Sunday, December 13, 2009

Listening Time, a Toddler Tools book

Listening Time
is one of the board books in the Toddler Tools series written by Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen. It teaches children how to be respectful when in a situation that requires listening, such as circle time at school. I like that it both tells and shows children how to be good listeners. To simply tell a child to be a good listener does no good if the child doesn't understand how to do it.

Verdick tells children to sit criss-cross applesauce. I use the phrase, "My eyes are open and my mouth is closed so that my ears can hear." Her words are quite similar. One set of pages says, "Good listening looks like this." and shows the children sitting respectfully with short legs and hands in their laps. That visual reminder is so important to young children. Then, when the teachers asks who is reading to listen, she shows the children still sitting respectfully, but thinking "Me!" instead of shouting it out.

As always, there is a section for parents and caregivers in the back. The most important thing is to demonstrate how to be a good listener and how to use an "indoor voice". She also provides other tips for teachers at circle time.

Again, this is a great book to use at the beginning of the school year when establishing classroom rules. It's also a great one to which teachers should periodically return to remind children of the listening rules of the classroom.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Free Spirit Publishing.

Purchase Listening Time (Toddler Tools)

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