• Looks Like, Sounds Like

    At one time, teachers would simply provide the guidelines for procedures and behaviors, and students were expected to follow them. Now, we try to help students come to their own understandings of what actions will best bring about the results that we want to see.

    One proven method to help children visualize and better comprehend a specific positive interaction (sharing, working together) is to ask them to picture the behavior occurring correctly, and then describe “what it looks like” and “what it sounds like.”

    For example, when children were asked how students should help one another on the computer, they answered:

    Looks like:

    • The coach points, but never touches the mouse or keys.
    • The coach shows the learner where to find directions or shortcuts.
    • The coach leans close to talk, so that he or she won’t need to speak too loudly.
    • The learner records steps or ideas so that when they become the coach, they can remember what to do.

    Sounds like:

    • The coach whispers, and doesn’t get upset if the learner makes a mistake.
    • The coach answers questions with questions, so that the learner can figure out ideas on his or her own.
    • The coach says things like “good guess” rather than “that’s wrong,” and “next time, you should try…” rather than “don’t do that.”
    • The learner repeats ideas before trying them.
    • The learner asks questions until he or she gets it.
    • The learner says thank you when the coaching is over.

    A sample exercise requiring the use of “Looks like, Sounds like” can be found in the collection of workhabit graphic organizers.

Last Modified on September 9, 2006