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.


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