Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Listening Training

Sorry I haven't updated in a while, but it is hard to keep up with the family, class, and the blog. I will try to do better going forward.

We are two weeks into Unit 1. The students are finally understanding the process of the class, (although I did have a student ask me yesterday if class was going to be like this every day). Now, students are learning not about the flip, but about working to my expectations. Since I allow students to work at their own pace through the material, they can do activities when it works for them, and as many times as necessary.

Nowhere is this as apparent as the listening activities. Listening is an area where students struggle. It is something I struggle with as a teacher. How do I help the students progress and improve their listening without them getting discouraged?  I have spent much of the last two days explaining to students that they have to "train" to listen. Just like a kid isn't going to become a star football player without practice, they aren't going to become good listeners without practice.

Today students are working on a listening where two girls are describing their daily routines to each other. It is a slightly longer listening, about 2 minutes, and a little faster than what we have done before. So many of the students listened two or three times, threw their hands up, and just wrote whatever on the comprehension worksheet. As I was checking work, many of them were shocked that I wouldn't give them credit unless they went back and tried again.

It just reminds me of why I love the flip. In previous years, we would listen two, maybe three times, and their either got it or they didn't. I never really got a good handle on who understood what, and some were lost forever. Now, they are able to take a listening, listen to it in little chunks, discuss it with their classmates, and then move on. Obviously listening to conversations fifteen words at a time isn't ideal, but baby steps must come before they can run!