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Teaching Active Listening to Students

Updated on September 23, 2013
An active listener is involved in the communication process.
An active listener is involved in the communication process.

Resource On Building Listening Skills

What Is Active Listening?

We all do it. We hear a person speaking but we do not actually listen to them. I am guilty of doing this with my husband. As I sit next to him, he commences to share something he considers important. I perceive sounds, tones and, yes, noise reaching my ears and tickling my brain; but I am not really listening.

I know this because after a minute or two he will ask me, in a louder tone of voice,

"Are you listening to me?"

I swallow and say, "Huh?"

Guilty!

Then there are the times when I am listening to him speak, but within my thoughts I am constructing what I want to say in response to his words. This is even before he has finished speaking. I am just waiting for my cue to jump in and speak my thoughts. I wait for a pause, blurt out my little speech; and after sharing my insightful thoughts, he clams up. (Oops! Did I just put words in his mouth?)

Active listening is a method of interchange (exchange of ideas) that involves a listener in the communication process. It involves verbal and nonverbal communication as you interact with another person. Hearing and listening are two different things, knowing the difference is important to effective communication. I would like to point out that great teachers are good listeners; they recognize listening is a valuable skill in instructing and guiding students.

How Well Do You Listen?

  • After a plane crash where would the survivors be buried?
  • Can a man marry his widow's sister?
  • How many birthdays does the average man have?

These phrases used in critical thinking courses demonstrate how our brains react to statements. We tend to forward think as someone speaks and miss key words that indicate what the speaker is trying to convey. Often, our brains are so engaged and loaded that we overlook the words that change the meaning of the phrase or statement.

Did you answer the questions above correctly? Take the quiz at the end of this article to check your answers.

Focused Attention

Active listening skills in the classroom are difficult if the lecture is lengthy.  Ask open-ended questions periodically to keep students engaged.
Active listening skills in the classroom are difficult if the lecture is lengthy. Ask open-ended questions periodically to keep students engaged. | Source

Active Listening In The Classroom

Close listening is what teachers do with their students on a daily basis. Group instruction is used to effectively communicate broad concepts and ideas to a thematic lesson. Often teachers will lecture several minutes then ask questions. "What do you think about this idea, Adrian?" No answer. Adrian heard the sound waves hitting her eardrum, but was not paying close attention to what was being said.

On average, we process fifty percent (50%) of what we hear, and retention of this information is about ten percent (10%) after a twenty-four hour period. (Source: L Barker, K. Watson, Listen Up, p. 5, 2001, New York: St. Martin's)

And just as important, maybe more so, is actively listening to the student. Whether in group discussions or one-on-one, it is a skill that will help the teacher to understand the student's comprehension of the concept being taught. I personally use active listening skills one-on-one with students as often as possible to show that I care. Caring leads to engagement of the student in the learning process.

Famous Listening Quotes:

♦You never get people's fuller attention than when you're listening to them. —Robert Brault

♦The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said. —Peter F. Drucker

♦"Silent" and "Listen" are spelled with the same letters. —Author Unknown

Develop Your Active Listening Skill

Fully Engage In Active Listening

At times it is difficult to focus on what a student is sharing and teachers may pretend to listen. Faking it can have negative consequences on the teacher-student relationship; as a student shares, you may miss key information helpful in guiding this person.

First, relax. Use positive body language and nonverbal skills to show him that you are comfortable in his presence. Make eye contact. Sit or stand in a position, within an appropriate speaking distance, that indicates comfort and that you are responsive. Lean into him as he speaks, nod your head, put a hand on his shoulder, smile, keep your arms open and not crossed; these all signal that you are engaged in the conversation.

Note: Our classrooms are diversified, some cultures interpret gestures (and vocabulary) differently, Be aware of these differences so that you can converse and connect with a student effectively.

Games To Build Active Listening Skills

Game
Instruction
Maze Walk
The teacher will give directions to a student as she walks between, over, and around obstacles.
Twitter Challenge
A student pretends to send a text message to another student (can write on small paper). They in turn text in their own words the message to the next student. Game continues until the last person is texted.. The last person shares the text message. If allowed, students can use real mobile phones for this exercise. Must be carefully instructed and monitored if actual phones are used.
Draw My Words
Have a student tell a story to the class. While he is speaking, have the class draw pictures to illustrate the tale. Add a twist to the exercise by having students draw their own conclusion to the story.
You're Playing My Song
Assign each student (or group students into small sets) a specific instrumental sound or noise. Optional: students can choose or make up their own sounds. As you conduct them, have them play out a simple song (i.e., Mary Had A Little Lamb) or lead them in a created version of a classical piece.
These activities increase the ability to listen. Afterwards, reinforce the importance of Active Listening in class and how it helps to effectively interpret information.

Reflective Listening Clip: Role Play

Your Brain's Processing Rate

Your brain is amazing! We talk at a rate of 120 to 150 words per minute but the brain can process 400 to 800 words per minute. (Source: Listening: Attitudes, Principles, and Skills; J. Brownell, Pearson, 2006, p. 86)

Ah, you think, then I can listen quite easily! However, because our brain is processing rapidly, we tend to use the extra "space" or time to wander in thought. Active listening requires patience and concentration. Giving a student your full attention will increase your understanding and build a strong relationship.

Use Reflective Listening Skills

Reflective listening is "empathic listening" which provides emotional support to the student. It demonstrates that you are sympathetic to their concerns and needs. Fully listen to a student without interruption. If you need clarification, when she pauses in speech, paraphrase in your own words what was stated. Remember to use words that are sympathetic and familiar, avoid buzz words which can come over as negative and prompt a strong emotional response.

Use open-ended questions that solicit clear information. Here are some suggested questions that you can ask to show you care and are actively listening:

  • How did that make you feel?
  • What I hear you saying is. . .
  • What happened was . . .
  • It sounds like you are feeling .. .
  • In other words, you . . .
  • Can you give me an example?

This lets the student know that you are following their flow in speaking and hearing them. It allows the speaker to relax and know that you care. As you reflect their feelings, using these empathic statements will also help you to comprehend what is being said and to make adjustments in your approach to the solution.

Engage In The Conversation

At school and home, engaging in an activity with a child allows you to listen as he speaks.  This may help him to  relax and share openly.
At school and home, engaging in an activity with a child allows you to listen as he speaks. This may help him to relax and share openly.

Active Listening Quiz & Answers


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Avoid Barriers To Active Listening

In my opening statements, I mentioned that I have a tendency to "think ahead" and prepare my response to my husband's speech while he is speaking. This is making an assumption, or forming an opinion, on what he is saying. An excellent teacher knows that learning requires keeping an open mind, knowing that you can learn from anyone and anything. You cannot prejudge a person on what you think, this will block your ability to converse with meaning and you may miss the point.

If you interrupt a student while speaking with your assumption, they interpret this as disinterest and will cease to communicate. Some teachers may find it helpful to take notes as the student speaks; however, to prevent anxiety, let them know why you are writing and how it will be used, prior to listening to their speech.

Avoid putting words in the student's mouth. As teachers, our time is so precious and due to lack of it, we want to limit our conversation with students. A common fallacy is to complete the individual's thoughts based upon what we have already heard. Again, doing this may force the student to stop sharing, may lead to a poor recommendation, or weak solution to a problem.

At times, teachers find it difficult to concentrate on a person's words when she is visually distracting. Her hair may be messy, clothing torn, she may speak in a high pitch, or other such minor details. Focus on what is being said, don't let it get in the way of having a meaningful exchange.

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    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mohit,

      Square,

      Thank you for your comments and support of this topic. It is one that I find useful in teaching college students who seek professional skills.

    • profile image

      Square 4 years ago

      i really like your games especially the one says draw my words very interesting indeed.

    • profile image

      Mohit 4 years ago

      I agree with you after read this post. Active listening makes the students most intelligent and wise to give the fast answer of the question.

      www.ipsmeerut.com/index/php

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Good morning, David,

      You make a good point, ideally, your suggestions would make learning much more engaging. This would encourage retainment of learning and enjoyment of the lesson. Thanks for being a part of this discussion. Have a great weekend.

    • David Myers profile image

      David Myers 4 years ago from Nesconset, New York

      I agree with every word, BUT...if more teachers likewise acquired the skill of using anecdotes and analogies to illustrate their point, students would inherently listen because they retain and use information better that way. They zone out because information is presented in a format they don't recognize. That spirals the whole process downward. Making lessons "relevant" without framing the relevance with anecdotes or analogies is to render the relevance irrelevant! Everyone knows they enjoy classes taught that way more, and several studies have proven that we learn better that way, but there isn't a single teacher program, to my knowledge, teaching it.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Your students were very fortunate to have a teacher who taught active listening skills. As you said, they learn to listen effectively and make better choices in life. Thank you for your feedback and comment. Enjoy your week and keep safe. Blessings.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Children who learn to be effective active listeners make the classroom a bubbly exciting place. When I was still teaching, even my kgn children were taught to listen actively. And it is a learned skill so we practiced and most of them 'got it.'

      You have offered many valuable suggestions here. Voted up ++

      Sending you Angels today :) ps

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Kathi, I was a substitute teacher before becoming fulll-time and I appreciated the transitional time to listen and perfect my teaching skills. I know you probably have this idea already in mind, you will do fine. Thanks for your feedback. Enjoy your evening.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      An important message here. Active listening could probably save many marriages. "Silent" and "Listen" have the same letters, now that's impressive! Looks like I'm going to be teaching again after ten years, but as a substitute. It's a tough gig and not really looking forward to it, honestly. I could use the Silent and Listen to hopefully reach the kids! Thanks for sharing, look forward to reading more of your hubs! Kathi :O)

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Docmo, I am thrilled that you can use these tips in your classroom. Always great to have feedback from a professional such as yourself. Thank you for your support. Take care.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Dianna- this is absolutely brilliant. I have taught active listening to medical students before- your explanations and exercises are so good - I may use them in our communication skills classes. Voted up and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Lady E, I think as teachers we tend to want to help students complete thoughts, we know them so well; but allowing them to finish their thoughts is so important in building trust. It's about them, not us. Thank you for adding to the hub's value and for your wonderful support. Be strong, stay focused.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      ~Thanks. This is very useful and I love the practical tips / games you shared along with your experience - which made me smile. I love the point you made about not putting words in a students mouth...particularly with young ones.

      Brilliant. I will share on Twitter too.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hi, Vellur! Thanks for adding to the content. I always enjoy reading your comments as they are interesting information. Enjoy your day.

      Peggy, congratulations on your perfect score! I expected nothing less from you. If everyone used these skills, then we would see an increase in excellent communication. Thanks for you positive add to this hub. Take care.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi teaches,

      Happy to report that I scored 100% on your little quiz. Many people in counseling or psychology fields also use these active listening ideas. But it would be helpful if it would expand beyond the good teachers and others and reach everyone as it would be helpful in everyday living. Up votes and sharing.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Active listening is very important in order to know what a student wants and also find out if the student has understood clearly. As you say completing what the student wants to say ahead is going to stop him/her sharing their thoughts. Excellent hub with interesting points and thoughts. Voted up and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hyphenbird, good to see you this morning. I love hearing how your son had an active imagination; he must be very creative. Yes,this will help any child (or person) to become a great leader through listening well. God bless you.

      Mike, you probably get a lot of great information from your girlfriend in general, what a nice thing to do in sharing this way. I enjoyed our visit here today. Have a wonderful day's journey.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 5 years ago from London

      My girlfriend is a teacher and quite interested in theories and practices regarding education, so I just sent your hub too her .. It is academically grounded for sure, well done .. Your students must be so lucky to have you.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Hello teaches. These are great practices for home also. When one is helping a child learn to focus and pay attention, actual exercises make a difference. We did exercises for my little boy to help him learn to pay attention. He is not ADHD or anything like that. He just has an amazing imagination. I will use some of your tips here at home. Thanks so much.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I can only imagine how much experience you have doing this, Ruchira! LOL! Thanks for your sharing on the hub. Enjoyed your visit.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Such an interesting hub, Dianna.

      I think I practice that a lot esp when I am driving. Listening to the radio, and my kid and also concentrating on the roads...lol

      voted up and sharing it across

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      RTalloni, what a great add: it is never the path of wisdom to not listen well. Listening is the mark of a leader. Thanks for your support. Enjoy your day.

      Vnsatakopan, I learned the importance of teaching being a two-way process early on. Listening to your students will make for a better teaching experience. I thank you for your validation and support, it means much to me.

      Ignugent, I have to pull myself back on track on occasion as well. It's our wonderful brain's way of trying to use the time and space to our advantage. Thanks for your added value here. Be well and strong.

      Steph, Glad you stopped by here today. I thank you for your visit and comment. Walk tall, strong and listen well.

    • StephSev108 profile image

      Stephanie Marie Severson 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Awesome hub. Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 5 years ago

      Very good topic! I am guilty also. I listen but sometimes I get carried away and wonder in my own.

      Voted up and more! :-)

    • vnsatakopan profile image

      Dr.Vangeepuram Navaneetham Satakopan 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Very interesting hub. Teaching is not all about talking. As you point out, it has to be a two way process. As somebody who had taught for more than thirty years, I can easily appreciate your approach. Voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      A super hub on an important topic. It is especially meaningful because we are all guilty at one time or another (some more than others), but it is never the path of wisdom to not listen well. You offer helpful info and advice, and this post has already generated interesting comments. Good stuff!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Pamela, thank you for the encouraging comments. As you mentioned, I think listening is an art and skill that pays off in any relationship. Enjoy your week and take care.

      Alicia, always good to have feedback from you. Thanks for your add to the hub. Have a great week!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very useful hub, Dianna, and your suggestions for developing active listening skills are excellent. My favorite part of the hub was the "Fully Engage in Active Listening" section. As I was reading the steps for showing a student that we are interested in what they are saying I thought of a potential problem that they could cause - and then you covered that problem in the note at the end of the section! Great work!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I really like the ideas you described. I particularly liked the idea of a student telling a story and drawing at the same time. Listening is so important in any relationship, but as a teacher I think you would be outstanding! Awesome hub.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      KBE, Thanks for the fan mail. I am glad that you can use these skills in your teaching of martial arts. THat's exciting to hear! I appreciate your visit. Enjoy your day and enjoy teaching students.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 5 years ago from United States

      This was really interesting because I could how the principles can be applied to diverse areas. I think I may have to read it again.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Christy, that's a common habit to many of us: thinking ahead to what we are going to say. Oh, how I wish I could be better at this with my hubby! Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your support. Take care.

      Whonu, I'll bet the children really valued your opinions and loved your conversations! Thanks for the added value here today. Be well and safe.

      Nyamache, I think conversations between men and women have an additional dimension to them, but basically, it's how you approach the conversation and when you have them. I believe it is possible to store and than retrieve later. Did you ever think later: Oh, that's what she meant! Yes, it certainly is. Thanks for your contribution to the subject. Enjoy your day.

      Chef, those games are wonderful in teaching students the value of listening. They are fun and yet hit home with them (and me!). Thank you for your visit and support. You take care now.

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      A well constructed hub full of useful information and observation. Listening is crucial at all times in the classroom - trying to get the students to listen is also a great challenge! I like the games you've outlined which will help everyone increase their listening skills.

      Voted.

    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 5 years ago from Kenya

      This is another useful hub. Your hubs are full of rich knowledge. Listening is a challenge that people face. I have heard many women complaining that their men do not listen to them and this pose a threat in their relationship. I agree with you that hearing and listening are two different things. Is it possible for our brain to store information we hear and remember it later on when we need it?

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 years ago from United States

      This is a quality that all teachers need to develop in their effective teaching methods. I taught handicapped kids for quite a long time and this was very helpful to me, as well as most appreciated, and allowed kids to feel more self esteem , and in their being recognized as mattering to their teacher. It gave them more self confidence in other classes. A well planned and executed work, teaches, and thank you for sharing this valuable information.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      So true about having answers already planned out before we hear the end of what the other person is saying. Thanks for the tips which can apply to any conversation. Active listening is a great way to learn more about one another. Vote up and sharing as well.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Vinaya, you make a good point. Good listening skills are important to students with special needs.

      Eddy, thank for your support and thoughts. I am glad you came by today.

      Alocsin, I agree with you. These skills are useful to any personal and work relationship.

      Blessings to each of you.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      These tips are just not useful in the classroom but also in any group situation, such as at work or among family members. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Hi teaches another great hub fro you.

      You always give your all to these hubs and it shows.

      Take care and enjoy your weekend.

      Eddy.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      It is known fact that if a child has hearing problem, he/she will face learning problem. Listening is vital for learning. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

      Regards

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Kathleen, I don't even look at the scores anymore. I think it's just an adjustment period while the SEO's get a handle on where they are going with searches. I hope you enjoyed your vacation cruise. That's on my short bucket list. Thanks for commenting and visiting here today. Enjoy your weekend.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Excellent hub on a significant subject and well-handled. No surprise there.

      I've been on a cruise for the last 10 days and my hubber score went up while I was gone. It's come back down now that I'm active again. Makes you wonder.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Mhatter, good to know that companies are teaching these skills. Listening to people is a plus when it comes to quality business relationships. Thanks for your validation of the approach. Be well and strong.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Mommy, the games are fun for any age and can apply to other concepts as well. Thanks for the supportive vote. Take care.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Faith, I have learned to listen, listen, listen... some times it's hard. My husband is good at letting me know this. Ha, ha, ha. Enjoyed your visit. Blessings.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      TeacherJoe, I love your approach to this; making mistakes on purpose so that they will listen with interest. Thanks for your valued add to the hub. Blessings.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hey, Kelley, thanks for your visit here. I love the games as they do make them think about "listening". Enjoy your day.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Bill, after awhile you get to know each other too, so finishing a thought comes natural (that's what I'm claiming anyhow!). Good to see you here.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing. Your ideas are so on the money that the oil company I worked for trained this concept to anyone entering dealing with people.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Blawger, I like your chef's game. If I had the resources, I would do this in class. It would be fun but an effective listening skills game. Thanks for the add to the article.

      Natasha, I agree with you that some people seem to be very chatty. These are the times when you tell them up front: I want to help you, but I have just five minutes. Hope this helps. Great thoughts on this topic.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Active listening can be a real challenge, especially if you're tired!

      I think you're point that you cannot assume what someone will say is very important. Sometimes it can be difficult to resist the temptation to cut someone off and finish their thought, especially when you are pressed for time. You're right, though. You may not guess correctly and you will certainly cause hurt feelings and reduce the likelihood the student will share again.

    • Blawger profile image

      Bahin Ameri 5 years ago from California

      What an informative hub! I especially like the classroom exercises you recommended. They remind me of a Top Chef challenge where the contestants were split into teams of two. Each chef had to tell their partner how to make their signature dish. One chef would sit on the sidelines and bark out orders to the cooking-chef who had to listen carefully and precisely follow the recipe. The chefs were then judged on the dish their partner made. The challenge is meant to test the chefs' ability to listen and effectively communicate (traits that every chef must possess ). It just goes to show how important active listening skills are in every field.

    • Mommy Needs a Nap profile image

      Michelle Clairday 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Guilty as charged. Thanks for the gentle reminder. I like the listening games, too. Voted up.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Guilty!!! I, too, begin to form my answer in my mind before I finish listening to the whole story. However, now that I am aware I do such, I stop right then when I realize I am doing it to listen to "the rest of the story." That is too cute about your husband. I always tell my husband that he has that selective husband hearing!!! LOL

      This is a very informative hub about listening, which is key in all relatiionships. Voted Way Up

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 5 years ago

      Good morning teaches.

      Very good suggestions.

      It is important for students to be relaxed with their teacher, that inculdes making mistakes. One thing I learned is when I ask if they understand, then to ask them to explain it to me. Many times they will say they understand just to not look stupid.

      I have learned to keep it short and then to ask questions so their mind doesn't wander. It is fun when I make mistakes on purpose when reading with them or saying something to them. They catch it and correct me.Then we argue (playfully ) about it. They really like it. It makes class fun and they learn easier.

      God bless you.

      God bless you.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I need to give this to Bev....she finishes my sentences for me because she is so convinced that she knows what I'm going to say. lol

      What a great hub! This should be required reading for any student studying to be a teacher. Great job Dianna!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thank you, Drbj. It's always rewarding to hear feedback from professionals such as you. I would love to hear you speak some time, I'll bet I would learn lots!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks, Michele. I appreciate your visit here today. Be blessed.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Janine, I have informed my hubby about this article and he admits it's the truth. I use those games as ice breakers in my classes. Thanks for your sharing, votes and visit. Enjoy your day.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Hi Teaches! I love the ideas you presented here. I think the games are especially useful. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up and shared.

      Take care,

      Kelley

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      LA, you have me laughing as I picture your son grasping your face! This is so typical of kids, they know how to get our attention. Glad you found it useful and I thank you richly for your comment and visit. Keep focused and enjoy your son's sharing!

    • LA Elsen profile image

      LA Elsen 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I relate to this so well. The scenario with your husband reminds me of me and my very intuitive four year old son. He has to grab my face at times and say "Mommy! Listen to me." Because he knows I have drifted off. As a person with ADD I really appreciated this hub and found it useful.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Reading this, Dianna, I felt as if you had read my mind. Everything you wrote - everything - is what I tell attendees when conducting a seminar on Interpersonal Skills (communication). Brava - you did a magnificent job.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for this wonderful hub. You are such a wonderful teacher, your students are blessed to have you.

      Voted up!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      You had me from the beginning with your story about your husband speaking and you half listening. I seem to do this quite often now especially when I am writing. But as a teacher, I realize the importance of active listening with your students. I loved the games you included especially the Twitter/Text Messaging game. Have of course voted and shared all over!!