Happy New Year! I hope this note comes after lots of family fun during Christmas and school break and finds you well. (Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here.)
Sometimes after a long break like this, students have a hard time getting back into the swing of things - and then with the anticipation of spring, attentions drift. That’s why I’ve chosen January as the month to talk about attentiveness. Why is it important? Much of the content has come from Character First Education’s elementary curriculum which is excellent and should be checked out if you’re a parent, homeschool, or a private or public teacher.
Simply defined, attentiveness is CONCENTRATING ON THE PERSON OR TASK BEFORE ME.
Here are the takeaways for your child/student: I WILL:
Look at people when they speak to me.
Ask questions if I don’t understand.
Sit or stand up straight.
Not draw attention to myself.
Not be distracted by others.
KIDS ~ Look at those ears!
Deer have ears that can swivel different directions so they can hear sounds from anywhere around them. And, their eyes are set on the sides of their heads so they can see almost entirely around them as well! And, they can smell danger too. A deer’s life depends on their attentiveness. The snap of a twig nearby will alert them to stop, and possibly run from an enemy.
Unlike deer, we have eyes in the front of our heads. And our ears don’t swivel. But, they are especially formed to collect sounds from many directions. For us, looking at our parents or teachers is the best way to listen and take in what they’re saying. Not only will we hear better, but we show respect to the speaker. Ask yourself these questions:
Have you ever forgotten the answers when taking a test? Why do you think that happened?
What is the opposite of attentiveness? (distraction, disruption, rudeness, unconcern)
Have you ever felt ignored? How did that make you feel?
How do you think attentiveness can help you in school? At home?
“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while, he knows something.” ~ Wilson Mizner
Try this little game:
Gather several friends/students in a circle and put a covered plate or tray in the middle, filled with a variety of small objects (maybe 10-12 items). Uncover it and let everyone study it for 5-10 seconds. Then cover the tray and ask the students how many things they remember seeing. Write the answers on the board. Discuss the importance of paying attention to details, then have them try again. Did they do better the 2nd time?
THINGS TO REMEMBER
LOOK AT PEOPLE WHEN THEY SPEAK.
Watch your body language and facial expression when you talk. The way you stand, the way you look, shows a lot about you. Look respectfully at those who are speaking to you. Let them know you’re listening with a smile or a nod. That’s very encouraging to them!
ASK QUESTIONS IF I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
If you have questions, just respectfully ask, “Can you say that again, please?” or “Is this what you mean?” If you’re in class, raise your hand and make eye contact with the speaker. If they’re not looking in your direction, lower your hand until they are looking.
SIT OR STAND UP STRAIGHT.
Slouching is unattractive and isn’t good for you either. Correct posture helps you keep alert and healthy too. It also shows respect to the person speaking. Sit up straight in class, especially if you’re tired. Feel the difference!
NOT DRAW ATTENTION TO MYSELF.
Acting out or being the class clown hurts your classmates ability to learn. Don’t make noise, scoot your chair, tap your pencil, laugh loudly, sign heavily, make jokes, or cause other distractions in class. Try to stifle yawns, coughs, and sneezes. Don’t finish others’ sentences, and wait for your turn to speak.
NOT BE DISTRACTED BY OTHERS.
Ignore distractions that may be happening around you and give your full attention to the speak. Taking notes will help you focus on what is being taught to you.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS JANUARY?
This is an INTERACTIVE blog! Here’s a picture of Braxton playing with one of his Christmas presents: legos! Lego sets are great, aren’t they? Send me any pictures, artwork, special activities, stories, etc. that you’d like to share with the other subscribers.
Also, I’m thinking about what to write for another series of books for younger kids (picture books). What are your favorite picture books?
And, I’m planning to also write a middle-grade novel for older kids (ages 8-12). If you’re in this age bracket, what are your favorite books? I can’t wait to hear from you!! I may be asking for ideas for characters and names later… How cool would it be if your idea was actually published in a book with the credit for it given to you? Also, let me know what you think of this artist. She can do a lot more than this, but…
JANUARY BOOK GIVEAWAY!!
One luck subscriber will win the title of their choice from the Bandana Acres series this month. Please encourage your friends and relatives to sign up and be a part of this INTERACTIVE blog. The winner will be contacted by the end of January and the announcement posted next month.
Blessings ~ Kathy J Perry