Keeping volume low in the classroom

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by otterpop, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Jun 14, 2013
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    Oct 25, 2013

    Two questions on this subject...

    1. How important do you feel it is to have your classroom quiet? On a scale of 1-5, with one being silent and 5 being shouting, my class is often at about a 3 or 4 during free time. I have a big room and often have a very large group of kids (up to 20). If anyone is actually shouting or really loud, I ask them to quiet down, but with so many kids, anyone who is playing or getting excited at all is contributing to a noisy classroom. Other classrooms in the building at often at a 1 or 2 - the building is so quiet, you can't hear anyone in the hallway although doors are open, except for my kids.

    Sometimes others will come into the classroom and comment on the noise, but since my classroom has some major behavior issues, I tend to let loud voices slide. I'm more likely to go up next to them and start to play quietly with them, instead of scolding them for being loud, unless they are really out of hand. This usually helps keep them quiet without making them feel like they're in trouble, again. Other teachers in the building would probably make them go sit at a table, but half the time they won't go when I ask. Plus, some of them would be at that table all day if I enforced that strictly.

    2. Do you have any tips for keeping noise level down with a large group of preschoolers? Special games or strategies you use? I have found that playing music helps keep my students calmer. Stickers motivate them too but I don't want to use them too often, for fear that they'll lose their charm.
  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Nov 16, 2005
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    Oct 25, 2013

    I would try to keep the groups smaller.
  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

    Sep 2, 2012
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    Oct 25, 2013

    1) I go back and forth on this sometimes. In general, I like a quiet classroom. It helps me stay calm and I think it's a better learning environment for all students. When it gets too loud, even my quiet well-behaved students start going a little crazy. I teach in an elementary school, and a lot of the administration tends to "look down" on us and makes it clear that they think preschool is just babysitting, so I try really hard to make my classroom look just as structured and well behaved as any other classroom in the school, although we do get silly sometimes :) I also have a lot of behavior issues and a lot of special education students, so this year I have a couple screamers that I'm still trying to figure out how to help.

    2) I have 19 students, so I know how hard it is to keep a group like that fairly quiet. This is what I do: We review every day having "small" inside voices and "big" outside voices. Before I dismiss them to centers I'll ask "What kind of choices are we going to make?" (good) and "What kind of voices should we have?" (small) and they'll show me small with their hands. Usually once or twice a week I will get out a stamp pad and stamp and announce that during centers I'm looking for small voices and if I see you using a small voice, it will make me so happy that you'll get a stamp to show someone at home. Usually this is really motivating and works well because some of them will be quiet the whole time just waiting for that stamp. I don't do it everyday because the effect wears off after a few days.

    Most of the time, this works for my group. If I have a student that is just continuing to be loud and going a little too crazy, I usually will walk over and say "Oh I'm sorry, you are choosing to have a loud voice in my room, so I need to you to (x) center and practice making better choices". It sounds like what you're doing for those students is working well.

    Other things you can think about.....
    -dimming the lights down or using only lamp lighting for a calming
    -playing classical or calming music during centers and using that to remind students that they have to be quiet enough to hear the music

    Good luck!
  5. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Apr 26, 2008
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    Oct 26, 2013

    I ask children to reduce noise within the character that they are playing. So if the cars are out in blocks and it is too loud, I don't just shush. I would say "your engine is running too rough. Here go to the shop and get it fixed." And then in dramatic play "if your restaurant keeps being so loud the readers in the next area are going to send the police for a noise ticket....too many tickets and your restaurant gets closed. Please keep the noise owner."

    I got a lot further with that than with just shushing.
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Aug 15, 2010
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    Oct 27, 2013

    We talk a lot about voice level in our classroom and practice what a level 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 sounds like. The kids really like this and then I can remind them about their voice level throughout the day.

    I would also remind your administration that children learn through talking and being social.

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