Back-to-School Freebies For Teachers

Dr. Mary Jalongo has been a faculty member in the Education Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania since 1978, teaching courses on language arts, early child-hood education, human development, and professional studies. I recommend her seminal work, Strategies for Developing Children’s Listening Skills, published by  Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation in 1991 and available for free download on ERIC at

I have found this paper to be a treasure trove of information on understanding the listening processes, variables affecting listening, strategies for teaching listening skills to children, and much more.

In a section entitled, “Create a listening environment,” Dr. Jalongo explains:

“The teacher who wants children to be good listeners considers possible sources of distraction and strives to eliminate or at least minimize them. When standardized tests are being administered, “Do Not Disturb!” signs appear on every door and the school hallways are very quiet. Yet it is common, when children are listening appreciatively to literature, for people to barge in, without apology, thus breaking the mood and the flow of the story. How refreshing it would be to see a sign that read: “Please do not disturb. Story-sharing session in progress.”  In an environment where literature is valued as much as much as test scores, such signs would be commonplace.”

Yes, wouldn’t that be refreshing? I suggest organizing a class activity where each student can make such a sign, personally decorated, and politely worded, of course. Students could take turns, for a few days or a week, each with their own carefully made sign posted on the classroom door during listening activities.  What a nice way to help for students to be invested in respect for listening times. 

To get you started, I have made signs, including Spanish versions, that you can download. This is my gift to you and your class.

As a speech-language-pathologist, I can’t resist offering another sign for times of communication sharing. Perhaps this sign could be used for when students make presentations, show and tell, class discussions or cooperative learning activities.           

Feel free to download, print, and share these door signs. Liam and Lily Labradoodle are there to help draw attention to the signs. Enjoy, and have the best school year ever!

I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and let me know if this is helpful. Thanks in advance. 

Click on the poster below to download the LISTENING SIGN:

door sign freebie

Click on the poster below to download the COMMUNICATION SIGN:

door sign freebie communication

Click on the poster below to download the Spanish version LISTENING SIGN:

door sign freebie listening Spanish version

Click on the poster below to download the Spanish version COMMUNICATION SIGN:

Spanish door sign freebie communication

© Susanne Poulette, CCC-SLP, August 23, 2016



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