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I teach grades 3-5 too. It is a loosing battle to expect silence. I just
read a study about intelligence which pointed out that socialization,
sharing of discoveries, etc. plays an important role in learning.
In my classes, I do notice some students are not doing much but talking,
so I point out that the students who are quiet are accomplishing more.
Playing soothing or quieting music can also help students focus on their
I have observed that some activities like painting are usually pretty
quiet, and 3 dimensional sculptural activities are noisier because
students are excited about showing off what they are making as they work
on their creation.
Then... there are the students who are highly distractable... and I try
to have a workplace for them that is a bit removed from others, so they
can get some work done and not disrupt thier peers. Often the classroom
teacher recommends the removed spot when I ask for suggestions about a
This year I have one student whose voice is naturally quite loud and he
is very vocal...his teacher recommended talking to him befoer each class
and reminding him that he can do his work very well and does not need to
disrupt constantly. It does help, guess his real need is simply some
Kayenta Intermediate School