The English Teacher

Listening Characteristics

Once when I was thinking about how age groups responded differently in discussions, I asked one of my classes to help compile a list of student listening characteristics. I thought that the exercise might help them as well as it might help me. I read it occasionally to remind me that the listening capabilities of my students vary according to their age and other factors..

                     Listening Characteristics

Contributed by College Prep III 6th period  
Jan 16, 1987

1st grade-
     1. 5 minute attention span
     2. Memory capacity- limited memory for
     3. Can't keep track of the whole day.

2nd grade-
     1. Waiting for recess
     2. Getting teased by boys
     3. Girls giggling
     4. Girls and boys don't talk to each other 
        when seated together
     5. Looking out windows
     6. Don't have to listen when sitting in back
     7. Throwing objects
     8. Eating glue
     9. Decorations in classroom- too many 
        cool things

3rd grade-
     1. Boys chase girls to kiss them
     2. Crowded classrooms
     3. Everybody knows everyone and talks
     4. Changing classes- disruptions and friends 
        you hadn't seen all day.

4th grade-
     1. Short attention span
     2. More social- passing notes
     3. Day dreams
     4. Clock watching
     5. Trying to get things over on the 
        teacher (food in class)
     6. Exaggerating
     7. Only hear as much as they want to hear.

7th grade-
     1. Write notes, fights, gossip, talk on 
        the phone
     2. Everything the same as everyone else 
        (look, grades, attitude)- insecure
     3. Sports starts
     4. Boyfriend for a day/Dances
     5. Hall listen- teacher repeats
     6. stress from daily class changes
     7. Peer pressure- never with the same people
     8. "I know everything"- why listen?

9th grade-
     1. Scared of everything- in awe of 
        seniors (intimidated)
     2. Worried about everything (like 7th)
     3. Timid of teachers and other students
     4. Worries about future/ classes to help 
     5. Run around in cars with friends
     6. Staying out at night
     7. Late night sports
     8. Cliques and groups (behavior in class)
     9. Worried about how others look
     10. How should I act?

11th grade-
     1. Worry about future-scholarship, grades, 
        college, job, classes
     2. The family- relationship with parents
     3. Staying out of trouble/ boredom?
     4. Having enough time
     5. Looks for some
     6. How to handle teachers (quick analysis)
     7. Own cars and independent- never home 
        to do homework-worry about when
     8. Learn to answer and hear but not listen 
        "the glaze look"
     9. Count down with the clock - especially 
        on Friday
     10. More individuals- not conforming
     11. No cliques- do your own thing
     12. Less judgmental about friends openly
     13. Care more about others- less 
     14. Realize that others have their own 
         differing opinions
     15. Teachers are trying to help- not 
         the enemy

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