How do I keep them quiet?!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Kat., Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    Mar 4, 2018

    My group of first graders this year are so LOUD! All the time - even when they're allowed to work together. Their voices all seem to carry on top of them just using a high volume.

    I've read Decibella, tried many reward systems and consequences, practiced things like reading and math centers daily, praised students who were doing a good job...nothing works for more than a few minutes.

    They're so loud that I have a hard time hearing the students at my guided reading table during centers - and that's when I have 8-10 students in headphones on ipads or chromebooks. I am constantly having to stop and redirect the whole class or individual students. It's mostly not a behavioral issue, so I'm really struggling with how to correct it.


    Any advice?
     
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  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Mar 4, 2018

    Before centres gather everyone at the carpet and re-explain what centre time should look and sound like. Model it. Then ask for 3 volunteers to show the class how to get started quickly and quietly. After watching and praising the volunteers, slowly release a few more students at a time to centres until the entire class is busy. As soon as it’s too loud, end centre time and gather on the carpet again. Praise them for how quietly they worked and then gradually release them all for the next round of centres. You may have to shorten the length of rotations while they re-learn the expectations, but don’t redirect anymore. Nip it as soon as it’s too loud. Slowly build up stamina for working quietly. You may even want to graph it as a class - length of each round- until they can work for longer periods of time.
     
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  4. Been There

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    Mar 4, 2018

    I used to blast a bicycle horn a few times whenever the volume became too loud. It was just loud enough to make it uncomfortable for students - they got the message pretty quick! I think an air horn might have a similar effect. Whatever you do, minimize what you say to the class. Just sound the alarm and hold your index finger to your mouth to signal QUIET!
     
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  5. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Mar 4, 2018

    I have the same problem as the OP and I am definitely trying this.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Mar 5, 2018

    Will they work silently when told to do so?

    I have a class like this too. They work fairly well together when in groups but get so loud. The only real thing that I've found that works for them is a 3 strikes you're out policy. When it gets too loud I will give warning 1, warning 2, and if I get to 3, they have to stop talking entirely and work silently. It's not perfect, but it's worked okay. I normally have them work silently for 3-5 minutes and then let them try talking again.
     
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  7. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Mar 5, 2018

    If your students are having difficulty regulating the volume of their voices in groups, in your most authoritative voice, with hands on hips and a stern look give them the following directive: "Everyone, stop talking and look at me. From now on, whenever you work in groups, you are only allowed to WHISPER to each other." For extra emphasis, whisper the new directive to the class! Make sure every group has a "leader" whose job is to enforce the whisper rule by reminding any violator to lower their volume.

    The key is to sound like you mean it and to give concise easy-to-follow instructions. Too much verbiage from the teacher will negatively affect the results. Sounds too simple? It worked for me. Of course, many classroom management problems are best addressed sooner than later.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 6, 2018

    Being quiet is built on stamina.
    I help them build it one minute at a time. They need to stay on task quietly. The second one does not, we ding the bell and gather. We discuss and compare how well we did. How to improve. Then we try again either then, later in the day, or the next day for longer. My 2nd graders this year have 23 minutes stamina in the morning and 17 in the afternoon.

    Last year, 12 minutes tops. sigh. I always quit at the 12 though and often reconvened with those same groups after a brain break or later in the day. I had to accept that and be patient.
     
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  9. Been There

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    Mar 12, 2018

    Have you actually tried being stern with your students? One’s physical demeanor, tone of voice, choice of words and timing often determines a teacher’s effectiveness with students, especially with first graders. Spending a good thirty minutes practicing in front of a mirror will give you the confidence and skill to manage the children. It’s not so much a matter of what you do, but how you do it that counts. This is the reason some people continue to struggle with classroom management even after trying numerous strategies. It’s all in the delivery.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  10. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Mar 13, 2018

    I view verbally noisy students as a paradox. They do need to learn to regulate their voices, but at the same time, they need to continue to learn verbal interaction. The fact that they get noisy is actually a good sign; they're using language. If it occurs during cooperative learning activities, they are connecting their previous language learning with new language learning. If they get excited about this, that's a good sign too. I read somewhere that when kids are asked what's the most important rule in school, they respond, "Be quiet!"

    If a group of students began doing extra arithmetic problems and didn't want to quit, or if a group of students were reading an extra amount of books, we would be overjoyed. Verbal discussion is a vital skill to learn, (one that I think might benefit many adults, today). However, the other side of the coin presents a further equally important learning situation. How to keep the noise level down.

    In a group, it is difficult for individuals to realize how loud they are becoming. As the collective volume tends to rise, individual volumes tend to match it. Often young students are unaware that the volume is too loud. During times when talking is allowed, I would turn the lights off, pause, then quietly turn them back on again as a quiet signal to return to quiet classroom voices.
    I love this idea. Each group could have a moderator, and perhaps the moderators could even have a quiet signal to communicate with each other when they think the groups are becoming to loud. Another possibility is to assign each student as a moderator--this would help during non-groupwork times when talking is still allowed. When any student realizes that the noise level is rising, s/he could send a hand signal to another student to confirm that student's opinion. That student would send the signal to another student, too. In typical childlike game fashion, a bunch of quiet signals would begin spreading around the room until everyone got the message. Personally, I like being included in such games, so when someone sends the signal to me, I would participate sending the signal to another student.
     
  11. Been There

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    Mar 13, 2018

    I've noticed that peoples' willingness to keep the noise level within acceptable limits is somewhat related to age. Of course, younger students often become louder with increasing excitement - here group leaders can be quite effective. However, the older they get the less mindful and respectful they become of others. By the time they become adults, the noise often goes through the roof!

    I hated PD days not only because I often had to role-play being a child, but also had to interact with other teachers in collaborate groups. As others may have experienced in such small groups, teachers had a tendency to go off topic (forget about meaningful group discussion) and the extreme noise level in the room made it impossible to hear oneself think. Group leaders had absolutely no influence on getting others to cooperate.
     
  12. PEteacher07

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    Mar 14, 2018

    I know a gym setting is different than a class one but I have found CHAMPS posters in the gym to be helpful. They know what voice level is okay at that
    moment, how they should ask for help, what movement they can do like playing/restroom/water breaks, etc.
     

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