Talkative Bunch

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by juc162, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. juc162

    juc162 Companion

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    Aug 28, 2007

    Hi everyone! I am a first year teacher and Monday was my first day of school. I have found my students to be incredibly chatty and I shouldn't need to talk over them. They are great for about half the day and really noisy for the other half and it's really on or off. What are some good strategies that you all use? I need to come up with something fast so that I don't lose control of my class!

    Also, I've been doing lots of procedures and fun type first days of school games but I did notice that during math which we had an actual lesson for today, they were fine.
     
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  3. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    If you're doing fun activities they're naturally going to be chatty, versus teaching a lesson (I've found at least).

    Be very firm. I put on my "teacher" face and say "I'll wait" or "I'm sorry, am I interrupting conversations?" or "I like how _____ is working quietly. Thank you _____."

    I also have my student rate themselves 0 - 10 on how they think they are behaving as a class. This morning they were good and gave themselves a 7-8, this afternoon they gave themselves a 2-3. Everyday I start out by saying, "I hope today is a 10!"

    I also have a marble jar. When they're all working quietly I say "I like how everyone is working quietly" and I put in a couple marbles. Once they fill the marble jar we'll have a party.

    I've learned that it's about training them, and getting them used to the procedures. I also do Give Me 5. If they're too loud I ring a bell.

    Mine seem to get chatty after lunch/recess. We have read aloud after lunch so they can calm down. It isn't working too well so I'm planning on doing read aloud, then having them do DEAR time after that.
     
  4. Mrs.Bran

    Mrs.Bran Comrade

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    Have you tried to Wong strategy of give me five. All you do is hold your hand up and out and the students are to close their mouths, listen, put everything down, look at you ( I have suddenly forgotten the last one). I like this method because it can quiet the classroom quicly without shushing (which I hate). This works very well in my 4/5 reg ed combo class. Best of luck.
     
  5. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Aug 28, 2007

    Give Me Five
    *Eyes on speaker
    *Hands free
    *Listen
    *Be still
    *Quiet

    I use it. The kids are doing well with it. I also use the strategy when I have a student in the front of the class reading or presenting. I've had to practice a lot with my students. I won't start talking until everyone has completed every step. They often struggle with the hands free part. Mine love to keep writing as I talk.
     
  6. Amers

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    Give me 5 isn't effective with my kids. It rarely works for me. One thing I do is pass out tickets to kids who are quiet and ready to work or following directions. They write their name on the ticket and put it in a jar. On Fridays, I draw 3 names from the jar. Those students get to choose a prize from the treasure chest.
     
  7. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    First, are you sure you're not me posting under another name? You sound like me. :)

    I have an incredibly chatty class, too... but... they know when I give the Look (yes, I capitalized that one) that they must go back to where they need to be at the time. I have different noise levels in the classroom and the marbles, which help...

    Yet I haven't tried the self-rating system and I think that would REALLY work for them. Some kids don't seem to care as much about their actions, though- even when everyone else is respectful. We're getting better by the day, though... :)
     
  8. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Yes, since day one of my teaching. :)

    This year, they respond to Give Me Five REALLY well, probably also because the whole school basically uses it. I like that. :cool:
     
  9. juc162

    juc162 Companion

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I will try give me five today along with the other things I've come up with :)
     
  10. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    Without being too repetitive, be firm and, when necessary, hit 'em where it hurts most. I think the strategies change with the group. A few years ago, my only resolve was to take gym time away. I didn't like denying them the curriculum in gym but it was the one subject that, when threatened, brought them around again. So, find those areas that will keep them in check when things start to get out of hand. I also use a table/group points system and when I see a group working quietly, they get points; the noisy ones cost their group points; most points at the end of the month win.

    As an aside, isn't it sad that this is what teaching young children has become? We have to have reward systems in place to get basic expectations from kids. I was never a fan of token economies but it seems to be a reality of the times (and I use them, albeit loosely). Depending on your age, you may remember a time when you were asked to do something and you did it; if you didn't there were effective consequences that deterred you from doing it again. Those days are long gone, it seems. I blame parenting but that's just from my experience, not any professional research.
    A bit of an off topic tangent there but thought I'd toss it out anyway.
     
  11. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Lol! Great minds think alike. :)
     
  12. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I have also find that if I tell my students how I'm feeling they behave a little bit better. In the fourth grade we switch for LA, SS, and Science. One of the other 4th grade classes is terrible in terms of behavior, and after I have them for almost 2 hours I am exhausted and annoyed. When I get my class back I say, "I hope you're all going to be on your best behavior because Mrs. _____'s class wore me out!" They usually take the hint... I've been getting headaches a lot lately too. So I'll tell them that I have a headache and they need to at a 0 (we also use voice levels, 0-5). They respond to that as well.
     
  13. stac4742

    stac4742 Rookie

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    Wow! I sure can relate to this topic thread. You would think on the 1st day of school 4th graders would be too shy to talk...Oh no!!!!
    I tried today the idea suggested from another great teacher on this thread about having the students rate from 1-10 our day with behavior. Well our day today was about a 4. I also count down from 3 to 0 where by 0 if they are still talking, their pin moves down. I also just stop talking and say, "I'll wait" and that usually helps. I also have a marble jar. And the biggest thing that helps is threatening to take away their recess, this works wonders. It's ashame though that I have to get to this point
     
  14. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I wish we could take away recess. We're not allowed to anymore due to the obesity rate.
     
  15. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I totally agree! I feel like I'm bribing them to behave. Why can't they just be expected to behave, turn in homework on time, and get things signed without getting a reward? Reward and behavior management systems take up too much unnecessary time, in my opinion. I just graduated in May, and I think universities should start having a mandatory classroom management class because it is such a large part of the job. I've learned my systems from other teachers and teacher books. It would have been beneficial to have a class about classroom management. I also would have loved a class about working with special education students (especially ADHD, ED, etc), but that's a completely different thread! :)
     
  16. juc162

    juc162 Companion

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    Yes! It is sad that behaviors which are expected and should be done anyways, need to be rewarded! I don't remember being like that as a child.

    On another note, I tried give me 5 and it worked for about half the day. The other half was chaos on and off again. It's only day 3 so is this normal for this time of year? I have no idea since I am a first year teacher.


     
  17. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Mine tend to become chaotic the second half of the day. Just remember to be FIRM. You have to start out very firm, then ease up. It's harder to be flexed then become firm...

    If it's too crazy I make them put their heads down for a minute or two. I tell them to reflect on their behavior, and when they feel ready they can sit up. It works quite often.

    Have you tried music? I try to playing calming classical music during homework time.
     
  18. juc162

    juc162 Companion

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    Thanks for the tip. I've tried the things you've suggested except for the music. I will probably look online this weekend when I have a little more time.
     
  19. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    Thanks for all the tips as well. I also have a talkative group. I am starting the group point system, which they seem to like. I also started taking away recess for the whole class when it get bad. They really don't like it so, they come around when it gets to more the 2 mins.
     
  20. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Mine are extremely chatty. I've started taking away a minute of their recess every time they get too noisy. (it's mostly during transitions that just get way too noisy way too fast) This afternoon they ended up owing me 3 minutes of their 15 minute recess. I started a timer and they sat with their heads down for 3 minutes. They also took forever to get ready to leave for lunch recess. It's been soooo hot here lately, that I decided that I was not going to stress about going outside and sweating right on time. I just sat down and waited for them to be ready. It took awile, but finally they all got the hint and settled down. They are slowly making progress, but it is a very slow process.
     
  21. juc162

    juc162 Companion

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    The timer thing seems to work. My group is chatty all the time, even during instruction, especially during transitions when all they need to do is have their materials out. They are a tough bunch! I'm glad that I'm not alone.
     
  22. TeachyBon

    TeachyBon Rookie

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    I had a BIG problem with this last year. This year, I am using a bell.. like.. ding bell for service. When they hear the bell, they are to be quiet, put down what is in their hands, and look at me. This has been VERY effective. We've started working in centers, and if the classroom gets noisy its easy to hear the bell. I do not like raising my voice.

    Hope this helps!
     
  23. dust bunny

    dust bunny Rookie

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    Everything stops

    I do the heads down thing too. If the students are not quiet when I am giving instruction, or will not quiet down during transitions I don't allow them to continue with the chatter. If I can not teach, they can not socialize, it's heads down and everything stops until the students are ready to cooperate and I can resume the learning environment in the room. I usually have heads down for 1 minute and it seems like a loooong time for the students.
    I have had to get stricter about chatter in my room this past week, (the second week of school). My students work well in cooperative groups which I am thrilled about, but there is an abundance of chatter which goes along with it.
    Another thing that I learned while observing a teacher during my teacher training is that students will only talk over the teacher if the teacher attempts to teach over the student talking. I observed a teacher who had a very shrill, loud voice and just continued with her lesson. There was about 90% of her class who chattered amoung themselves as she screeched out her lesson. It hurt my ears and I felt that she was doing a huge disservice to the 10% of students who were making an effort to focus on the lesson. That is why I made a committment not ever to teach above student talking and make everything in the room stop until the students are ready to behave with respect and use active listening. Once students realize that the socializing and disrespect is not an option it doesn't take them long to decide to behave appropriately.
     
  24. Amers

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    I got tired of saying, "I'll wait," every few minutes, so the past few days, when students began talking, I just stopped teaching. I go sit down at a desk, glance at the clock, twiddle my thumbs...very obvious things. Students see I am not going to talk over them and I'm not going to remind them about their behavior anymore. By the end of the week, they were much better about their talking. Hopefully, it will carry over into next week with this long weekend.
     
  25. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    I should add, my students know we will get through what I have planned whether it takes the intended 15 minutes, or whether it takes 30 minutes because of their behavior. They don't like to be the last class to lunch or recess. (Neither do I, but they don't know that!!)
     
  26. kermy

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    We also have pe and music time. Do you think if i couldn't get through a lesson but of their chattyness, it would be ok to take about part of that time to finish my lesson? I would also have to talk to the pe/music teacher as well correct?
     
  27. ericamarie

    ericamarie Rookie

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    I also have talkative bunch! One thing I did was put on some soft music and the minute I couldn't hear it I'd tell them "I'm getting very sad that I can't here the music" Even if the students started whispering I told them it was getting too loud...I'm basically trying to redirect their minds so that they'll get used always talking in low voice.
    I never ever take away recess (that's just me though) because I find that the students at our school don't really learn their lesson. If anything they are angry and once recess is over they act out in spite. I have classroom meetings and at the end of every classroom meeting I have "closers" which are really fun games we play as a class. During this first week of school because students weren't meeting my expectations I had to take away their closer. They were so disappointed and I said that if they were better the next day they could possibly get their closer back.
    So far that's worked for me. Another strategy I have is Classroom A and Classroom B. Basically I explain how Classroom A is fun with lots of projects, group work, and a reward system. Classroom B is bookwork, no group work, and no rewards. Last year I only had to do Classroom B twice and it all worked out really well.
     
  28. gmer22

    gmer22 Rookie

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    I have had quite the chatty group. I have 24 students, 5 prob. children and am a frist year teacher. So what have I done? Be mean...keep a stern face count down from 5 and when I am down to one everyone better be quite of they move down a light level from green to yellow or yellow to red...red goes to time out if they are still talking. If they don't get in line the way I want I sit them back down and recess gets taken away. I feel like I am really mean but I figure I can become nicer around december. I just don't want to loose control and instruction. Do you think I am doing ok?
     
  29. stac4742

    stac4742 Rookie

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    I think that you're doing great!
    We have to be stern and firm with our children so that they know we take education seriously and are not willing to accept unacceptable behaviors in the classroom. Keep up the great work!
     
  30. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    At least you CAN talk over them. With deaf kids if their hands are flying and we flip the light switch and they ignore it because they are too busy chatting then we have to physically go to them and talk to them invidividually. Not to mention getting to the light switch can be inconvenient sometimes. We bang tables to get attention, etc. The one thing we can't do is talk over them.
     

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