Classroom Noise

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Roswenth, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Roswenth

    Roswenth Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2007

    One of the assignments on my alt. teaching course is about classroom rules, and if rules like 'Be Quiet' are truly necessary. I'm not as bothered by noisy students in my classroom as long as they are on task, and I'm not bothered by noise in nearby classrooms. However, I know teachers I've worked with in the past have been extremely bothered by even a small amount of next-door noise and kids in their classrooms pretty much had to whisper all of the time. One in particular I remember came over at least once a week to complain about 'all the noise', and our class wasn't really that noisy. Plus we had a playground right outside, and I really wasn't even sure it was our noise to begin with.

    What are your thoughts on the "Use quiet voices" rule, and how do you work that in your classrooms? Does local noise bother you a lot, or not really at all?


    Just to add, another question was about whether a 'keep your hands to yourself' rule was culturally appropriate, but at the elementary age, I can't see how you not have that rule and not have them punching and kicking one another.
     
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  3. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Sep 28, 2007

    I believe the appropriate noise level is based on what is being worked on. If everyone is reading,you need it to be quiet.If partners are working together a low whisper should be enough to be heard. Center or group projects will require more noise,but should not reach the level where they bother people in other areas. Shouting should be saved for outdoor or gym activities.
    I am confused why other teachers are complaining about the noise level in your classroom.Do you share a common space,without doors to close if your class is working on a group activity?
    At the elementary level I feel lessons can be taught that hands and feet are for helping and not hurting!
    Good luck in your teaching career.REmember you need to find a comfortable teaching style that you are comfortable with,not what your next door neighbor is comfortable with.
     
  4. Roswenth

    Roswenth Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2007

    This was a past school I worked at, but no, there was not a common space, and doors could be shut. I really didn't think the noise level was ever that high either, but that the particular teacher was just really sensitive about it. And perhaps she was redirecting her anger at the playground noise on our classroom and the classroom on the other side of her.

    The other issue was about lunchroom noise, and the lunchroom was detached from the rest of the school, so I often wondered if all the efforts to keep kids quiet at lunch was rather silly. I certainly saw no need to whisper all the time.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2007

    I have three rules: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Prepared. Rules like "keep your hands to yourself" and "be quiet, use soft voices" goes under Be Respectful. We come up with rules as a class, then decide which of the 3 main rules they follow under.

    We discuss what the appropriate voice levels are for different activities. For SSR, then it is silent(NO VOICES), cooperative learning will of course be a little loud, and while they are working independently then a little whisper voice will be fine.
     
  6. IRAEnglishT-chr

    IRAEnglishT-chr Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2007

    I agree with earlier posts in that kids need to know that certain volumes are appropriate for specific activities/times of the day. I have a spring clothespin attached to a piece of paper labeled SILENT, WHISPER, and NORMAL. I put it on NORMAL each morning for the first ten minutes, then move it to whisper as the students complete their morning bell ringers. I expect them to be completely SILENT during tests (unless, of course, they raise their hands to ask an important question of me) and during times that I'm doing whole group instruction (explaining something). Most other times they are permitted to whisper. During group activities, Science projects, etc. they are permitted to speak in a NORMAL voice. It's a school-wide rule that they use "quiet lips" in the hallways. Outside they are free to yell their little lungs out :yawn:

    Sometimes I need them to be quiet just for my own sanity, so the clothespin idea helps a lot.

    Like the earlier poster, I have three rules that cover all the bases: BE Respectful, BE Responsible, and BE Resourceful!
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 28, 2007

    I also am not bothered by on-task chatter/noise. My neighbors are, so I am keeping them quiet (since one of them came into my room and yelled at them a few weeks ago:mad:.

    My rules are:
    Be Respectful
    Be Responsible
    Be Safe
    and I recently added:
    Listen to directions the FIRST time they are given (which technically falls under be responsible, but they were driving me NUTS!!)
     
  8. DreamToTeach

    DreamToTeach Companion

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    Sep 28, 2007

    Has anyone tried the Crazy Professor style by Chris Biffle? I'm not in a classroom yet, but I liked his attitude. The fact that the children could get enthusiastic and have fun with the subject matter, but then be brought back under control if necessary, made sense to me. I just wondered if the "volume control" system he has works for other teachers.
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 29, 2007

    I used to like a noisy classroom, and figured that working a hum was fine. That if they were talking at their tables, but getting their work done, all was well. I liked the busy hum of kids at work-- however, I moved to a new room, and suddenly realize I need to take advantage of the times I have that are quiet, because my neighbor does MUSIC after 10:30. Well, I have changed my mind about noisy classrooms.

    My class is so much more productive since starting to use 1 inch voices. Even during math, which is usually a little noisier with games and manipulatives, they are getting a lot more done. The kids I loop with even made the comment that they think they are learning more this year... (not true, but getting more work done in less time, yes.) Having a quiet classroom does make a difference, and does not seem to affect the overall feel of cooperative work, experiential learning or any of the other more active things I do in my class.
     
  10. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Sep 29, 2007

    I teach middle school 7th grade, and they are social learners. That's just how they learn. However, it drives me crazy! I like it absolutely silent, which is next to impossible. I have two groups of kids. One group consists of about 15 designated and the rest are undesignated resource kids. So, basically, I have 32 resource kids in that class. They are extremely difficult to control with just myself. It is so bad, it makes my job miserable. I look forward to the days when the resource teacher pulls out half the class to teach them while I teach the other half. My other group is also extremely low, but no resource kids. It is HEAVEN! I get this group for three periods as day, and the resource group for two periods. I always look forward to the non-resource group. Yeah, I have a few buttheads in the non resource class, but I can handle buttheads. The only time I have a problem with this group is for science, which is 7th period. The last period of the day and right after lunch. They are pretty rowdy and pretty chatty at that time, but I would be too if I had to spend the whole day with only 4 short 4-minute passing periods and a 30 minute lunch. Nevertheless, they are easy to get them back. I'm just not trained on how to handle a kid who has tourette's, or a kid who is so low and so special he can't control himself. I hate to say this, but half the class at least belongs in a special day class. As I look at that class when I am teaching, I see blank stares and weird things all the time. I have kids making strange faces at nobody, I have a kid who constantly makes noises and does these weird things with his head. It's almost as if he is drunk or something. He starts acting weird and his speech gets slurred. I am not trained to deal with this type of stuff. It's just creepy. I'm a regular education teacher, not a special ed teacher. Then, half of that class is just so low, that they are behavior problems because they can't focus. What makes me upset is when I tell a kid to stop talking, and like and elementary student or kindergartener, he tries to argue with me "well he was talking to me", or "I'm not talking", or the both of them begin to argue over who was talking to who. It's ridiculous! Unfortunately, my team teacher has this class at the end of the day for 7th period, and by that time, they are unbearable. She says they are virtually unteachable at 7th period.
     

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