Is it really possible to get 2nd, 3rd, 4th grades to work silently? Using
inside voices escalates quickly into loud noise. Working silently only
seems to work for 5 minutes or less and then turns into noise. Am I just
spinning my wheels. As long as they're working, should I relax and let them
I picked up a great tool at a conference I attended several years back that
I use with great success. I have posted this to this list before, so I
apologize to anyone who may have seen it prior.
I use a system of "art awards" (I made mine using small reproductions
mounted on fadeless paper with artist name and title, and the words, "Art
Award" across the top) that I give out quite liberally for correct answers,
rule-following, good manners, hard workers, helpful deeds, etc. I use them
as I begin class and am reviewing as a reward for a good memory, then during
class I circulate among the class and place them on tables, and again after
clean-up, they are given to the first 3 quiet, clean tables who followed
directions and are seated, heads down.
After materials and supplies are collected, hands are clean, and all are
quiet, I ask each table to count their art awards. The table with the most
lines up first and each person from that table receives a (drum roll
Very simple,and almost unbelievable how they will work, follow the rules,
and keep each other in line, just to be the table that earns the stickers
I use this with first-sixth and it doesn't fail AS LONG AS I am consistent
with giving them out and with taking them away if rules are broken. My
classroom generally is a quiet place where active learning is taking place.
I personally could not function in this position in which I teach 24
different classes a week if the noise level was not tolerable. I tell them
that if I can understand their words, then they are not whispering.
Works for me. Hope this helps.
Andrea in Pa.
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