Quiet vs. Silent Lines, and Developing the Kind of Line You Want

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ms.Jasztal, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 31, 2010

    I was reading a post at ProTeacher that is going to help me to develop my line this year as quieter and more respectful.

    http://www.proteacher.net/discussions/showthread.php?t=266639

    Here is a summary of what I found there that will help me out:


    If you want silence, then you must teach them what you mean by silence. Silence means no sound, the lack of any sound, no whispering, no murmuring, no clapping, no snapping, no shuffling, just complete and utter verbal and physical silence except for the quiet tread of feet, etc.

    How long does it take to walk to the next destination?

    Mystery Student
    The students don't know who it is. If that person walks quietly wherever we are going, he/she earns some little thing for the whole class. It might be 5 minutes of recess, a no homework pass for one assignment, a point on the scoreboard (power teaching thing), their choice for a brain break activity, etc. The thing is that each student knows it could be them earning or not earning the reward, so they all behave.

    When we are in other halls away from classrooms, they must be quiet, which means nothing beyond whispers.

    If you beat my goal of ____ seconds to line up quietly, you earn 1 extra minute of ____.

    If they line up too noisily, they know they must sit back down before trying again. If they're too noisy in the hall, they must stop. When we pass by classrooms, they are to be silent. If we're just waiting to go through the lunch line or into a specials class, they are allowed to whisper talk. They know if they do well, they could earn a "brownie point". If they mess up, they know they may have to spend a few minutes of their recess time on the wall.

    Basically, we start with "hands, feet, and mouths". My students have to walk with their hands behind their backs or in their pockets during the wintertime. Their mouths are to stay closed of course. They are to pick up their feet when they walk too. For some reason, they just love to drag their feet when they walk everywhere. We have to walk through breezeways from the back of the school to get pretty much anywhere on our campus. Voices and the dragging feet echo very easily, so I talk to them about the importance of not disrupting all the little guys. I model this and we do it from the first moment we leave our classroom on the first day. I have a line monitor (I call them the Manager). The manager walks alongside the line with a clipboard and marks a student down if the student is talking, or wiggling around, etc.

    It usually takes my kids up to two weeks to get this. Then, the rest of the year, it's like a cakewalk. Every so often, I have a student who has to be constantly reminded to put his/her hands behind his/her back. But most of the time, the other students give them reminders without me saying a word.


    I have thought that I need to differentiate a "quiet" vs. a "silent" line this year. I want my students to be silent, not just quiet, when walking past classrooms. My lines are never loud, but now I desire to specifically model what silent is in comparison. When I am teaching and a very loud class walks past my classroom, it is very disruptive and I bet teachers know that, but I never want to be in that position.
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Thanks so much for the post, MsJasztal! I'm definitely going to use some of the tips. My first graders must "flip and zip" when in line, and our school requires silent lines. I like to have them "flip" (arms are crossed in front at chest height), because they can reach out and catch themselves if they fall (and first graders do fall!). Then they "zip" (right index finger over their lips to remind them to be silent). I like the idea of a line monitor - I think that's gonna be one of my jobs this year!
     
  4. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Great post. I have never had my kids walk with their hands behind their back. I don't see what purpose that serves.
     
  5. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I think those are great ideas. However, I have never had to use those types of "bribes" if you will. I really stress what the line should look/sound like at the beginning of the year. We practice a lot. Hands behind the back is an option that some kids choose themselves if they have trouble controlling their arms. We sort of brainstorm that solution together at the beginning of the year.
    I see some teachers with signs that say stop, quiet, etc. I see some teacher that actually have a dry-erase paddle type thing and they record who is walking quietly. I have some who just keep saying "Johnny is walking quietly, Annie is walking quietly, Debra is walking quietly, (skips over loud-mouthed Tina), Ben is walking quietly...." all the way down the hall.
    I can't imagine having to do all that extra work for a line.
    I think it's great if it floats your boat. I just think it is more of a hassle to do all those extra things.
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    If their hands are behind their backs then they are not poking/hitting the student in front of them or touching the things hanging on the wall! We had a teacher once who had them put their hands on their hips-because they were Ms. A's Angels (the arms sticking out were their wings).

    I love the idea of a mystery students-my kids will just adore that technique!

    Thanks for posting Ms. Jasztal! :)
     
  7. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I have never had my students put their hands behind their backs, either, but I have definitely seen bulletin board borders (try to say that three times fast, wow) torn up by fourth- and fifth-grade students. Hopefully not mine. I have always told mine to have their arms at their sides, and we walk on the third tile. My best friend's school has a line painted on concrete students walk on.

    The "bribes", if you will, I have done slightly. I try to challenge my students to line up in a certain amount of seconds, though, and normally it's just their satisfaction that they beat their goal or mine. The least amount of time my students have ever lined up is 4 seconds.
     
  8. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    We have painted yellow lines.
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    When I taught kinder, I had them do duck tails and put a bubble in their mouth. :) They had plenty of time to run and scream during recess time. They can handle walking silently in line when we walk past classrooms.

    When I taught fifth, I did the mystery student one. I secretly, randomly picked one student and if they walked all the way to our destination, they got a Tiger Buck (our classroom money). If they didn't make it, I never said who it was; drove my kids crazy!
     
  10. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I did the secret walker like the first week of school and after awhile I forgot all about it. Then toward the end of the year one of my kids said- what happened to that thing we used to do when you would pick someone and not tell us-

    I always laugh at stuff like that. I start something then myself and the kids forget and then I get a random question about it at the end of the year.
     
  11. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    I really like the idea of a mystery student. Do you pick someone random, or the kid you know is going to have a hard time getting alllll the way to art (3 doors down):)?
     
  12. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Now that I think about it... it is those upper grades that need the most line work! They tear up our bulletin boards and apparently it is okay for them to talk in line and walk in 2's and 3's at our school. It frustrates us lower grades... it's hard to explain why our kids have to be silent, yet the older kids can do whatever they want. I might need to do the mystery walker if I had older kids, lol.
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I saw in a Mailbox magazine once that a teacher would say she/he wants a "Perfect Ten" line--"one" line, "zero" talking. I have just picked that up through the years and say that.

    We have the three blocks from the wall rule at our school, too. I wish it were painted. But it does help to keep the hands off the wall.
     
  14. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    It's just odd when my students have tried to talk and first graders are showing them up. I tell my students that they need to be the greatest role models for the younger students, and generally, they respect that request. If older kids are allowed to do as they please, then that's not teaching primary students anything for their future years of schooling.
     
  15. Irissa

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    We had our students cross their arms or put them in their pockets. It saves the poor flowers and bushes on our walkway. For whatever reason 3rd graders love to pick flowers.
     
  16. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    3rd graders... so do 4th graders. They like to pluck things while walking as well. I am planning on having them walk with their arms other than at their sides this year for reasons like these.
     
  17. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    I have seen the mystery student work before as a substitute - that particular teacher pulled a random stick as they walked out the door. I haven't had the need to do that with my sixth graders (although this year's group might be a different story!) in the past. I clearly state my expectations and then we're off! If we don't line up well in the classroom or walk well in the hallway, we go back and try it again.

    I stress silence when WALKING in the hallway with hands to selves (I don't care where they go). When we get to our destination (lunch, specials or bathroom) they are allowed to whisper -if they can't handle that, then no talking at all.

    One thing that has really helped me to keep my line in control is to designate certain stopping points. Whoever is in the front of the line knows that they need to stop at certain points in the hallway and wait for my "go ahead." I've found that it keeps us close together (so I can see everyone) and that it gives a consistent structure, so that even when I get stopped by another teacher or have to grab something off the printer as we walk by, the line doesn't get crazy and far ahead of me.
     
  18. TeacherApr

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    Great suggestions! i love the idea of a monitor and the mystery student!

    We have always had our students walk with their hands behind their backs that way they don't touch anyone or anything!
     
  19. BES2010

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    Thank you for the post, it's great. Makes you think, at least made me think about how I will differentiate between quiet and silent with my students. This is a great help for a first time teacher.
     
  20. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    My sister teachers kindergarten. They say "bumpers up" when they want the students to fold their arms in front of them. I'll have to tell her about flip and zip. Very cute!
     
  21. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Our kinders do "hip and lip" where one hand is on their hip, the other hand is up with the pointer finger on their lips.
     
  22. janney

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    I have found that my students feed off me in the hallways. The more quiet I am the more quiet they are. I try to whisper and use hand motions as much as I can.
     
  23. Love to Teach

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    I was just going to say that our primary kids do exactly that. It works and they are so cute AND serious about it. :)

    I do a sort of Mystery Student where I write each student's number on a counter and place them in a small jar. Before we leave the room, I draw two counters and quickly check the numbers without showing anyone. If those two students do a great job of going and returning, they each put a colored circle sticker on a cutout gumball machine. If they do not move through the hall in an acceptable manner, no stickers are earned. I do not tell who they were.

    If they and the whole class do an exceptionally good job, they put up two stickers each. Also, if someone gives them a compliment on their behavior...an unsolicited compliment!...they put up three stickers. When the gumball machine is full, we draw a slip out of our reward jar which the students have filled with suggestions. :)
     
  24. Missy

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    My classroom is near the art room and gym; I have to close the door way more than I would like because of the noise of classes coming and going.

    I discuss with my class how to walk in the hall (my building usually uses two lines per class so they don't straggle out so far), and if we have isssues, we practice during recess one day - have never had to practice two days!
     
  25. Windy City

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    The above quote is from the list found on another forum by Ms. Jasztal, so I'm speaking to the quote and not her. :)

    As a former "specials" teacher, PLEASE do not let them talk, even "whisper talk", when you arrive at the specials class!!! If that teacher has his/her door open, it's all over for the class that he/she is still teaching. The whispering is too distracting, and it almost always ends up being full blown talking. Even with the door closed, full blown talking is incredibly distracting.
     
  26. NJArt

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    I'm an art teacher, and I agree totally. letting them talk when they get to the art room door gives the kids the message that art time is PLAY time... So in addition to being a distraction to the kids I have in there (and to the class across the hall and next door) they arrive thinking they can be wild in art like at recess. :/ Drives me nuts. I don't let the class in to my room until they are silent, so they should be in the hallway quiet to begin with. I find 4th grade and up are the worst with that. They might start with "whisper talk", but it doesn't stay at a whisper for long.

     
  27. smurfette

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    BINGO! I don't let kids talk to me in the hallway unless it is an emergency, or it involves something that is happening in the hallway. I use hand motions to signal the line leader to go to the next stop.

    The teachers with the loudest classes are usually the ones that stop and chat about their weekends, etc. Or, they chat with students about this, that, and the other. While they are engaged in conversation, their classes bounce off the walls.
     

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