Keeping work time quiet

Discussion in 'Montessori Archives' started by Miss Lynette, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Miss Lynette

    Miss Lynette New Member

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    Mar 5, 2006

    Help! Keeping work time quiet

    I am a preschool Montessori Teacher's Assistant. It is, therefore, my job to keep the classroom quiet and under control so that the lead teacher can give individual lessons. I don't like to make whole-class announcements, such as, "1, 2, 3, eyes on me. Boys and girls, it is too loud in here. We need to use our whispering voices." I feel that this is contrary to Montessori method because it disrupts the whole class, some of whom were working very quietly and concentrating. I try to just talk to the ones who are being noisy, but sometimes neither way works very well. Some days I feel like all I say is, "Shhhh!"
    So, I'm asking for suggestions on how to keep the classroom environment quiet so that the students can concentrate and not be interrupted while they are working. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Pattypoo

    Pattypoo Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2006

    I suggest you buy the book "A Teacher's Bag of Tricks" by Greg Nelson. It is full of practical advice for the Montessori teacher. This is my very favorite book. It only cost $20 plus $1.50 for S&H. The address is Greg Nelson Dept. of Elementary and Early Childhood Education Bridgewater State College Bridewater, MA 02325.
     
  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Mar 15, 2006

    That's the college I graduated from. :)
     
  5. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Apr 11, 2006

    Hi Lynette,
    I am also a Primary Assistant, however, I am trained (AMI) as a directress, and took the assistant position after the birth of my daughter. I was an assistant before I took the training as well so I have a unique perspective on the role of the assistant. I would like to say that it is not your job to keep the classroom quiet. It is easy as the directress to focus in on the individuals and leave the rest of the class to the assistant, but she would be shirking her duties. The child must feel connected to the directress from the time she walks into the door. I strongly feel that the directress should assume full responsibility for the activities in the Children's House, she is the one who should know how to connect the children to the environment.
    Having said that, I do feel that there are some things that you can do to encourage a more peaceful room. First of all, always speak quietly...you are right to not want to disturb the entire room with "announcements". When children are noisely disturbing others, the only thing that will really quiet them down is finding something that they are interested in to do. Something that will engage their attention. This is where the skills of the directress enter. She should also be teaching grace and courtesy lessons on how to walk through the room quietly, how to stand next to someone else to speak to them, how to use a soft voice, etc.
    There are times when I may say to a child "please use a soft voice" or "you can work together if it is peaceful" etc. But I also try to use alot of nonverbal reminders. This is helpful because it does not put the child on the spot in front of peers, it is a gentle reminder, it does not disturb others...simply establish eye contact, then put a finger to your lips. Even just going and standing next to a child will remind them to quiet down a bit.
     
  6. JulieC

    JulieC Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2006

    Some directresses have soft music playing as background noise (it can be linked in with cultural) and the class, or individual can be reminded that if the music can't be heard, the class is too noisy.
     
  7. Miss Lynette

    Miss Lynette New Member

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    Apr 18, 2006

    Yenna, thanks for the helpful reply. It was helpful to hear that the directress should have a role on this job as well. I do try to use a quiet voice, myself, and give nonverbal cues to the children as well. It's nice to know that I'm doing some things right.

    JulieC, we do play music in the background, too. This does help keep the class a little more calm.

    I guess I'm doing the best that I can, and actually, since I first posted this thread almost 2 months ago, I've learned to relax a little more and be more patient with the students, which has actually helped things quite a bit.
     

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