Keeping Students Quiet....any ideas???

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by miss_v, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. miss_v

    miss_v New Member

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    Oct 18, 2011

    Hi! I am a 2nd year teacher in a private, multi-grade classroom. I teach grades 3-5 this year and am having such a hard time keeping them quiet. I've tried SOOO many things and can't seem to get them to be quiet at ANY time. Sometimes, they're even talking while I'm explaining to them directions, etc. I don't know what to do. It's taking a toll on my patience and I'm having a real hard time with it. Any ideas from experienced teachers as to how I can help them be quiet, so that they may learn more?:help::confused::dizzy:
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 18, 2011

    miss v,

    1. The #1 thing I would make sure you can do is have a signal to get their attention. I might even let the 5th graders share a signal they might like. Then decide on one and stick to it. Then, use this whenever you need their attention. Then give a reward/consequence after you get their attention. It could be table points, points for the class for a party etc. If they don't "stop talking, look at you, and listen" after the signal then take off points or even a warning card for the student not listening. I would practice this and even make a game of it. See how fast they can do this. You might even make it a contest one side of the room vs. the other for fun. If you can get it so you can get their attention at any moment, you are 1/2 way there.

    2. Let them know when they can talk (working in partners/groups) and when they can't talk (when you are teaching, taking tests, some independent work). Make it the law and don't allow any deviation. Practice to see how long they can go without talking. Again make it a contest. They might go 20 minutes. Then, let them know "I know you can go 20 minutes without talking, but I am going to have you go just 5 minutes while I teach you about ____________.

    3. Make sure that you don't talk more than 10 minutes without allowing them to work or talk. age+2 is the suggested maximum amount of time a child can listen up to the age of 18.

    4. It's your classroom. You don't need to tolerate any talking you don't feel is appropriate. If you need to call parents, use consequences, add privileges, take away privileges than do so. Children will rise to your expectations or at least close to them.

    5. Have good communication with your students. Eat lunch with them, play an occasional game with them at recess, and even share a bit about yourself in class. For some students this will help a bit in them cooperating.

    6. Allow them to be talkative at appropriate times--science experiments, art...

    7. Have good attention grabbers. I am seeing antecepatory sets becoming a lost art. These are so effective and only require a bit of planning. Have the beginning of your lesson in an envelope and open it up. Everyone pays attention in suspense when an envelope is opened up. Stuffed animals and other "attention getters" help get them quiet and their attention on you.

    In my 20th year, I have found these worked well. I didn't do any of these well my 1st year and I really struggled. Now, classroom management is much eaiser and teaching much more fun.

    Good luck!
     
  4. SBP0429

    SBP0429 Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2011

    I definitely agree with all the above. I am working on this area, as well. This is my second year teaching Kindergarten, and I still have a ways of improvement to go in this area. I think one of the biggest answers to this is to be very strict on the students (esp. at the beginning). It is easier to slack up later in the year once they understand. I would not tolerate any talking that you do not wish to occur. Do not give any more warnings. Once the student talks, make he/she pull their stick, or whatever consequence you have in the classroom. Be strict! You must enforce this consistently.

    You could also try a marble jar in the classroom. Give them marbles as they work together in the class quietly. Decide on a reward once they fill the jar up, such as donuts, candy, etc.
     
  5. brit2187

    brit2187 Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2011

    I have a roll of raffle tickets. I give out tickets to students who are doing the right things. For example, if someone comes into the room and quietly opens a book and starts reading or if someone raises their hand quietly instead of blurting out an answer, they get a ticket. They put their names on the tickets and put them in a jar for a candy drawing at the end of each week. I have noticed that when the students see me walking around with tickets they all get much quieter until, finally, I could give a ticket to everybody if I wanted to! I have found this to be effective many times.

    Also, don't give too many warnings. I struggle with that. One warning will suffice and then, do whatever the consequence is.
     
  6. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Oct 18, 2011

    What are your rules & consequences? What sort of management plan do you use?
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Oct 18, 2011

    Mute session. Students may talk but only on paper. Everything must be written - questions, comments etc. Teacher writes too. Carry a note pad. Directions are written or drawn (flow charts etc.) on board or overhead. Hand signals are used to be recognized. Hand out scratch paper (I call it "mute paper") at the door as students enter.

    I started with a period of mute then went to whole days. Like kids, teaches talk too much anyway. It's good training to follow written directions besides eliminating disruptive talking.

    Mute session gets the teacher out of the job of managing rewards and punishments.
     
  8. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Oct 18, 2011

    There are two methods I have used or seen used to get a class quiet very quickly.

    #1. Use "Class, Yes" from the Whole Brain Teaching style. You say "Class" and they respond with "Yes". That is the signal that they are to stop what they are doing and give their attention to you. This can be made into a bit of a game by using different voices (high or low voice) and changing the number of times you say "Class" and the way you say it. The class has to respond in the same voice and/or pattern that you use. So, for instance, you can say "Class, Class". They would say "Yes, Yes". You can say "Class, Classity, Class". They respond with "Yes, Yessity, Yes", etc. Mix it up to make it different each time.

    I've used this with students from 3rd to 6th grade. It takes about 15 minutes to explain the concept to the kids, but they "buy into it" almost immediately.

    Once you have their attention, you can then give them instructions. You can also use the "Teacher Scoreboard" to reward them when they respond correctly and quickly. For more information on WBT techniques, go here. That explains some of the First Steps of WBT, including "Class, Yes" and the Scoreboard game.

    #2 Another method I've seen used that didn't require any explanation was a clapping pattern. One of my former P's would do this. When a large group of students (cafeteria, gym assembly, etc) were being too loud she wouldn't say anything, but would just start clapping: "Clap, Clap, ClapClapClap". Several kids would usually repeat the pattern after the first time. She then did it again and almost the entire group would repeat it. Normally, she repeated the pattern 3 times. By then, the entire assembly would be repeating the pattern. It's quick, easy and the kids seem to pick up on it right away.
     

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