High School students: sign to be quiet and focus?

Discussion in 'Behavior Management Archives' started by wolfster, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. wolfster

    wolfster Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2005

    Hi,

    I am teaching high school students (9th graders) and this is my first year.

    Anyway, I was wondering for those of you who work with similarly aged students, does anyone use a sign (physical or a word) to get your students to - cease talking, pay attention, and focus? Since these are older students, I don't want to use something that appears very juvenile (i.e., turning off the lights or clapping, which would be wonderful for younger students).

    Personality wise I am a bit on the quiet side, so I don't want to resort that something that is not me (i.e., yelling or getting angry).

    All suggestions are welcome. Thanks
     
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  3. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Sep 24, 2005

    I am just subbing right now, but I have seen teachers in the high school clap to get student attention and one says "OK listen up". I am anxious to here suggestions from others because I may teach 9th grade someday.
     
  4. melissa180

    melissa180 New Member

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    Sep 28, 2005

    I just tell them focus time

    I let them quitely talk while I am recording attendance for the day. After that, I say it is "focus time". That means that they are now on my time. If they talk during my time, I hold them during "their time" (after the bell rings). It took about a week to have them get the hang of it, but after a few days of kids staying after the bell for 30-90 seconds, they learned to be quited during class.
     
  5. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Sep 29, 2005

    What is is about intermediate level students - they can't seem to figure out how to w-h-i-s-p-e-r.....!
     
  6. dehabel

    dehabel Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2005

    I say "Hello" or "hi" and generally the few who hear me say it back to me and then they all know to stop and listen to what I am saying. I wish it lasted though :eek:)
     
  7. sdhudgins

    sdhudgins Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2005

    I clap, whistle, I've also used a bell.

    my latest, I actually get right behind my music stand, put my hands behind my back and stop talking all together...
    It works wonderfully well.
     
  8. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Oct 19, 2005

    Personally, I have just stoppd trying to talk and watched the clock. We're a savy group of teachers here, so the kids catch on pretty quickly.

    This works great before lunch and and last period.

    Another teacher on my team says...'clap once if you hear me'
    'clap twice if you hear me'
    and so on..up to four or five claps.

    I hate to give away the super duper secret weapon, but here goes. IT requires no yelling, no anger, no punishment. It's perfect for a soft spoken well enunciated gal like me.
    I call students out, make contact and embarrass them a bit.


    "I'd LOVE to tell you what we'e doing next, but I have to wait...for Brittany (look into her eyes!)...I'm still waiting for Jen...I'm waiting for Chris to be quiet. And as soon as Eric turns arond, and Katie sits up....I'll be able to stop waiting for Joe to be quiet, then we can ALL wait for Tim to be quiet."

    Depending on the group, but the time I get to the second name, most kids are paying attention, by the 4th, they're all quietly staring at that ONE RUDe student.


    I came up with that by doing what I do naturally... talking to myself.

    As you keep on working, you will find that some little odd things you do just 'work'.
    As a general rule, anything that is very different from what is happening or from your normal actions will work to get their attention. Then while you have it for that split second, le them know in clear terms what they should be doing and/or that they are doing the wrong thing.

    Yelling works, clapping, writing something strange and scary on the board works (names inside and outside of a circle, above/below a line), counting, sometimes just standing quietly, maybe closing your eyes or turning your back (if the kids are well behaved), tapping a beat on table etc etc.
     
  9. aussiejenjen

    aussiejenjen Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2005

    I just say :eek:k! listen up' and every class I have ever taught has usually stopped what they are doing and see what I am about to say.. any further chatter while I am instructing them, I use the same 'ammo' as mshutchinson.. I single them out..'Jen....' and wait.. all I need is their name and they are shamed into silence because all the other kids are looking at them... peer pressure to our advantage for a change.. lol
     
  10. MamaOfCalvin

    MamaOfCalvin Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2005

    This works for all grades. Stand at the front of room and say in a moderate level voice (not yelling), "If you can hear me, raise your hand." Usually it is just the kids in the front row that raise their hands and look at you. The next row looks at the first row wondering why they have their hands up. I will say again, "If you can hear me, raise your hand." The students will their hands up look at their classmates and say, "Raise your hand!" It usually only takes two or three times for me to say "Raise your hand" to get the attention of the entire class. This saves your voice for when you need it to teach! :) Another effective way was one that MY high school teacher used when someone was talking while he was talking. He would stop talking and stare at that student. Everyone else would look at what/whom he was looking at. Pretty soon, that student would look up to see why it was so quiet and see everyone staring at him/her. (Shamed into being quiet without words!) :eek: Find what works for you and each individual class.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2005
  11. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Nov 15, 2005

    How did it work?
     
  12. Chriss

    Chriss New Member

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    Nov 24, 2005

    Hey, thanks for these tips, I'm an education student and will be going on my first prac next year. these methods could really help me Thanks.
     
  13. Rainy_Day

    Rainy_Day New Member

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    Nov 30, 2005

    Hey! Guess what? I'm a 9th grade highschool student myself... and I can already tell you that the whole embarrass the student thing won't work, which I know from experience. I have one particular teacher at my school who uses that 'method'. The only people it works on are the shy girls who don't have much to say, and the guys that the teacher does that to get angry and end up leaving class written up for detention. Which leads to the talking behind the backs of the teacher herself, who is by the way, one of the top-dreaded teachers in the school.

    The most effective method with our classes is to silently write them up & give it to us after class, or just say if we're quiet we can get free time during the end of class.
     
  14. Veritas

    Veritas Rookie

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    Dec 2, 2005

    Definitely do not use signs...I repeat, do not use signs...Although they are freshmen and are still slightly in the middle school mode, the sign thing will not work. This makes you look like you are weak and cannot control the class on your own. It makes you seem juvenile as well; like you should be teaching elementary and you don't know how to handle older kids.
     
  15. Veritas

    Veritas Rookie

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    Dec 2, 2005

    Hey! Guess what Rainy Day? The embarrassment thing worked on me everytime...But you are still a freshmen (CLASS OF '05!!) and you need to realize that you have to try different methods for different students...one way does not work for everyone; you tend to have to take a psychological approach to these kids to really get control.
     
  16. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    Dec 2, 2005

    Actually, it's quite effective. With both my honors classes AND my rough third time around repeaters classes.

    The key is that for the ones who aren't embarrassed by looking stupid, I'm sure to call them first and since they know I take no guff, they shut up. If they disrespect me by continuing to talk while I'm speaking to them that's a sign they need to spend some one-on-one time with me. I can't bother writing up kids for talking- we have much bigger issues going on here.

    I'm not a 20 year veteran, but I've been on the block long enough to know what's effective and what's a waste of time.
     
  17. Hermione

    Hermione Rookie

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    Dec 9, 2005

    The evil stare!

    Generally, when I was in highschool (I graduated in '98) and from what I have observed since, the inapproprate talking is generally coming from only a couple of the students in the class.

    There are definately times when it is the whole class, but for most well managed classes, I haven't seen this happen often. If this is the case, the suggestions in this thread are great and I will try them.

    Otherwise, if it is just one or two offenders. . .

    Walk over to the offender's desk while continuing to teach. Just standing close seems to work. If it doesn't, stare at him or her and stop talking. The whole rest of the class will noticed what you are doing and most of the time another student will nudge the offender to let him or her know they've been caught and are interrupting class. And this way, they embarrass themselves - i.e. you are not the evil one.
     

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