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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Overview For Teachers

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: The ability to display appropriate listening, nonverbal, verbal, interpersonal, and written skills; send a consistent, clear, concise, and courteous message that is easily understood by the receiving party; ask questions, clarify or summarize, and provide feedback to ensure the message has been understood; the ability to read and interpret documents and instructions clearly and correctly; the ability to give and receive information and convey ideas and opinions with others.

PURPOSE: Upon completion of this module, the student will understand the importance of effective communication in the classroom as well as the workplace. In addition, the objectives listed below should be met.

OBJECTIVES:

 The ability to demonstrate appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills

 The ability to ask relevant questions as well as answer questions thoughtfully

 The ability to communicate effectively through writing

 The ability to read and follow directions correctly and in a timely manner

OVERVIEW:

This module focuses on teaching students the importance of being an effective communicator in all types of settings . Students will work to improve both their verbal and non-verbal communication skills . This module will discuss different types of communication and how each one plays an important role in being successful at school and at work.

TEACHERS: WHAT ARE YOU OBSERVING?

What does effective communication look like in the classroom or in school in general? A great way to answer this and get things going is through engagement with the students. Ask your students these questions:

1. What does effective communication look like in class?

2. How does your ability to communicate affect others? Example: teachers, classmates, group projects, etc.

3. What does effective communication look like within your learning?

RELEVANCY OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:

Employers have expressed that the ability to effectively communicate is crucial to an employee’s long -term success.

LESSON:

10 Steps to Effective Listening
Time Allocation: 20  minutes
Materials/Resources: computers/ tablets/ smartphones (students – optional) or printed copies of the article (see Direct Instruction) , paper, pens/ pencils , whiteboard, markers


ANTICIPATORY SET IDEA:

 Ask students the follow quest ion:

      o What’s the difference between listening and hearing?

 Give them a few moments to think about their answer and then have a few students share their answer with the class.

 Share the definitions for each term with the class:

     o Hearing: the act of perceiving sound by the ear

     o Listening: something you consciously choose to do; requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences.

 Tell students that part of being an effective communicator is the ability to be a great listener. Listening plays a huge part in communicating with others.

WATCH THE VIDEO:


DIRECT INSTRUCTION:

 Ask students the following questions one a time for a short class discussion.

     o How can being an effective listener improve your relationships?

     o How can being an effective listener help you be successful at school?

     o How can being an effective listening help you be successful in the work place?

 Alternatively, you could have students discuss these questions with a partner or small group first before asking students to share their thoughts and answers with the class.

 Have students read the article : “10 Steps to Effective Listening

     o They can access it electronically or print out a copy for each student.

 When students finish reading, put them into groups of 3 -4.


GUIDED ACTIVITY:

 Have one person in each group write down the ten steps that are listed in the article.

 For each of the ten steps, the group members will brainstorm ways that they can apply each step to their home life, school life and in the work place .

     o For example, the first step in the article is “Face the speaker and maintain eye contact.” Students can do this at home by putting down their phone or turning off the TV when their guardian is talking to them. Students can do this at school by listening to their teacher speak and not getting distracted by things on their desk or others in the room.

 When the groups have finished, have them share a few of their ideas with the class.


CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING:

 Technology Use: Create a short survey with Survey Monkey to check for understanding with the students that they will complete before they leave for the day.

 Non-Technology: Students will rate their level of understanding with either a “thumbs up” if they understand or a “thumbs down” if they need further explanation.

ETHICAL SCENARIO--Optional (if not using, skip  to "review and closing")

The Ethical Choice Scenarios have been developed to provide teachers with the ability to make the material applicable to real-life and relevant to the students. Within this guide, directions and prompts for the teacher will be in BLUE for ease of facilitation.

 

READ THE FOLLOWING SCENARIO OUT LOUD TO THE STUDENTS: 

DISAPPOINTING DATE NIGHT

You finally got up the nerve to ask your crush out on a date – and you can’t believe they said yes! You find yourself feeling extremely nervous, but excited at the same time. You meet them at the local sushi restaurant and are seated at a table. You try to start a conversation with your date, talking about things you know they are interested in, but you find it hard to communicate with them. They are constantly looking around the restaurant, shifting in their chair, and looking at their phone – they basically try to do anything possible to avoid making eye contact with you. You aren’t really sure what’s going on but think maybe they are just nervous too. You finally order your food and then attempt once again to start a conversation but the same thing happens and this time, they even try to ignore you. Their body language and facial expressions are sending the message that they don’t want to be on this date with you and all of a sudden, you become infuriated. If they didn’t want to go on a date, then why did they say yes? Part of you wants to yell and scream at them to vent your feelings and part of you wants to ask them casually what’s going on and why they are acting th is way. You are torn between the two different options you have to respond to their behavior – what do you do?


ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: (display them to the class if necessary)

1. How many of you have already been faced with this scenario in real life?

2. What types of body language and facial expressions do you think they are displaying on the date?

3. What are possible negative consequences for lashing out in anger in response to their behavior?

4. What are possible positive consequences for you, depending on your decision of how to respond to their behavior?


GUIDED DISCUSSION: ASK STUDENTS TO SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE SITUATION AND HOW THEY
ANSWERED THE QUESTIONS.

NOTE 1 : To help facilitate discussion, share any personal experiences you may have encountered with this same sort of issue.

NOTE 2 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students ,“ How can your nerves impact your ability to effectively communicate with others?”

NOTE 3 : Another option to foster further critical thinking is to then ask students , “ What values do you think are in tension here, why is it an ethical dilemma?”


CLOSING DISCUSSION: ASK THE STUDENTS , “IS NON -VERBAL COMMUNICATION JUST AS IMPORTANT AS VERBAL COMMUNICATION ?”


REVIEW AND CLOSING:

To finish the lesson, have students create a goal for themselves towards becoming an effective listener. Have them find a partner and share their goal with them.

CORRELATION TO OBSERVATION TOOL: The Frequency Observation Tool (FOT) has a category where students will be observed and rated on their communication skills. This lesson will help them understand that being an effective listener plays a big part in being an effective communicator.


DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION IDEAS:

-Visual: Visual learners will benefit from having a printed copy of the article. They would also benefit from having the definitions and the questions written on the whiteboard.

-Auditory: Auditory learners will benefit from the group and class discussions.

-Kinesthetic: To benefit kinesthetic learners, you could allow them to move around the room as they read the article. They will also benefit from writing down the steps and the brainstorming ideas in the Guided Activity

-ESL: It might be helpful for the ESL students to partner up with another student in class in case they need further clarification but they will also benefit from the group and class discussion as well as interacting with their peers.

-At-risk: At -risk students will benefit from the constant engagement in this lesson that will encourage them to stay on task.

-Advanced: Advanced learners could benefit from helping other students write down their schedules, or by assisting ESL or At -risk students who may need additional help .

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