December 14, 2016

At a recent educational training I attended, I learned an acronym from explicit instruction expert Anita Archer that I think is worth passing on to students:  SLANT. 

SLANT describes student behaviors that impress teachers. 

Students, since it’s nearing the time the finals will be taken and semester grades will be issued, perhaps it’s a great time for you to wow your teachers!

S = sit up
L = listen
A = ask and answer
N = nod and notes
T = track teacher

Sitting up straight shows teachers that you are awake and ready to learn.  It’s a posture that indicates the teacher has your attention.

Listen to what your teacher and other classmates are saying.  You will probably hear information you need to know – like how to complete a math problem or when your science lab report is due.

Ask and answer questions.  Good questions show teachers that you want to learn more about the topic or care enough to seek clarification.  If you answer a teacher’s question it can show that you did your homework, read the chapter in your textbook, or are willing to take a risk!

Nod and notes refers to active listening.  When you nod at a teacher, it expresses agreement and that you understand the material.  Nodding is a sign of being engaged in the class discussion.  Note-taking is a practice that shows you can pick out key facts and details that are important to remember.  Reading back through your notes can be a useful way to study the material, and that act of note-taking itself supports memory.

Track teacher is a suggestion to keep your eyes on your teacher.  Tracking your teacher will help you to focus on the lesson and shows the teacher that you are paying attention.  It gives you a better chance of hearing the instructions you will need for the lesson.  If other students or adults are speaking during the lesson, you can track them when they speak, then return your focus to the teacher.