Greetings from Kansas, scooterworm, and . Great to have you here! I'm not sure how hand-in-hand those two things go. While hens lay eggs whether or not you have a rooster, I've had hens be submissive to roosters when they were weeks out if I recall. Seems like roosters are ready to mate long before hens are ready to lay. I can't say I'm 100% sure on this but it seems like that's been my experience. Others may chime in with other ideas. Good luck to you!
Just don't let the rooster overbreed them. A rooster will breed anything that stands still long enough. If the others are smart enough to hide from him, the same pullet will end up physically damaged over time.
Hi and welcome to BYC - great to have you onboard with us. I'm with Redsoxs, but additional signs of them thinking about laying include a reddening of the comb and face, squatting for you, when you approach and visiting the coop / nesting boxes now and again. It can still take a few weeks, in my experience before they actually lay. Its a game of patience - none of us are any good at that, i know