volume control system in classroom?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissFroggy, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2007

    What system do you use in your class for noise control? I have seen a 1-5 system, stop lights, etc.

    I saw one in a photo, and I think it said: silent, whispers, ___, performing.

    I can't remember what the regular inside voices were called.

    I'm looking for a good way to display this in my class- preferably with a clip or something that moves to each level as needed.
     
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  3. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2007

    I use a timer (the old fashioned dial kind where you turn it and it rings). I ring the timer to get attention and announce either a warning or a consequence. But your question reminds me of something I saw in the Really Good Stuff catalog...they had a traffic light that actually lights up and has a siren go off when the kids reach the "red" level of noise. Can you imagine? I guess it might work for some, but I swear, my kids would set the thing off on purpose. ;)

    I've noticed that my kids totally don't look up to notice what's going on when they are chit-chatting, so I'm leery of using a system that relies on a visual display to let the kids know if they are loud or not--I don't think any of them would ever look at it.
     
  4. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Oh, no! Don't buy that thing if you teach upper grades! They had one in the cafeteria and it lasted a month before they took it down. Fourth and Fifth graders think it's something to do besides eat! And one lunch monitor we had, a real grouch, would put it on the lowest tolerance level she could, so that it would go off in you coughed near it!
     
  5. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

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    LOL, no, I wouldn't take that thing if they paid me! I teach 2nd and 3rd but I think they'd be the same exact way. Siren + flashing lights = 28 kids all trying to set it off. ;)
     
  6. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 18, 2007

    I didn't want one of those stop lights either! I think it would drive me nuts. I was thinking more of a paper sign. What words do people use? Silent (or no talking) Whispers, discussion (inside voices), presentation voice... I'm just having a hard time coming up with the words for my poster and what it will look like.
     
  7. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2007

    I think that when the noise level gets too high I'll just say, "voices" and then expect them to say "hush" in unison. I like a verbal cue, because like someone else said, when they're all chit chatting they won't look up at a chart, etc.
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I really like that. I will use it as a reminder also! I found the picture I had seen in one of the photos so will copy that to show the different levels their voices can be during different times.
     
  9. Antoinella

    Antoinella New Member

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    Aug 19, 2007

    I just bought a yacker tracker. It is set up light a street signal. The red light starts to scream and flash if the noise level raises. I haven't tried it yet.
     
  10. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2007

    I have a Yakker tracker and haven't used it in 2 years. It was a toy to them.
    the novelty never wore off! They loved to make the siren go off. You could silence it and just use the lights but it's not the same. Maybe you'll have better luck than I did!
     
  11. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2007

    I have a Yakker Tracker and the same thing happened. Some of my kids really worked hard to avoid the red light, but a few of the usual suspects obsessed about making it go off. I stopped using mine.
     
  12. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Actually, I think I am the Yakker Tracker in the classroom. If they make too much noise, I scream and my face turns red. lol
     
  13. QueenB

    QueenB Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    I think turning on and off the lightsworks for me. I have 2 sets of lights, so if it starts getting too loud, i turn half of them off, and then i'll turn them all off if need be (I have windows with lots of natural light coming in, so they can still see). It lets them know when they need to be totaly quiet, or may talk quietly in their groups.
     
  14. freddy

    freddy Rookie

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    Im glad someone started this thread. I teach fifth grade and wondering if any upper elementary teachers out there have a good system for noise level during independent work time. To be honest, I find a vacillate myself depending on my mood , at what level I will tolerate and I don't want to be inconsistent with the students. Do you think you should allow for a little more give and take for the older grades ?
     
  15. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    :lol:

    Good question. I have a chart in my classroom that I found off of the internet. School has been in session for about a week and I haven't really introduced it yet. But, this small poster has different voice levels with pictures next to it. I plan to use a wooden clothes pin and just pin next to the level I want to be at. HMMMMM... I think I will introduce this tomorrow. I would love to post a copy of my form here, but they won't let me and I really wish I can remember where I found it. I also accidently deleted one of the pictures and had to replace it.
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Well, I don't know if you guys care about this or not, but I just happened to run upon a website that has a copy of the volume control poster that I found a long time ago! You have to join the group, but when you do, you just go to files, and then to Volume Control System.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Daily5/
     
  17. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

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    I have a stop light with a black movable arrow attached. Red says Voices off, yellow says working hum, green says inside voices. I am going to use it mainly to set my expectations for the kids and as a visual reminder of what it should sound like during reading and writing (working hum), testing (voices off), snack and indoor recess(indoor voices).
     
  18. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Aug 21, 2007

    we are starting a new positive behavior system at school with "levels" level 0 is silence, level 1 is whispering, level 2 is quiet voice like when you are working with small groups. i don't know how its going to work, but if the whole school is doing it, hopefully we can get our point across.
     
  19. freddy

    freddy Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Miss Hunny,
    I like your system , yellow level is definitely the hardest to monitor, how do you specifically define "working hum" to your students?
     
  20. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I do the same thing! That is exactly why I need to know what others do. Sometimes I am very tolerant of the "working hum" like another poster mentioned--- I love the wording-- and sometimes I just want QUIET. It's really not fair to them to not know and have it based on my mood.

    My idea had been to say something like "We're about to begin __ . What level do you think you need?" And we would try to come to a quick consensus. I know there are a couple of kiddos in my class who will always say they can talk and work at the same time, and a couple who want complete silence. I think the working hum is something in between.

    Last year during journal writing, I would dismiss the kids from the carpet one by one- and say "without a--" and they would whisper or squeak "peep." I did this to allow those who needed it time to settle in and just stagger the getting of supplies, etc. They could always go about 25 minutes without talking, but then someone would start to show someone what they are working on silently (all good) then it would be funny and the person would laugh (not so great) then someone would get up to see what all the fuss was about (not ok.) All of a sudden the whole table is talking, or maybe just whispering. Sometimes I would think, well they're talking about their writing, and let it go, other times, especially if I was conferencing, I would put a stop to it and move the kids away from one another.

    So basically, I need something that I can do that will elimate the iffyness of the situation.

    I don't think sitting for extended time not talking is good teaching practice, but I do want journal writing to go the whole 35 minutes w/o much of it. That is one time a day where I expect this. The other time is our 35 minute SSR time. SSR is very rarely a problem.

    Anyway- I love the ideas. I like the "Voices-Hush" and the working hum. I will use those. One year, I put the number right on the schedule to show the kids what I expected the volume to be (but I didn't have a chart.) I might do that along with the chart. Anyway Peachy, I joined the group and looked at the poster... that was exactly what I needed.
     
  21. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    i really like your terminology MissHunny. It just might work for me! Thanks for sharing!
     
  22. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

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    I think I will show the kids what working hum means through some role play...modeling it correctly and incorrectly. All the books I've been reading this summer refer to the "hum". In the past I have wanted them to be silent during writing and reading, but i am realizing that this is not working and they need to learn how to work together in a nondisruptive way.
     
  23. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Aug 25, 2007

    I'm glad it worked for you. I introduced it yesterday. I even had them show me what each level sounded like. They really enjoyed level 5. :rolleyes:

    Anyways, now all I have to say is, "I want you guys at level 2 now".

    Throughout the day, I kept referring back to the poster saying, "uh oh, you guys are at a level 4. We need to bring it back to 2."
     
  24. noreenk

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  25. Dill

    Dill Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2007

    I use the following system of warnings:
    When kids are just getting going and they reach the acceptable level of noise, I tell them so. "This is the perfect volume, notice how you can hear your partner and I can still hear the group I'm working with."
    When they start to get too loud, I ask for 'five' and give them a verbal warning.
    The next time, I put them on silence for 1 or 2 minutes. I set a timer. If they talk, I start the timer over. They have to use non-verbal communication during this time.
    Generally they settle down a lot after this. I remind them again when they've reached an acceptable level. If another warning is necessary, I set the timer for 2 - 4 minutes (double the first time). I remind them that this is their last chance.
    If they can't get control after that, we stop whatever group work we're doing and do silent seat work. I try to make it as dull as possible, but related to what they were doing. If they were playing The Factor Game or Product Game, I might tell them to list all the factors of the numbers 1 - 50.
    I haven't had to stop group work too often.
     

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