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noise level (was start the year)


From: artappeal (artappeal_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jun 19 2001 - 08:03:45 PDT

Dear Donna G.,

Noise level is something I, too, have to work on constantly. It seems that
if you want to allow any talking at all, controls must be in place because
there are always times it will get too loud. I have some classes that
handle it perfectly, and others that rarely handle it well. Sometimes it's
just that a few kids have voices that carry, and everyone else tries to talk
over them. I use a system of compiled ideas from this list. First, stay
quiet is one of my rules, second, if it's just one or two kids being loud, I
separate them from the group after a warning. Usually, though, it's a bunch
of people, so, I have the word NOISE on the board. When it's too loud, I
erase E, then S, then I (leaving "no" on the board). Then there is 5 min.
of silence, during which if anyone talks for any reason, they must copy a
paragraph I wrote about talking (when and how it's appropriate). After that
we try again. If it's too loud, we stay silent for the rest of the class,
and anyone who talks, copies the paragraph. During no talking times, I just
sit and watch the kids, no questions, no help, etc. (otherwise they just
start up again), I become police person instead of teacher. I don't have to
do it often, but it works when I do, and those not talking can still do
their work. Oh, talking must be kept in check, because, usually the loud
classes are also the least productive, they get the wrong idea about why
talking is allowed (to share ideas, not to waste time).