Children are noisy creatures, sometimes they don’t know the difference between an indoor and an outdoor voice. This blog post is to help to get and maintain a quiet (er) classroom.
1. In the morning, after break and after lunch line the kids up outside the classroom. Wait for quiet before walking calmly into the room.
2. Have a quiet activity ready for the kids when they come into the classroom. (Reading, maths question, riddle, problem of the day, taking down their homework etc.)
3. Use a hand signal. Raising your hand above your head and waiting for the children to do the same works well.
4. Sit down and wait. As a teacher, most of your day is spent on your feet, using the whiteboard, helping individual children, walking around the room while reading aloud etc. If children are not listening simply sit down and stare without saying a word. (The children who were paying attention will soon signal to the rest of the class that you are not impressed.)
5. Clap a rhythm or two – children echo your rhythm
6. Sing a call and response song. Sample
7. Count down – start loud with 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 (By 0 the class should be silent)
8. Use brain breaks (Sometimes children just need a break to help them re focus).
9. Reward those who are listening. Oh I’m so impressed with James who is sitting up straight and listening so carefully. Well done James! (Cue – everyone sitting up and listening like James)
10. Quiet spray (This works fantastically with younger children – fill a spray bottle with water and spray it.)
11. Put a teddy/doll at the back of the room. Explain to the children that the teddy is sleeping and therefore we have to use our quiet voices so we don’t wake him up. (Again – perfect for younger children)
12. Use the letters – N – O – I – S – E (When the children get too noisy, remove a letter, when it reaches N-O – no talking is allowed)
13. Use a noise – o – meter.
14. Speak in a low, quiet voice (Change the volume of your voice – keeps children interested and alert as they may have to strain slightly to hear you).
15. Play classical music (this is especially helpful when doing art – it keeps the children calm and keeps noise levels to a minimum.)