Notes from Workshop s

Importance of Listening

The Importance of Listening

Children began to listen long before they read, write, or speak.  Some children enter school without ever having listened consciously or been held responsible for listening.   For many children, listening is the most important medium.   Growth in the other skills of communication is always conditioned by the ability to listen.   Listening is a complex process, since it involves a physical process of hearing both mental and emotional factors.

Listening like reading is a process of meanings with symbols.   In one case, the symbols are aural and in another, visual.  It is the child’s ability to understand on the depth and variety of the concepts, word meanings and language skills the child has developed.  Note: The child builds meanings and concepts through experiences.  Thus, opportunity to plan, observe, explore, and talk are essential to growth in LISTENING!


3 Games

Button that Sweater           (Need
shirt or sweater)

A sweater
or jacket with buttons is placed over a chair unbuttoned.  A child is selected to spell an easy word
like cat or say the alphabet or count to 10. 
With a correct answer, the child buttons one button on the sweater.  This continues till the sweater is buttoned.  You can continue the game by asking for more
correct answers and unbuttoning the sweater. 
There is no penalty if the answer is incorrect as you ask the next child
another question.  You can make
competition out of this activity by having two sweaters and the team who
buttons the sweater wins. 

Between Day and Night

These are
words associated with day or night.  The
children stand in the middle of the room. 
The teacher gives directions: if you hear anything that has to do with
day you go to one side of the room or if the teacher says anything about night,
the children will go the other side of the room.  The children await the word and make their
choice which side is for dark and which side is for night.  Examples for day: light, sun, suntan, blue
sky, white clouds, green grass, squirrel
, ducks in the water, and
.  Words associated with night: dark, moon, stars, light switch, nightlight, shadow, bed, bats, dreaming and sleepy.  The teacher should
create around 20 words for night and 20 words for light.

Storyteller Puzzle

The teacher can cut out
comic strips, mix them up, and have the child put the story together.  If you white out the sayings above the
cartoon strip, let the child tell the story in their creative fashion.


Is the Child Having a Nightmare or Night Terror?

I learned recently about the difference between a nightmare and a night terror, as I put together a workshop on “Anxieties and Fears in Children”.  One out of every four children between the ages of 3 and 8 experience either night terrors or night‑mares. Both of these situations can be unnerving, but are
generally short‑lived.

Night terrors generally occur within
an hour of falling asleep.  The child awakens suddenly from a state of deep
sleep in a state of panic.  He or she may scream, sit up in bed, breathe
quickly, and stare “glassy eyed.”  The child also may seem confused,
disoriented, and incoherent.  Each episode can last from 5 to 30 minutes.  A
child who experiences night terrors is not aware of any scary thoughts or
dreams and is usually able to go back to sleep quickly.  In the morning, he or
she usually doesn’t remember waking at all.  Night terrors may occur for several
years.  Generally they go away with time and are not an indication of any
underlying emotional problems.

Nightmares generally occur in the early morning hours.  Children who experience nightmares can often recall the vivid details of their
scary dream and may have difficulty going back to sleep.  Nightmares will often
center on a specific problem or life event that is troubling the child.  Parents
can help by remaining calm and hold the child close and talk in a soft soothing
voice to comfort and reassure the child.  If possible, the parent or teacher
should stay close by until he or she falls asleep.  Calm, consistent handling of
nightmares or terrors will help the child feel safe and secure.