.







Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE.
Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Pete the Cat themed Sub Binder


Writing sub plans is one of those things I learned the hard way.  I don't remember any of my undergrad classes addressing sub plans, yet these are a big part of a teacher's job.  If you plan ahead, set up a system, and put in a little time you will be pleasantly surprised at how smoothly your class will run when you have those unexpected absences.  This system is also great when you are planning for a maternity leave.  If only someone would have shown me this earlier in my career, I would have saved myself countless hours!

See if this sounds familiar . . . don't do as I do, do as I say. You probably heard your parent say that a time or two when you were growing up. When I worked with student teachers or new teachers, I often told them not to do what I did when I was a new teacher. There were so many things that I did the hard way the first few years of my career.  I wasn't necessarily doing them wrong, but there are easier, quicker ways of doing things in our profession that seasoned teachers don't always remember to tell the inexperienced ones.

Plan Idea #1: In the beginning, when I needed a sub, I wrote out step by step directions of what the sub needed to do during the day that I was absent.  Yes, this works but it is not an efficient use of my time.  

Plan Idea #2:  I typed up a generic sub plan and then added the assignments.  This worked most of the time.  But, what happens if you or your child gets sick in the middle of the night and you can't come in and write the assignments and prepare the lessons?

Plan Idea #3:  Emergency sub plans - One day of lesson plans that are generic so they can be used at any time of the year.  One of the schools that I worked at, required us to organize these in a folder and give them to the secretary.  This is a smart idea if your secretary has the room to store them.  

Through trial and error, feedback from subs and co-workers I finally found a system that worked for me.  My binder has all the details of how I run my class.  Here are some of the pages.  




I put these in a Sub Resource Binder.  This is the "how to" for the sub.  It explains all of the procedures for how I run my class.  It saves so much time and the subs love it! Have you ever been pulled from class at the last minute for meeting?  Maybe the meeting is only for an hour or so, but when it catches you by surprise, it is hard to think of all the details you need to put in plans for the sub who will be covering your class.  When this happens you pull out your handy dandy sub resource binder and give him/her the materials that are needed to teach the lessons.  Quick, easy and painless for you and easy for the sub! 

SUB BINDER TIPS:

  • In the front pocket of the binder keep a stack of "How was my day" notes so your sub can tell you about his or her day.
  • I also like to keep labels with students' names in the front pocket.  Your sub can use these as name tags.
  • In a binder pencil case, keep school supplies that your sub will need.  Suggestions:  pen, highlighter, and paper.
  • Keep a student supply box next to your sub binder with basic student supplies.  It is typical for students to tell the sub that they don't have a pencil or crayons so they can't do the assignment when you are not there.  With this box, you can eliminate the problem.  Make sure you tell a couple of reliable student plus a couple of teacher friends where you store your sub binder and supply box in case you are not able to come in to prepare for your sub.
I organize my weekly lesson plans in a tub like this:

Click HERE to read more about it.

I have the following folders in the tub:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Centers. I put all of the papers, read aloud books, and other materials that I need for my lessons that I need for the day in the order that I will teach them in folders.  I show the special ed. teachers that I work with and a buddy teacher where I keep my stuff.  If there is ever a time when I am too sick to come in an organize my sub plans, I call one of these teachers who can pull out the day's folder and my Sub Resource Binder.  I know that my sub has all that he or she needs to have a successful day.

I think every teacher needs a set of emergency plans because you never know when something might happen.  My first 18 years of teaching, I made emergency sub plans and didn't need to use them.  It would have been easy to think that this was a waste of time to make them at the beginning of the year when I had so many other things to do.  But, then during my 19th year, my daughter got sick - really sick - in the middle of the night, my husband was out of town, and there wasn't any way that I could leave my daughter to go plan for a sub.  Luckily I had emergency sub plans.  

I think you have to look at emergency sub plans like an insurance policy.  You've bought car insurance for years yet you've hopefully not been in a car accident.  But, if you ever are in a car accident, you will be thankful that you not only have an insurance policy, but that you took the time to shop around to get the best policy possible.  Sub plans work the same way.  Take the time before school begins to make quality emergency sub plans.

SUB BINDER TIPS:
  • I like to use the binder dividers like the ones in the picture that has a pocket.  I put my emergency assignments in those pockets.
  • I make extra copies of the charts that the subs will write on like the behavior, lunch count, or class work chart shown in the picture above.  I keep these charts in a page protector.  The sub can use the class work chart to document who finished their work. All of these forms are editable in Powerpoint.  Below are the charts:


















I have 3 different binders.  The first one is Melonheadz themed, the second one is ocean themed and includes activities for A House for Hermit Crab.  This binder has the activities below for Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus and Pete the Cat: Construction Destruction.






















The books and cat do not come with the sub binder.
Click HERE to find out more about the Sub Resource Binder.









Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE.
Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Listening Skills: Classroom Management, RTI, ESL, and more!


Listening skills are so important!  Before you can effectively teach procedures and academic skills, your students need to listen and attend to what you are saying. 

Last year, I wrote a blog post with a listening activity to show what I did at the beginning of the year.  Teachers emailed me asking for more of these listen and draw activities.  I now have a series of Listen and Draw activities that you can use throughout the year.  Plus a FREEBIE for you try.

DIFFERENTIATION

I recommend doing this as a teacher directed activity in the beginning.  You may want to introduce this in a small group setting if your class has a wide range of abilities.  You can give different groups different expectations for the writing assignment portion of the activity.  There is an extra writing page included for your students who are ready to write a paragraph or story about the picture.

TECHNOLOGY CONNECTION

Once your students are comfortable with the format, you can record the directions or ask a parent volunteer to do it for you.  Or ask the drama department at your local middle school or high school if there is a student who is interested in doing this for you.  Students are often looking for community service opportunities.

After each step, either pause to give students time to do the work or use some type of noise maker like a bell or xylophone.  Tell your students to push the “stop” button when he/she hears the sound.  Push the “go” button after he/she follows the directions and is ready for the next step.  


MANY USES:

This can be used many different ways.  
WRITING CENTER: Record the directions and set it up as a center.
EMERGENCY SUB PLANS:  Great activity for your sub.
R.T.I. DOCUMENTATION:  Great way to show proof of listening skills growth over time for R.T.I.
INSIDE RECESS - FRIDAY FUN DAY:  Students will love the art part of these activities.  You will love the fact that your students are quiet so they can listen to the directions.
E.S.L. / E.L.L.:   E.S.L. / E.L.L. teachers have left some very nice feedback.  They said it worked great with their students.  

Great way to teach prepositions, too!



Go over the directions and then hang the sign in the graphic above as a reminder.  This is an easy prep activity. The only supplies your students will need are the assignment, crayons, and a pencil.

Each Listen & Draw packets includes 
12 Listen and Draw activities with a different theme.  For each activity there is:
-Teacher direction page
-Blackline student page

-Colorful page showing what the art portion of the listening activity could look like.  Art work answers may vary.




This lesson is from the first packet that I made.  It can be used at any time of the year.  Many of the topics are school related so they are perfect for Back to School time.  Or add these lessons to your sub plans or do them at your next inside recess.


You can also add these listening skills lessons to your students' portfolios.  They are great documentation and useful at parent-teacher conferences.


These can also be used for RTI.


I have gotten great feedback from ESL teachers!
The lessons in the pictures above are from this Listen & Draw.  

Would you like to try a FREE sample?  Click on the picture below.

I have other Listen and Draw packets.


Fall theme
Click HERE to check this out.


Christmas theme
Click HERE to check this out.


Winter theme
Click HERE to check this out.


Spring theme
Click HERE to check this out.


Summer theme
Click HERE to check it out.



Bundle: includes all except for the Christmas packet. 
Click HERE to check out the bundle.
 I plan to make holiday themed packets this year and will make a bundle of them at the end of the year.

How do you teach listening skills?











Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE.
Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

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