Is it normal for middle school students to be so LOUD?!

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by allyv, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. allyv

    allyv Rookie

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    Apr 20, 2015

    I am a few months in into my first teaching gig, and I absolutely LOVE my job. I know I picked the right career path! However, I am concerned about how loud middle school students are in the classroom. Sometimes, I will ask them why are they being so loud and they will look surprised, like they're just being their normal selves and I think they are sincerely surprised! I have been trying lots of methods that I found online and they seem to only work for the MOMENT. After a few minutes, the kids are back up to their shouting. And they're only taking to the kid in front of them!

    I guess a part of the problem is I teach art and making art while completely silent is a miserable experience. It's not like math, you don't need to sit there and focus, you need to express yourself and feel free and loose.

    Am I just out of luck and am I going to just have to deal with the high noise level for ever?! Or should I put my foot down and make them work in silence?
     
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  3. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Apr 20, 2015

    Short answer: yes.
    Middle schoolers are LOUD. They don't even realize they're being so loud, they just are.

    If you want it quieter, you need to put your foot down. Tell them your expectations for volume -- if they can't hear you trying to get their attention, they're being too loud. Practice and enforce and practice some more...

    Are all your classes loud or just certain ones?
     
  4. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

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    Apr 20, 2015

    I have high schoolers who still struggle with the concept of "indoor voice".
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 21, 2015

    Middle schoolers can be loud, but i think it's all about enforcing expectation.
    I think the best thing to do is to survive the rest of the year as well as you can, and then next year establish some basic rules about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable loudness.
     
  6. allyv

    allyv Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2015

    Miss-m, I do have some classes that are louder than others, for example, 5th and 6th grade are the loudest and 7th grade a little less loud. 8th graders are generally not at loud. They have loud moments, but they quickly quiet down on their own. It seems the younger they are, the louder they are!

    Anon55, very good point. I have actually wondered this as well and have wanted to peek into other classrooms out of curiosity. I know of one teacher who keeps them dead silent but the students hate him! I think he is a great teacher though. Some students do look at me like I am crazy for telling them to quiet down though, and I just get so confused. I was very quiet in middle school, so I don't understand! I actually did do a table by table score board once, but it was more of the loudest table loses a point and if they lose all points, they lose all talking privileges, but I had such a hard time telling which table was being loudest, because it sounded like most of them were being loud, but I am going to try the one suggested!

    Linguist92021, haha I've considered that as well, but I just don't know how long I can tolerate the noise and the constant battle with getting them to use their indoor voices before I snap at them! I kinda did yesterday, which is why I am here trying to vent and get help. Hopefully, it won't be like this for the next 6 weeks.... X_X
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 21, 2015

    I'm fine with my students talking during independent work time--on-topic, quiet conversations about the work they are doing. At times, the volume does get loud, but with reminders, they usually quiet down. The boys whose voices have changed are much louder than the others--they simply don't realize that their new, deeper voices carry.
     
  8. allyv

    allyv Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2015

    Anon55, it's good to know I'm not the only one who gets similar reactions! From my experience, the younger they are, the louder they are, boy or girl! :dizzy: A microphone sounds like an interesting idea, I can see myself easily getting made fun of though! :lol:
     
  9. The Natural Log

    The Natural Log Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2015

    One other thing that may help, if your school policy allows it like mine does, is letting them listen to their iPods/music while working. I usually allow this during independent work as long as they are getting work done. Some of my loudest students quiet down when they pop in their "tunes". It may even help get the "creative juices" flowing in art class.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 23, 2015

    You can get a sound meter app for your phone or an actual one, and project it. It will tell the students their noise level, and some apps even produce a sound or a notification if the sound gets too loud.

    You can say that every time it gets above so-and-so decibels, you will have another minute of silence at the end of the period, or whatever.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2015

    Actually, that noise level, on task, is music to my ears. I love MS!
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Me too, actually. When my classroom is absolutely silent (unless they are writing a test, doing another form of assessment or I'm talking) it's kind of unsettling.
     
  13. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    May 5, 2015

    Wow, I'm going to have to download this--my first graders are insanely loud sometimes.

    When I taught 7th grade I used to let my kids listen to their music (it was allowed at my school because we were a preforming arts school) and it was AMAZING.
     
  14. allyv

    allyv Rookie

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    I can definitely see what you guys mean there! Although, I wish it was the norm for it to be a quiet environment.

    And unfortunately, we are not allowed to let students use any electronic device. I did try once, out of leniency, and the students took full advantage of it and began snap chatting each other in the room, beating to the sound of the music on their desks, playing video games, or turning the volume up so loud that you could hear it across the room. I had to promptly stop that :blush:

    I've actually been looking for a sound meter app and I downloaded a few (free ones) and I couldn't find the one that makes a sound when it gets too loud. Do you happen to know the name of it?
     
  15. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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  16. prealgebra-nerd

    prealgebra-nerd Rookie

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    May 8, 2015

    This is one of the most challenging things about middle school aged students! But i think the hardest part is that my classes are usually split half and half. Half the students are so loud, and the other half are very shy, quiet, and want to learn. I feel so bad for the quiet students as they always get very frustrated with their loud classmates :(
     
  17. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jun 3, 2015

    So true about the boys' voices.
     
  18. MiamiMathMan

    MiamiMathMan Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2015

    I have a lot of ideas and responses to this thread. Always look inside yourself first and ask yourself if your lesson plans are thorough enough. Let me explain exactly what I mean.

    -45 Minutes into a lecture on a 2 hour block American History class you start noticing a lot of talking in fact it is getting so loud you can hear it while you are lecturing...what's wrong with this situation?

    You shouldn't be lecturing for 45 minutes at any point. If you do, you are asking for trouble. Now I think even after about 15-20 minutes you can easily lose half the class even the most charismatic of speakers. You have to put together a game plan that is filled with hands on activities for Middle School. I encourage my students to bring almost a full art supply kit with them into class. We combine short essays with visual pictures, sometimes it is creating a poster from that particular Era in history...you can't tell them about George Washington, you have to show them somehow.

    When I dress up in period costumes for the different periods in history, the students get loud and laugh a lot, that's OK, they know it is like a movie or play and they can be themselves a little bit more. But then when I say "OK, time to put on our historian caps and take a SCHOLASTIC POSITION" which means I have the floor for the next few minutes, I've been respectful and entertaining to you all, please be respectful to me while I navigate us through these facts and details, let me do the heavy lifting for you. They seem to respond to that very well.

    I also have a simple 4 Rule system which I stole from Classroom Management sites. Just 4 simple rules that cover EVERYTHING. When they break the rule, I simply let them know about it with a non threatening warning. 2nd time they break it in the same class I start eating into their precious lunch/recess time. I don't do after school detentions, that takes up MY TIME, I much prefer an instant same day consequence.

    I have very little behavior issues that I have to deal with and mind you I took over mid ship for a teacher that had a nervous breakdown in class, that's not a joke that's the truth. I'm also well over 6 feet tall and I find that has a slight impact especially on the boys.
     
  19. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Sep 3, 2015

    At many schools in my district, teachers are allowed to play music in their classrooms. When I taught middle or high school and music was allowed in classrooms at that school, I played music that would complement the unit that students were learning about. For example, if students were learning about a specific time period for a history unit, I would play music that was popular during that time.

    I emphasized to students that if everyone cannot hear the music playing at all times, then the noise level is too loud and that students must adjust their voices so everyone can hear the music.

    I can see how classical music can be a wonderful addition to an art class.
     
  20. history

    history Companion

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    I subbed a class the other day and it was a middle school. Every class was very loud . I left a note for the teacher stating this. I had to tell the class numerous times and this caused me to raise my voice. Well, I received a call from the AP that he has received complaints from student's parents about me, but he never mentioned what the issue was and claimed he would investigate further and let me know. The thing is ( looking back) I remember I got on the classes for being lazy even after teaching them a lesson, followed up by do you understand or does anyone have questions. Not one person responded. I had some students that were off task and talking and kept warning they would be removed if it continued, but they finished the class. In all my years of subbing I never had complaints like this. What could it be?:confused::confused: I never got in their face or belittled them, but I find it very troubling.
     
  21. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Did you tell the students/classes that they were being lazy?
     
  22. history

    history Companion

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    No, I mentioned it to the teacher about one period. I told them" come on guys your teacher went over this I went over this, but I am here for you , but you need to try." I had one student ask me for help the last 20 minutes of class and when I looked at his worksheet he did not do anything.
     
  23. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Some kids need to be told the truth because some don't even realize that they are being lazy.
     
  24. history

    history Companion

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    I agree, but it seems if you say anything that is seen as negative students will complain to their parents and in turn administration will get rid of you
     
  25. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Sep 5, 2015

    In my experience, MS are nothing but big babies who think they are grown - they want to act big and bad and can be very disrespectful but then they cry and whine when you are tough on them.

    I have a 7th grade girl in my first period who wears fake lashes, a 22 inch weave and deep purple lipstick every day - she looks over 30. She acts grown in many ways and comes to school over an hour late. I warned her I was going to call home about her lateness and she got so upset, she started tearing up because her mother did not know she was showing up late was going to take her iPhone. Grown one minute, big babies the next.
     
  26. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I have no advice on this. I guess I am "lucky" to work with a difficult population so Admin knows how the kids act and that often what teachers say is the truth and needs to be said.
     
  27. history

    history Companion

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    I guess if you are a regular teacher and not a sub it makes a world of difference, but when I mentioned my issue to a teacher at another school she nearly chocked on her lunch. She asked me if it was in a certain city known to have spoiled kids and the parents listen and believe everything their children say and I said " yes". If the parents whine long enough the school will believe them
     

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