A Good Start: Listening Rules

As a speech and language pathologist we often are going from case to case. Our students are coming in from something different and they too need time to adjust to therapy session. Rules and routines assist in setting up the session so that it is off to a good start.


They need to be taught, practiced and reinforced for them to be remembered. Some children need these rules visuals so that they can easily be referred to.

What the rules can be personal preferences but the aim should be to get the student in a ready to learn state.


My rules have been:

  • Eyes are looking,
  • Ears are listening,
  • Hands in lap
  • Feet on floor
  • We have a positive attitude (we wave our hands and quiet shout yeah)

This puts them in a position to work. Interestingly a middle school boy added the line “We have a positive attitude”.

Listening Rules  Here is a Pdf of the visual I use there is two copies that you can laminate and then cut. This is what works for me you might have other ideas and strategies and that is great. Feel free to say what is your favorite way in the comment section. Click on the Listening Rules and it will open up.

Listening Rules


I also have used the Whole Brain Teaching by Chris Biffle to extend this listening rule.  I use it more when I am working with whole classrooms.  See this to see the wealth of resources he has.


I especially like the 5 rules

  1. Follow directions quickly
  2. Raise your hand for permission to talk
  3. Raise you’re your hand for permission to leave your seat
  4. Make smart choices
  5. Make you teacher happy


It is important to do the movements with these so that the child has a better chance in remembering them.



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