Active listening and metacognition go hand in hand in this classroom. This school has a set of hand signals that every teacher uses in instruction. These provide the teachers with a quick formative assessment of student learning during a lesson.
Listening has always been a part of teaching literacy skills to our students. Even though this article was written by a high school English teacher, the activities she describes can be easily adapted for elementary classrooms.
Whole body listening involves the eyes, the ears, the brain and the heart. This teacher recognizes that her students need to develop these skills in order to be successful learners. She demonstrates this with her class in the video.
Active listening takes practice. This teacher uses what she calls "learning positions" to help her students get ready to be active listeners and learners. You'll see that this is a nice classroom management strategy that helps the teacher know when the learning can continue in the lesson.
These activities are good to use throughout the year to continue keeping students practicing their active listening skills. I've seen some of these used as Responsive Classroom activities to begin the day to help students get focused and ready for learning.
Here are a couple of games to build active listening skills in your classroom. I'd use these also as a way of beginning to create an anchor chart that can be used as a reference throughout the school year.
Using hand signals for discussions, can benefit both students and teachers. In a discussion groups, it's not enough for students to just raise their hand to speak. This teacher asks her students to use simple hand signals to show when they want to add something new to the discussion or add to what someone has already said.