Developing Listening Skills in Pre School

The person who coined the phrase ‘A teacher’s job is never done’ must have definitely been a teacher. Yes, teaching has been the right profession for me; I can simply say that it enhances the creativity and eagerness to keep learning. I can describe myself in two words – compassionate and effective. I reflect over my years of teaching, realizing that what was relevant teaching back then is not so effective in today’s classroom scenario. Children want more and have a thirst for knowledge. They want to reason, question and think rather than take instructions, listen and do. We have to be facilitators in the learning environment. Children learn more in their first five years of life and absorb like a sponge.

Constantly developing teaching methods to make the teaching – learning process more enjoyable. Earlier I had researched a few fine motor activities which I successfully incorporated in the classroom. Today I wish to shed light on listening skills, the first and foremost communication skill required for learning.

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Games can be fun while they learn to listen
1. Freeze/ Statue Dance

All you need is a song and a pause button. Invite children to dance freely to the music. After a short time press pause and wait for everyone to freeze. After a second of stillness start the music again? Be prepared for giggles and some really fun poses! This enhances a child’s listening power.

poses

2. Bunny Says

This game is just like ‘Simon Says’ but with a difference. Get one child to come ahead of the class and give him a pair of Bunny ears to wear. He becomes the leader and makes the other children do actions and tasks of his choice. This helps children listen to understand cautiously to follow their leader’s tasks.

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3. Thumbs up/ Thumbs down
This is a game that can be played in any general awareness topic, literacy, or numeracy topic done in class. Eg. The children have to show ‘ Thumbs up’ when you say words beginning with ‘a’ sound. So when words like apple, alligator, axe, ambulance is said by the teacher the children show thumbs up sign, and thumbs down for any other word called out. This aids in learning and reasoning while enjoying.

Group of kids with thumbs up.

4.Experiential Learning
A walk around the school can be an opportunity to discuss the difference between ‘weeds’ and ‘plants’. Use words with more than one meaning, such as ‘bank’, and explain that certain words have many different meanings. Using new words and talking about words, will broaden the child’s vocabulary.
5. Story Telling
Reading aloud to children not only enhances listening but also increases their vocabulary, knowledge of the world, and understanding of story structure. Afterwards, have them answer some questions about the book. Ask what happened at the beginning, middle, and/or end of the story. To help know moral of each story.

story

6. Clapping Game
A simple clapping game that makes children follow the rhythm and do the same. This is so enjoyable and children don’t realize they are listening and following rhythms and patterns while doing the task assigned.

To conclude, the process of developing listening skills in kindergarten students will also help develop their verbal and mental capacities. The shy child will learn to ask questions and the non-English speaking child will be curious and want to learn more. Always use proper grammar when speaking to the children. So let’s explore and give our children the best.

Images in my post have been taken from the Internet 🙂

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