5 Tips for Teaching Communication Skills to Your Elementary Class

Effective communication is an essential life skill that will benefit your students in their friendships, in your classroom, and as they get older. As a teacher, you play a crucial role in helping your students develop strong communication skills from an early age. Let’s chat about some tips you can use to help you teach communication skills to your students.

Use Explicit Instruction to Teach Communication (just like you would to teach math or reading!)

When your students are learning a new skill, it’s best to teach them the skill explicitly with an I do, We do, You do model. Teach them with a lesson, instead of assuming that your students will just pick up on the skill over time. Then, give them opportunities to practice. One of my favorite times to teach social-emotional learning skills is during morning meeting. You can use these ready-to-go slides and activities to make teaching communication a breeze!

Teach Listening Skills

Teaching listening skills is just as important as teaching speaking skills. Have your students to listen carefully to what others are saying, and to ask questions to clarify their understanding. You can also teach your students how to use body language and eye contact to show that they are actively listening.

Give Students Opportunities to Practice & Encourage Conversation

Encouraging your students to have conversations with their classmates and with you will give them an opportunity to practice their conversation skills and get feedback. You can also assign group projects and partner games and challenges after you have taught a communication lesson, which will help students learn how to communicate their ideas effectively and give them time to practice the skills you taught.

Provide Students In The Moment Guidance

While it can be helpful to debrief after a communication error, it’s also important to help students through a challenging conversation in the moment. If you see conflict or miscommunications occurring, pull students individually and help talk them through the different paths they could take in the moment. That way, you prevent further blow ups and allow students to have in the moment practice to improve their skills.

Model Good Communication

One of the most important thing you can do to help your students learn good communication skills is to model them yourself. Show your students how to speak clearly and respectfully, listen actively, and use appropriate non-verbal cues. Your students really look up to you, and you’ll notice that as the year goes on, your students pick up your communication habits. Being aware of this will help your students understand what good communication looks and sounds like, making it easier for them to learn.

Teaching communication skills to your elementary students is a crucial part of their education. By following these tips, you can help your students develop strong communication skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. Remember to be patient, explicit, and consistent, and to have fun along the way!

By implementing these techniques in your classroom, you will be giving your students the foundation they need to be confident and effective communicators.

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