Teachers are tasked not only with teaching academic skills to their students, but also with managing the challenging behaviors that students exhibit in the classroom. This is a difficult job, and one that many teachers struggle with. This three part blog series on Classroom Management Techniques will provide teachers with three interventions they can add to their bag of tricks to help stop classroom disruptions before they start!
The following tip, from 75 Quick and Easy Solutions to Common Classroom Disruptions by Bryan Harris and Cassandra Goldberg, provides teachers with an acronym they can use with their students to help them learn the necessary skills to help them focus and pay attention!
When students are expected to pay attention, focus, and listen, they need to be taught the specific expectations, body stances, and behaviors that will lead to success. SLANT is an acronym that is used to remind students of the proper behaviors to exhibit when listening to a speaker.
When students need to focus on a speaker, instruct them that it is time to SLANT. The acronym outlines five key behaviors that maximize a student’s ability to pay attention, focus, and learn.
- Sit Up - Instruct students how to sit and how to orient their bodies or position themselves in a way that will maximize their ability to focus.
- Lean Forward - Tell students to lean slightly toward the person who is speaking.
- Ask and Answer Questions - Encourage the students to be active by asking questions about the information being presented.
- Nod Your Head - When the speaker makes a statement or asks a question, students should practice nonverbal responses such as head nods, raised eyebrows, or thumbs-up.
- Track the Speaker - Inform students that they want to constantly track and watch the speaker’s movements, hand motions, and non-verbal cues. Much of a speaker’s message is delivered nonverbally.
Tips and Variations
Use the SLANT reminder only in a positive way. Avoid reprimanding students or using SLANT to highlight what students are doing wrong. If students fail to respond appropriately to the cue, use that as an opportunity to re-teach expected behaviors.
One variation favored by some teachers is STAR—Sit up, Track the speaker, Ask questions, Respect those around you.