Dealing with a chatty class

Discussion in 'General Education' started by applesnap, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. applesnap

    applesnap Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2015

    I'm a first year teacher. Last semester, I felt like I had good control of my classes. However, this semester, I'm teaching a grade 11 chemistry class, and I feel worried about my classroom management in that course.

    They are extremely chatty. It feels chaotic and loud to me, and I'm usually stressed out by the end of it. The class has 40 students. My classroom is a lab room, so the students aren't in desks, but are sitting at lab benches in groups of 5.

    I taught 40 students in the same room last semester, and it went fine. This time, there are large friend groups in the class, which is making it more difficult. Also, we're currently doing a review of grade 10 chemistry, and many of the students are bored because they remember the material.

    At first, I had to keep reminding the students not to talk at the same time as me. I made a new seating plan, and it worked really well for one day. Now, it keeps them from talking while I lecture, but when I give them work time, things still get really loud. Many times, they are off-task.

    Today, there were about 6-10 minutes left in class. Students at the back of the room were asking me questions, so while I was answering them, students at the front started packing up and getting out of their seats. That lead to most of the class packing up early, even though I reminded the students last week not to pack up early multiple times.

    Another teacher at my school told his students that if they pack up early, he will give them less time for their unit tests. I got frustrated with a group of students that was standing beside me, and I threatened to do that. Now, I regret doing so because I feel that it's an unfair solution.

    I'd appreciate any advice. Where should I go from here? What are your strategies for dealing with a really chatty class? I am feeling discouraged.
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Feb 10, 2015

    Telling students multiple times doesn't really solve anything. I teach 8th graders and not 11th graders, but the same behaviors exist in our age group.

    If students pack up early in my class I either hold their group in last to be released, or if it's one or two people, I will keep them at lunch or brunch to work with me, because from bell to bell is my time, and they need to make it up. I try not to do whole class consequences. They only cause bitterness because it's unfair to everyone who was following the rules.

    Reminding does nothing as well. If students are talking at the same time as me, I stop everything, wait for them to stop, and then give them a consequence for being disrespectful.

    Noise in the lab room doesn't bother me as much because it's science and it will get noisy, but off task behavior does bother me. If the students as a class can't exhibit on task behavior in group work, then the work is no longer group work and will be silent independent work. Or if it's only one or two students, then they have to sit out and work independently and on task and don't get to work with the rest of the class.

    I wish you good luck. I would read articles at http://smartclassroommanagement.com

    Michael Linsin has some great advice. He teaches Elementary, but I feel his techniques are applicable to any age (even adults).
     
  4. TXTeacherW

    TXTeacherW Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2015

    I do professional development with teachers and they are the worst. I imagine high schoolers must be just as bad. I feel your pain.
     

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