SLANT

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Sit up straight.
Listen.
Ask and answer questions.
Nod your head to show you are listening.
Track the speaker.

I’m not sure where SLANT came from, although I’ve heard that the acronym came from KIPP schools originally. I decided to blog SLANT because it works. In particular, SLANT gets the heads up off the desk. We avoid discussions about how Hector can listen with his head down and, honest, he is paying attention even if he sometimes shuts his eyes. We avoid discussions about how the absence of eye contact and questions does not mean the student has tuned out. We have a simple set of rules, expressed in a one-word command which comes down to sit up, look at me and show me you are listening.

Eduhonesty: If I say, “Sit up straight!”, I may have to fend off discussions about why posture matters. I know that when I tell students they need to listen, the great majority will respond that they are listening, no matter how intently they are staring out the window. All of these discussions and comments suck up time. If I say, “SLANT!”, I don’t seem to have these problems. No one chooses to debate the different aspects of the acronym, a word that is easy to teach and easy to remember. I have the steps posted on my wall too. SLANT has been a professional development win.