Today, we discussed active listening in class. With our literature circle discussions, class meeting something we’re calling the “Roundangular” table, we discuss things a lot.
Students thought about what good listening is and shared their thoughts:
- Looking at the person who is talking
- Sitting upright
- Being still and calm
- Being quiet
- Face the person who is talking
And then we talked about another important part of active listening, and that was rephrasing what the person had said. Students practiced this in literature circles today and then in what we called the Roundangular Table.
Based on the Harkness Table, a discussion table and format that came out of Exeter in the UK, students sit around a table and discuss ideas. Today, the questions were 1. How is DIY going as home learning 2. Talk about the science museum and what you learned.
While 9 students discussed, the other 9 observed and took notes on one person’s listening skills. Afterwards, we reflected. The outcome: success. By the second discussion, students were already better at listening to each other, helping out those who were quieter, and rephrasing ideas.
We’ll continue to use such a discussion table in different lessons, all to practice active listening and to allow everyone to understand their ideas are valued and worthwhile.