16 October, 2006

FeedbackMy daughter teaches second grade. A few weeks ago she asked her Dad if he would help her to construct some "Whisper" or "Phonics Phones". These teaching aids are made with simple tools and lengths of PVC plumbing pipe with "elbows" attached to each end. These phones are used in the classroom as an acoustical voice-feedback headset that enables learners of all ages to focus and hear the sounds that make up words (phonemes) more clearly as they learn to read, spell, or process language aloud.
Also, they learn to control the volume of their voice, since this phone goes straight into their own ear! An entire reading group can use them simultaneously without the distracting volume that would otherwise occur. She happily returned to her classroom after a weekend at our home with 14 "phones", her Dad was more than happy to help.

I've been thinking about these feedback devices ever since. If I had one of these phones and could only hear my own voice, nothing else, would I be happy with what I heard? Would I be pleased with my tone? Is what I say worth listening to, is there value in my words? It's caused me to give much more thought to thinking before I speak; it's funny how a piece of plastic pipe could have such a profound effect. Indeed, it is a valuable teaching tool. I've learned a LOT!

Life is Good!


Jim V said...

Okay, I realize there is a more serious message in this post, and I appreciate it and agree.

But there is another purpose for these devices. Can you imagine walking through the grocery store with one of these:

"What, WHAT?!?"

"Okay, got it. More bread."

"What else? You're going to have to speak up, I can barely hear you on this thing!"

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Yeah, "Can you hear me now"?...

Flake said...

That's my Dad too, he's great!!