“My Child is not listening in kindergarten.”
As a parent or teacher we have all had at least one child that makes us ask ourselves, “why is my child not listening?” I am here to tell you that you are not alone and that there could be several factors that play a role in why your child is not listening in preschool or kindergarten. In this post, I will share RTI classroom interventions specific to listening and receptive language. These same strategies are effective to use at home for parents.
How to help distracted students
Wondering how to deal with a child not listening? First, closely evaluate the visual and auditory distractions in the classroom. Then, determine how much the student can tolerate and remove extraneous stimuli from the environment. You should also avoid situations that require the student to listen for prolonged periods of time.
Classroom interventions for struggling students
There are a variety of language interventions in the classroom that can be useful when a child is not listening to his/her teacher. You can assist the student in following directions through verbal/visual/auditory cues and then decrease those cues as the student becomes more independent and demonstrates responsibility. It is important to have the student acknowledge what he hears with a statement such as “OK, Got it, etc.” to ensure that he/she heard/saw the cue.
Why are classroom rules important?
When a child is not listening in school it is important to establish and frequently review classroom rules that include:
- Work on task
- Work quietly
- Remain in your seat
- Finish task
- Meet task expectations
Along with reviewing these rules often, you must also be consistent when reinforcing the rules. For instance, do not allow the student to fail one time and expect complete compliance another time. Communicate with the parent which directions you are working on at school so they can also work on them at home. This will not only help you as the teacher with the child not listening in kindergarten, but it will also support the parent in how to deal with their child not listening at home as well. Furthermore, you are helping the student understand that their behavior determines whether consequences are positive or negative.
More RTI Comprehension strategies
Some other RTI classroom interventions to add to your toolkit are to stay within the student’s line of sight. The teacher should be able to see the student and the student see the teacher. This will help you make eye contact at all times when giving verbal directions. You should avoid giving directions across the room. Get in close proximity to the student and get their undivided attention. As their ability to follow directions improves, gradually increase the distance between the two.
How to teach following directions
One way to teach listening skills is to create activities that the student will need to focus on and implement following directions in increasing levels of complexity for carryover of skills learned. You can also provide a finished example of the product (when appropriate) and leave it in the view throughout the duration of the assignment.
Some more RTI classroom interventions for language include, demonstrating directions as they are presented verbally. Use visual pictures to sequence an activity such as color, cut, glue in order. When giving directions of any kind, have a signal for the student when it is time to listen and follow directions.
- This could be clapping the hands, turning on/off the lights
- Have the student repeat a mantra to themselves such as “Listen carefully.”
Activities for Following Directions
Give verbal directions before passing out materials or getting out supplies and be mindful of the quality and clarity of verbal directions.
- Use simplified vocabulary
- Speak in short sentences
- Use gestures
What is peer tutoring?
If you are assigning group work or Kindergarten RTI activities, you might pair the student with a student who is helpful and organized. This is often an accommodation included in a student’s IEP for special education. It is research based as a way for students to learn by watching and imitating their peers.
Where can I find small group games for kindergarten RTI?
I have included activities appropriate for RTI Classroom Interventions in my Book Companions and my Vocabulary Units.
You can also read about our campus wide vocabulary interventions here on my blog:
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