Every Pause = Talking

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Ms.H, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Sep 24, 2009

    My middle school/ high school classes are generally well behaved, but I feel as if every time I stop instructing for more than a second-- whether to hand out papers, answer a student's question, pull down the overhead screen, or give them time to open their books-- conversations erupt all over the place. It isn't just a few students-- they just assume that since I am not talking, they are free to do so. Obviously, I have asked the class a few times not to do this, and I have tried giving instructions like, "Please hand your papers forward quietly" or "Please open your books without talking," but this sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I don't feel fully in controll when I have to talk over the whole class to quiet them several times each class period. Any suggestions? (Also, we are trying to implement Love & Logic, which means we really aren't supposed to set up any kind of ongoing reward system, which I don't really like doing anyway.)
     
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  3. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Sep 24, 2009

    You might practice the voice level you expect until they really have it. So if you say turn the page and a child talks then say when I ask you to turn a page and don't give permission to speak I expect everyone to turn the page without speaking then have them practice until they can turn the page without speaking or making unnecessary noises (don't stop until they have got it). Do it with every expectation they are not fulfilling.
     
  4. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Reteach procedures! If they open their mouths, then say, "let's learn how to act in class". This gets on their nerves, so they'll act right. Also, call their parents and let them know how their kids are acting in class. Usually, the behaviors decrease when you call home.
     
  5. Kase

    Kase Companion

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I remember when I was in middle school and high school if the teacher was answering another child's question and we were talking, they would stop and just stare at us. Everyone would get quiet and look at you until you stopped. It was quite embarrassing. They would also say, "Would you like it if your classmates were talking while you asked a question and I was trying to answer it?" This definitely worked for my class. It was a small town so we grew up together and had the same graduating class.
     
  6. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Last year I had a class like this. I tried a lot! What finally worked was a combo of things (I think..it could just be my perception of what worked)
    1. a class "discussion" in which we discussed the positive/negative behaviors. I let it be a free talk - in otherwords, I prefaced it with I will not punish anyone for what is said, I just want us to come up with a solution that works for all of us
    2. finally finding a seating plan that helped diffuse the worst offenders
    3. honestly, I know it's not the best, but I would let them "see" me get angry (not throw a fit, but just see it in my face). I had an older student in the class who starting saying, "Guys, shh, she's getting angry" and they listened to him. Sometimes, I would even play it up a little to help keep them on task
    4. (I loved this one) I said, I'm not going to talk over you. So you guys either be quiet or you'll miss out on your notes. And then I would lecture/give notes quietly... at first, the kinds in the front would notice, and start taking notes. a few minutes later, the rest of the class would realize what was going on. The first time, I repeated the notes again. After that, I would just say, that's too bad, you should have quieted down when I started talking. They eventually got the hint, and would start listening so that they could hear me. When the room was quiet, I talked normally. When they started to make me talk over them again, I spoke more quietly. It takes a little training, but it worked!
     
  7. Kase

    Kase Companion

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    Sep 27, 2009

    I love #4!
     
  8. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Sep 27, 2009

    Yup. It worked really well. You have to stick to your guns about not repeating yourself, though. Make sure you are loud enough for the quiet kids/ones in the front to hear you (that way at least someone has the notes!). They scramble pretty quickly to get the notes. The first time, you just tell them, I'll repeat myself THIS time, but I hope you've learned that when I'm talking, you're not (or something of the sort). After that, you refuse to repeat yourself. Trust me, someone else will give them the notes. Also, those kids in the back who care about their grades will pester the loud ones in the front and middle because they can't hear you. Works like a charm. After you go through this a few times, they learn. If they periodically forget, just go back to it. Oh, and by talking quietly I mean using a normal voice, not a teacher voice. Talk just as loudly as you would if you were having a conversation with the kids in the front row.
     
  9. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    Sep 29, 2009

    I remember this working when I was in school, too! Does it work for my kids -- heck NO! And I am not at all old (as in saying "kids these days")! I wonder if it's because these were good teachers who had management down pat and so we respected "the look"? Mine certainly don't...
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 29, 2009

    Oh, it still works. You just need to practice "the look."
     
  11. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Sep 29, 2009

    I agree, practice your look! It's every teachers best secret weapon.
     
  12. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    Sep 29, 2009

    Some of them seem to think my "look" is amusing -- it works on 6th graders, but apparently is funny to 8th graders for some reason :|
     
  13. MzQualified

    MzQualified Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2009

    ^^^^LOL....just get another one for the 8th graders! lol
     
  14. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Oct 11, 2009

    EMonkey, I tried a variation of what you said-- whenever they talked while doing something, we tried it again quitely. If they had gotten out their books and talked, they had to put them away again and practice without talking. If they passed papers in and talked excessively, they passed them back and tried it again. I even had to "rewind" and retry a portion of my lesson, which they found funny, but still got the point. I'll have to be patient to stick with it, but it seems to be annoying them already-- a lot of shushing was going on by the end of the day. Thanks for your idea!
     
  15. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Oct 11, 2009

    I say, "I will not talk over you" and then pause for a reaaalllly long uncomfortable pause once the kids have quieted down.
     
  16. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Oct 12, 2009

    I am glad it seems to be working. I was doing it with my little ones about listening to music today.
     
  17. iteach5

    iteach5 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2009

    I have this same issue, and I usually go with a remark such as "oh I'll wait for you to finish, I would hate to interrupt you because that would be rude." I have also told students (and followed up to show I mean it) that I will not repeat myself. If they are not listening they will miss out on directions etc.
     
  18. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2009

    Why do you care if they're talking while they are getting out their books? They really have to sit quietly and watch as you pull down the overhead screen? Let them talk. Furthermore, give them something to talk about. "Alright guys, give me a second as I get our worksheets passed out, but for right now, I want you to turn to your neighbor and come up with three synonyms for the word 'sad.' We'll vote on the best answers! Go!" When you're done, count down from three, ensure it is quiet, then have a kid from each table share their answers.

    You do deserve quiet during lecture and when students are responding. That's a respect issue. Model mutual respect. Teacher stare, proximity (standing next to a kid who is talking), recognizing quiet students, etc. will get them quieter. Demand quiet then, but only then.
     
  19. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Nov 14, 2009

    This is what I do. I usually say (in a quiet voice) "I am not going to speak over you. I hope you hear this. I am only going to say it once." Then I pause, and then give my directions. When students ask me what to do on an assignment, I just say "Oh, I've already explained that."
     

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