Good listening skills are important for being able to join in with activities and interacting with others.
The development of listening and attention skills is essential to promote a child’s understanding and use of language.
In Reception children will usually:
- Sit and listen for small and large group activities for around 10 minutes e.g. circle time or listening to a story with minimal adult support
- Concentrate on adult chosen activities including table top games e.g. puzzles, books and mark making for around five minutes
- Concentrate for longer on a task of their choosing
- Follow instructions without stopping what they are doing; known as ‘two channelled attention’
- Remember at least 2 out of 3 items they have been asked to find
You can help by:
- Making sure you look at the child you are speaking to
- Ensure you have the child’s attention before giving instruction e.g say the child’s name first and wait for him/her to look.
- Minimise distracting background noise both inside and outside the classroom
- Minimise visual distractions, especially behind the teacher
- Try to keep children’s desk free from clutter
- Action rhymes (e.g head shoulders knees and toes or 10 fat sausages sizzling in a pan).
- Table top games like lotto games, card games-pair-snap
- Musical bumps /statues
- Listening to sounds on CD – there are commercial materials available, or you can make your own. Ask the pupils to listen to a sound and guess what it is or stand up when they hear a particular sound
- Sound bingo – listen to sounds on CD and covering the correct picture.
- Sound walk – listen for different sounds they hear on a walk outside or around school, then use these to paint a picture or compose a group display.
- Use musical instruments and other sounds to talk about long, short, quiet, loud sounds.
- Tap a rhythm pattern and ask the child to repeat.