Too Much Talking

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by bethany1120, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. bethany1120

    bethany1120 Companion

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    Sep 8, 2006

    My class is an energetic, bright group of kids. However, they talk NON STOP! It seems like we can't do anything without the constant chatter. I have a couple of very loud talkers, which doesn't help the situation. Anyone have any good tips on how tame the talkers?
     
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  3. KdgtnCop

    KdgtnCop Rookie

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    Sounds familiar!!!
    Here's what I've done, and it seems to work:
    If there's a child talking out-of-turn, I put their name on the board with a check-mark. (they lose 5 minutes of center time at the end of the day) Talk again, another check.(another 5 minutes of center time- gone!) After the third time, they get a third check, and they lose their center time completely. It tends to work for single-offenders during circle or "rug" time....
    For whole-class chatter during seatwork...I've tried putting on children's music. If you dont mind the "singing along quietly" to the the Wheels on the Bus and "Down By The Bay"...it can stop the talking but still allows them to make noise. Of course, one clowny kid putting on a "concert-like" performance can ruin it for the group. It's up to you to use your judgement! Good luck!
     
  4. mrs.teacher5

    mrs.teacher5 Companion

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    I have the same exact problem with my PM group. All they do is talk. When I talk a breath they start right at it. If I play music THEY GET LOUDER to talk over the music. I found one thing that works. We play the rock game. You explain that they are all rocks. Rocks do not talk and they do not move. Tell them that you are looking for the best rock to add to your rock garden...I make up a little story about how I want to bring some rocks home with me to decorate my house..blah..blah. Keep reminding them that you are looking for the best rock. My kids will not talk for a long time. I could not believe it worked. It was wonderful. I keep talking to them..Ooohhh wow Johnny is a great rock..he might be my best rock. Maybe this will work for your group. When I worked at a preschool they loved it also.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I have a smaller number. After initial beginning of the year strategies have been implemented and tried, we would remove/separate the more persistent offender/s. Having them removed shocks them a little and the kids realize you mean business. If they are quiet they can come back after a few minutes. It works on the offender, but reminds the rest of the class.

    I've done the chalkboard thing too.

    Also try raising your hand and have that as a signal that they need to hush and copy. Pretty soon they will all have their hands up and you can continue with what you want them to work on (reducing talk time) and continue with more positive lessons.

    Sometimes if the raising hand isn't getting their attention (I have young ones), I start raising alternate hands and doing different movements like touching alternate ears with hands, tapping my head, etc in semi fast movements. They have to look, hush and copy (ok, maybe they don't have to hush, we sign..but try it). Then when I have everybody, I stop and proceed.

    We give out reward dollars. When it is appropriate, I find a quiet person next to the noisy one and I the quiet one an explanation why they got the reward dollar. This rewards the good ones (catch them doing good) and sends the offenders a signal that they need to improve to be caught being good. Personally, I like it cuz it reminds me to find more positives during the day than focusing on the negatives. (I know some don't like the reward system but interestingly I like it because of how it changes MY behavior).
     
  6. heyMiss!

    heyMiss! Rookie

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    I have used the raised hand thing successfully a lot. Also, I used sign language (the real ASL, not just commoner stuff)... my 3rd graders last year loved it!

    I just watched a classroom management video recently and one teacher says, "Clap your hands if you can hear me... [they clap] clap twice..." Once they've clapped twice, the whole class is quiet and ready to listen. I don't remember which grade she was in, but I started trying this with my 3rd graders last week and now they are begging me to use this rather than the quiet hand. I like this because it gives them a chance to make a little noise on purpose, then be quiet. :love:
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    heyMiss, I did that with my 2nd when I was student teaching, and they tohught it was great. After they were quiet, they loved it if I then had them do something different... touch your nose or whatever. For some reason, they got SUCH a kick out of that!
     
  8. heyMiss!

    heyMiss! Rookie

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    Thanks, I'll try that.
    The only downside I've experienced so far is that sometimes they start clapping before I even ask them to or when I didn't intend to (they see my "be quiet NOW teacher-look" and get ahead of the game). :p
     
  9. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Not sure what grade you have, so not sure if this will work for you, but I'll post anyway just in case. I've used it successfully in 2nd/3rd.

    I put a 2-column T-chart on the board, I labeled one side with my name (Miss D.) and the other with the class (2G or whatever). I explained that we were ognig to play a game, and that their goal was to have more points than I did by the end of the day (or lunch time, or whatever). Every time I saw everyone in the class listening, following directions, raising hands, staying on task, etc., they'd get a point. Every time someone talked out, got off task, etc., I'd get a point. I didn't have to say anything, the points spoke for themselves. After a few minutes of "pointing" for everything, all I had to do was walk towards the board and everyone got back on task immediately., It was realyl neat to see them policing each other!

    I didn't use this all the time, generally times when I REALLY needed them to behave (like when I was being observed), or when they'd been really rowdy and out of control. My kids totally loved it!
     
  10. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Sep 9, 2006

    I hear you about the talking! I LOVE my class this year, but they are quite chatty. Fortunately only 2 or 3 are really loud. Right now (we've only been in school 6 days) when we are on the rug, I give lots of reminders. I have a "give me 5" chart with picture icons and words: eyes looking, ears listening, lips closed, hands still, feet quiet. I taught them how to check the chart on the first day of school, so now a simple "give me 5" reminder is all it takes for them to straighten up. However, it doesn't last long and some are back to talking very quickly. I do give repeat offenders a choice: "Stop talking or go to your table." That has been effective. Some choose to stop talking and some choose to go to their table. Either way is fine for me. It removes the distraction and is less punitive than just sending them away.

    I do have to keep in mind how short their attention spans are right now. I try to be as entertaining as possible!

    For table talking, I do a variety of things. I praise quiet tables A LOT. Right now I have two tables that are usually pretty quiet workers, one that is sometimes quiet, and one that is usually very loud and talky. Soon I will move children around to try to break up the loud table.

    I have a "clicker." You buy it at a pet store - it is used for dog training. I just stand there and click it. They know that if they hear the clicker they are supposed to get quiet. It takes a few seconds because if the talking is loud, they can't hear it at first. It sure beats raising my voice!

    I also do the "hands up." That is a school-wide quiet signal at my school.

    In years past I've done "Shhhh Shhhh sh-sh-sh" and have them repeat that. I will teach it to this new class soon.

    On field trips I use one of those old-fashined bicycle horns (where you squeeze the bulb on the end) to get attention and focus. It's kind of loud for the classroom, but I'd use it if I had to!

    Basically, I prefer nonverbal signals. I use music, timers, and sequences of notes on a xylophone as signals for quiet, cleaning up, transitions, etc.
     
  11. bethany1120

    bethany1120 Companion

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    Sep 9, 2006

    One thing that I have been using that works like magic to bring the whole class back to attention is some windchimes. The kids love the sound and they immediately raise their hand to look at me. Everyone gave me some great ideas, thanks! I guess my main thing is I really dislike micromanaging, which is what I feel like I'm doing way too much. One of the toughest things is when we do an activity together, like a math sheet, we do one problem together, the class erupts into talking, and then I have to bring them back and it's like that thru the entire sheet. The other Kindergarten teacher in my building claims she doesn't have that problem which I guess is why it's making me nervous-I keep thinking, "what am I doing wrong?"
     
  12. Frustrated FL

    Frustrated FL Rookie

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    These all look like great ideas. I think I'll bring a wind chime to school, use the "Give Me Five" (we already have a poster with the five things on it), and try the Teacher/Students contest.

    Yesterday we played a guessing game with our classroom signals (choose only 3 to start). They are illustrated on cards. Students guess which card the "teacher" has chosen. They must listen and think to eliminate the cards and guess the right one. You could have heard a pin drop! I couldn't believe it. It made me realize that a lot of them really CAN listen! (And, of course, a big part of the draw was the chance to be "the teacher" after guessing correctly!)
     
  13. SarahnVA

    SarahnVA Rookie

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    Bethany I'm right there with you! This my first year teaching so I feel that I'm constantly comparing myself to other teachers, which is silly because they've been teaching 15 plus years. I feel that I'm always having to stop teaching because the kids are way too talkative. I understand that this is their first week, but its gotten out of hand. During the carpet time I have to stop a story at least five times for someone who is "not being polite." Its gotten so bad that one girl who rarely talks when she's not supposed to got annoyed that we had to stop a story so much. I have a management system with cards, starting from green and changing to yellow, blue, then red. The kids know the consequences with the changing colors but they seem not to care! One boy has been on blue (no stamp in agenda book and note home) every day since I started this system. I've isolated him from others, had him sit with me, etc. Is it too soon to try something else or should I still be consistent because its only been one week?

    The worst time is in the afternoon when we're trying to get ready for dismissal. Each kindergartner is supposed to have a bus tag and line up in the order of busses. They talk sooooo much that I have to give them silent time and have their heads down while lining them up EVERY DAY. I feel that I'm always being mean and disciplining and I hate that. I keep praising for good behavior, commenting on great "Star student action" but its getting less and less.

    Any suggestions?
     
  14. SarahnVA

    SarahnVA Rookie

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    This sounds great, but I'm confused, could you explain the guessing game in more detail? Thanks!!
     
  15. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Sep 9, 2006

    When I worked at camp, our director liked to use the sign language for "I Love You" (thumb, pointer, and pinkie up, the rest down) as a quiet signal. She introduced it to the kids as: "I love you but please please PLEASE be quiet because I have something very important to tell you" When the kids saw it, they were supposed to stop talking, look at her, and do the same signal. It worked really well.

    When we did just a raised hand, she always told them that there's a string running from their mouth to their hand, so when the hand is up, the mouth is closed.
     
  16. SarahnVA

    SarahnVA Rookie

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    I love the "I love you" idea, I'm trying this on Monday. I'm making a list of all of these great ideas! We already use sign language with our weather activities and saying "Thank you/ Your welcome" to visitors.
     
  17. bethany1120

    bethany1120 Companion

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    SarahnVA it's great to hear that you're in the same boat as me! This is my second year of teaching, but last year I did half day 4K, I only had 10 kids with an aide. Now I'm doing 5K in a new school with 16 kids and no aide, and it's so much different. Going home time is HORRIBLE for me too! I've been thinking all day about ways that I can keep it under control. Yesterday it was so embarassing because the kids were so loud and being kind of crazy while we were lining up, and a couple of parents witnessed it when they were picking up their kids early. I'm constantly comparing myself to other teachers too, which like you said, is silly because we've only just started teaching.
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Try teaching basic supply requests. "Can I borrow the glue please?" Stuff like that. Tailor it to your classroom. Then tell them during this time it is quiet time Sign Language Zone and see if they can complete the activity by using ONLY the signs they know or body language. They will work so hard to try to find ways to get the task done without opening their mouth (it's a fun challenge). I had a hearing teacher do this when I was mainstreaming in her classroom. She didn't use it all day, just for those noisy assignment times. The kids loved it. BTW, in ASL it would be "borrow glue please" Many people don't know borrow is a directional sign. Done from the other person to me means borrow, done from me to the other person means lend.
     
  19. KdgtnCop

    KdgtnCop Rookie

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    Hi Bethany...I can definitely relate to being "embarassed" when parents came early and it "appeared" that things were loud and out of control. Is is possible for you to invite parents into the room at dismissal, and have THEM pack their child's backpack? Perhaps the children could be sitting at their spot with their head down until their parent arrives? We don't have bus children, so I don't leave the room...(I dismiss from the classroom door directly to the parking lot)sometimes I will dismiss the "quiet" children and tell the parents to "come in " and help their child to get their things. Maybe this would work.
     
  20. bethany1120

    bethany1120 Companion

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    Thanks for the idea, unfortunately that won't work in my room. I have to walk the kids out to the parking lot to get picked up, and the bus and after school care students go to the teacher next door who takes them to their appropriate destinations. Ocassionally parents come to the classroom and pick their child up, which is what happened yesterday. I think what I will have to do is go backwards, and have each student practice lining up one at a time, very quietly, and if they choose to talk, they will have to go and sit back down and we'll do it over again. I know it will be time consuming, but I think sometimes you just need to dedicate more time to management issues....
     
  21. SarahnVA

    SarahnVA Rookie

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    Lol the "management issues" seem to consume my day! I was prepared for this though, and a lot of my lessons are low maintance so that we can focus on these issues. I have my whole class go back and forth to the carpet a few times sometimes until we get it right. I hate doing it because it takes up so much time, but I keep remembering Mr. Wong's books on the first days of school and he says to keep on practicing routines as much as possible! So I just keep practicing and practicing and practicing and practicing, etc. Hopefully this next week will be better!
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    If it isn't against school hallway procedure do a game while they are going to the next place (occasionally when they are rowdy). Put one hand up, then 2. Then put both down. Pat your head, etc. They have to play follow the leader so it keeps them quiet in concetration. I don't understand 4k and 5k but if they are old enough, during the day practice hallway with this straight line game. My hall has tiles. I tell them they have to be in the same row of tiles I'm in. I move from left to right. They have to stay straight as can be (and concentrate) in order to follow correctly. I don't zig zag too crazy because that isn't the point. It takes practice but they like it.

    For getting stuff ready at the end of the day, dismiss quiet tables to get ready, then have them sit in circle time. After all are sitting in circle time, have them line up. Giving them a clear procedure helps. It DOES take practice. It takes time. As a parent I like to see a controled classroom, but I don't like it too quiet and too clean. That seems like they didn't have fun (even if they did).
     
  23. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    These are some things I use...

    When we are at the tables and I'm teaching a lesson, if some of them start talking or if they are losing focus, I say, "BUMPITY BUMP BUMP" and they follow up with "BUMP BUMP!" They think it's fun and their attention comes back to me.

    I have chimes to signal for clean up times.

    I do Give Me 5 when I have an announcement.

    I do the two finger signal, which means "Active Listening" when we are in line, ready for morning meeting, etc.

    During story time if some kids start talking I usually stop and stare them down and that has been working so far!

    If we are cleaning up and getting on the carpet, it helps them transition if I just start singing a song and they join in, when the songs over they are quiet and ready to start the next activity. I also do the "if you can hear my voice clap once..." etc. and they like that.
     
  24. tessinAZ

    tessinAZ New Member

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    I totally don't like to spend the little money I make but I found that a Yacker Tracker works really well. It's about 60bucks but totally worth it. It looks like a traffic light and it has sensors that detect the noise level in the surroundings. When the kids get too loud a siren goes off to remind them to quiet down. They will probably talk again but at least I don't feel like a broken tape recorder repeating, "Please use inside voices..."
     
  25. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sounds FANTASTIC tessin! Wont work for us, but that is a neat novel idea that would sure get the kids interested.
     
  26. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Deafinly, it could work for you because the lights also change from green to yellow to red. So it could be used even without the siren.
     
  27. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Oh I have a stop light thing that I velcroed an arrow to. Green light is for team talking, yellow light is for whisper voices, and red light is no talking. So I can say, "Writing is a red light time."
     
  28. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Sep 9, 2006

    I don't like to post names or checkmarks...I use several little strategies, depending on the situation: I stop talking altogether until it gets quiet (and then eerily, I may just start talking again--they really get it then!); I compliment someone (or two) who is sitting criss-cross and listening well; I remind the class that if they take up "my" time, I will take some of "their" time at recess (and then do it if needed!); I also use the "clap two times if you can hear me..." with a quiet voice; if there is a continued or repeated disruption, it may mean you need to rearrange the seating chart a bit. I generally put my talkers in the front row or on the carpet edge for the least amount of interference to others! It's also easier to give them "the look" when they are in close proximity!

    In addition to these, we have a set of chimes that my teaching partner made a few years ago. ANY time I ring them, it means, "stop, look, and listen." It is amazing to watch how seriously they take it. And from my last semester Master Teacher, I apparently picked up the phrase, "Uh-oh..." when someone is interrupting the class. It is funny to see them look up to see what is wrong!
     
  29. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    It wouldn't work because our kids talk in visual mode not auditory. It wouldn't register with the yakker.
     
  30. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    :rolleyes: I feel like an idiot! Of course. Sorry! I was just thinking about the visual of the traffic light, not the mode of talking!
     
  31. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Hehe, it's alright. It's funny because after reading peoples suggestions I realize it's been so long for me to have had the auditory part that I forget those completely (not that I've been at this too long). Even when I do Sunday School class because I can't hear well I use visual. Growing up I was mainstream most of it, so it's not that I've never witnessed it and I even use some of it on my own children, but I never think of it as applied to class anymore.
     
  32. KdgtnCop

    KdgtnCop Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2006

    I guess I should clarify the "checkmark and Name on the board" strategy... because it sounds harsh, but it goes together with a positive reward system that our school uses called the SPECIAL jar (SPECIAL standing for character education norms that are expected at our school) Children earn tickets of they are caught being "SPECIAL" (or following the norms) They pick from the SPECIAL jar at the end of the week if their ticket is pulled. I know that it's probably non-traditional to post a name on the board with a check, (gasp!- embarass a child who has bad behavior!)but it honestly helps the child to realize that their behavior is not being overlooked, and that they will have a consequence...ie:waste my time, I waste yours. (same tactic we all use) While they are at their seat serving their "5 minute checkmark" they must write or draw a picture describing the behavior that earned the check. I use a kitchen timer. When the bell rings, they are free to go. I don't like to punish the entire class for the handful of consistent rule-breakers. We have no recess to take away, so the only thing they can lose is their personal center time. It works- they hate losing center time, and the good kids get rewarded consistently. ( We don't allow K students to have recess- it's too dangerous in our yard-Inner city. We have no playground, grass, or trees...it resembles a prison yard. There's not much to take away!)
     

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