SSLANT

Over the summer I was stuck in the Indianapolis airport for several hours and treated myself to Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers.  About 36 hours later, I was done reading the book.  Yes, it was that good.  There are a million ideas I'd like to blog about after reading Outliers, but today I want to keep it simple.  After all, most of us educators just returned from a summer off;  we are in survival mode until we understand our students (and they understand us).




Use this easy acronym to help your students (and students with special needs) hone their communication skills during the first few weeks of school.  Gladwell includes it within an education discussion in Outliers, along with a ton of other interesting tidbits.  And by the way, I may like Gladwell's writing and ideas as much as I like Daniel Pink.  Shocking, no?

Ready to SSLANT?  When  communicating with others....

S      Smile
S    Sit up
L     Listen
A   Ask Questions
N    Nod when being spoken to
T   Track with your eyes

This would make a great poster hung on your classroom wall to remind students to SSLANT.  Of course, you have to train them how to SSLANT first, but you knew that.

SSLANTing,
Jen

PS - All of Gladwell's books are incredible (Outliers, The Tipping Point and Blink)

13 comments:

  1. Was this a hard copy version? Like, one that I could borrow? I loved the Tipping Point.

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  2. Susan Y - Yes, you are welcome to borrow Outliers. It is a good read like the Tipping Point and Blink.

    Courtney has it (though I think she is done), so when she returns it, it's all you.

    Jen

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  3. I LOVE the idea of SSLANT!!!!!!!!!!!! Good one, Lara!!

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  4. Jax,

    I adore SSLANT, too. I've been saying in my college classes, "Give me some SSLANT!" And everyone sits up straight, leans forward and nods their heads.

    :)
    Jen

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  5. Susan Y - I have Outliers for you!

    Jen

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  6. I believe this would be an easy way for children to understand. I would hang this in front of the room and repeat it every morning to help them remember it. I think acronyms are a good way to help children memorize. This is also a fun way to teach them how to follow directions. Instead of following a lot of rules, I can use this simple formula to encourage them to be on their best behavior. I believe SSLANT would work with all children with different needs because it's quick and easy to memorize.

    Kelli D.

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  7. Not only is this a great tool to implement in a classroom management plan but is a great way to start off a lesson on acronyms. Once you bring up SSLANT you can start scaffolding. Thanks!
    Lucy A

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  8. Very cool idea BUT would this work with special ed students? Some of them can't maintain eye contact and some are slower to process, so to remember to do all of these things could be difficult. I would love to use it with them, but would you suggest a variation that was more "comfortable"?

    Meredith L.

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  9. In my fieldwork location a poster hung in the special education classroom that read just that, SSLANT. It included photos for each action as well as why each action was important. I would read it each time I was there as it hung within eyesight of all of the desks. I remember thinking what a great tool! This could work well with students in a general classroom as well especially if you encourage cooperative learning.

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  10. This is a great idea to incorporate on day one of class. SSLANT is something students can take with them passed high school. I use SSLANT when I’m in an interview or a meeting. It shows you are paying attention, are ready to learn something new, and are willing to communicate.

    I’ll have to get myself a poster.

    Patricia L.

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  11. I love SSLANT! I think that it is a great tool to be used in the classroom to help teach children how to physically be engaged with what the teacher or speaker is talking about. These communication skills are important in the classroom and I think that they could really help students with special needs. Like Meredith L. Stated earlier, I too think that all of these tasks may be a little difficult for some students with special needs. I think that adjustments should be made when needed, but I still think that these skills will be extremely important for all students. Having this chart in the classroom and going over it every morning to remind students to practice these skills will prove to be beneficial.

    Kristen W.

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