Try this exercise in auditory distraction. This is a simulation of what it might be like to be vulnerable to noise distraction in a classroom. Most students can filter out background noise to an extent, and teachers work hard to limit background noise and interruptions while they are teaching.
Auditory Distraction in Direct Instruction Vs. Collaborative Learning: The example above is one where there is direct instruction going on: a teacher giving verbal directions to her group of students all at once. This type of instruction is important for giving assignments or announcing general information, though most teachers prefer to facilitate learning in groups or in project based context. Collaborative learning often involves vigorous and animated discussion, though, so this simulation might be a snapshot of what it is like to have an auditory attention defecit while attempting to follow direct, group instructions.
Attentive Listening: One of the four agreements at Le Jardin is “attentive listening”, which is helpful because it entails listening quietly, taking turns speaking, making eye contact, using expressive body language that shows understanding (head nodding, etc), and making note of questions for later if the speaker is still speaking. All students need to develop attentive listening skills, as they are not something we are born with. Most infants cannot discern separate sounds, though they may appear to listen attentively when sounds interest them. (Werner, L. (2007, March 27). What Do Children Hear? : How Auditory Maturation Affects Speech Perception).This does not always turn out well if not developed further, preventing fuller auditory awareness and flexibility, which is conducive to learning new things.The link for the simulation above was found at the PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/attention.html