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 instructions 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 future 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 self-centered 14. Realize that others have their own differing opinions 15. Teachers are trying to help- not the enemy
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