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Standard 1: Speaking and Listening

Students will speak and listen effectively in a variety of situations including, but not limited to, responses to reading and writing.


READING: Students will develop and apply effective communication skills through speaking and active listening.
5.1.R.1 Students will actively listen and speak clearly using appropriate discussion rules with awareness of verbal and nonverbal cues.

Student Actions 

Teacher Actions 

  • Students actively listen by using appropriate body language.
    • Student reactions can be misread and can be influenced many factors, including:

      • Culture

      • Mood

      • Thinking process

      • Learning Style

  • Students use and interpret verbal and nonverbal cues effectively.
  • Students take turns when speaking.

    • Students who struggle to wait their turn can be encouraged to write down key words, comments, or questions in order to help them remember what they want to say as they wait for their turn. Their anxiety will be eased enabling them to demonstrate better listening skills.  Sticky notes can be great tools for marking important spots in a book or writing down keywords. 
  • Students clearly share thoughts and ideas.
  • Students complete sentence stems and starters to summarize what was said by others in order to convey understanding.  
  • Teachers model and provide opportunities to practice what it looks like to actively listen to a speaker.

    • Principles of Active Listening 

        • Active listening looks different according to student’s varying learning styles. Many people need their hands to be busy in order to listen and process information.

  • Teachers model and provide opportunities to use and interpret verbal and/or nonverbal cues.

  • Teachers model how to and provide students with opportunities to take turns when speaking with a partner, a small group, and the whole class.

  • Teachers model how to and provide students with opportunities to organize and share their thoughts and ideas.

    • Give students a predetermined amount of tickets at the start of the activity, when students answer or ask a question they hand in their tickets. Each student must spend all their tickets, but may not spend more. This encourages participation in both listening and speaking. 

  • Teachers monitor and provide opportunities for students to receive feedback.

    • checklist or rubric

    • one on one conference

    • verbal or written praise

Supporting Resources 

Teacher Insights 

Teaching Students How to Discuss (webpage)
Think Pair Share (webpage with video) 
  • When students are "active listeners," they are hearing and thinking about what is being said.

  • Active listening is the pursuit of what another person says and feels to improve mutual understanding. Active listening involves hearing content, listening for tone, observing body language, paraphrasing, summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and reflecting.

  • Students demonstrate active listening in different ways and should be taught respectful listening skills within their boundaries and culture.

  • Body language, and particularly eye contact, differs in cultures.  For example, some cultures may view prolonged eye contact as aggression.

  • Student’s proficiency in speaking will range from expressing basic needs, asking and answering simple everyday questions to giving opinions and justifying.

  • Sentence frames and question stems give students guidance in appropriate conversational structure and provide a basis to express and give reasons for their thoughts and ideas.  

  • Verbal cues include words, phrases, and tone of voice that speakers use to add emphasis, clarify organization, and make connections.

  • Nonverbal cues include pauses, facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, and body language. 

Due to recursive nature of the standards, it is essential that teachers are aware of how all objectives within and between strands work together for optimal instruction.

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