It's said in several educational books that, in the consequence hierarchy, dealing with problems privately should be the first option. Most recently, I've been reading Fred Jones' Tools for Teaching book: "Level 1 Small Back-up Responses: quietly warning the student that they are acting inappropriately. Success here lies in the teacher’s ability to hide their intent to the class and as such allowing the student to “save face” so as not having to “react” to the teacher’s admonitions in front of the class. Jones recommends using what he calls “ear warnings” where as the teacher is working around the room, they will quietly warn the student that they are misbehaving and that if it continues, further repercussions will occur." http://jonestoolsforteachers.wikispaces.com/Responsibility+Training What is the best thing to do when I am talking to the class, though, and a couple students are off task or talking? It's obviously harder to address this privately. Typically what I'll say is something like "I'll wait until all eyes are on me / everyone is listening respectfully", but that's still not really private as everyone knows whom it is directed toward. Another option is to give a quick task, and wander the room to see how students are doing and quickly talk to the kid, but this isn't always possible with the lesson flow. What do you do?