What Listening Looks Like
During the first nutrition break today, the primary students had choir practice. I only have a small number of students that don’t go to choir, so they stayed back to eat their lunch and chat. I was doing a little work in the room while they were eating, and I happened to overhear their conversation.
They were trying to arrange a game to play together during recess time. Two of the boys asked the other six to participate, and four out of the six of them decided that they wanted to play. The two boys were trying to figure out how many people were playing. They started by counting the boys that wanted to play, but they thought that they missed someone. They kept on getting “six” as their answer though. Just as one of the boys was going to count again, the other boy jumped in and said, “You don’t need to count again! Six is the right answer. There are eight of us, and two of us don’t want to play. Eight take away two is six, and you counted six. You’re right!”
I had to commit this exchange to memory because I thought to myself, wow! During a random lunch discussion, these students saw the value of math. This made me think a lot about formative assessment, and the power of observation. It’s amazing what we can see and hear when we take the time to do both. I’m glad that I was in class during this lunch discussion today. After hearing this conversation, it reminded me that I need to take the time to listen more. What might I be missing if I don’t?
How has “listening” benefited you as a teacher? I’d love to hear your stories too!