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Lesson Plans

Noise and Sanity

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Alix E. Peshette (apeshet)
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 06:23:25 -0700

Hi All,
I am known on campus as a teacher with loud classes, but even I have
some limits. I start the year with lots of instructions (rules!)
about stopping and listening, being able to 'work' for me, etc.

I use a bell hop bell, which I ring and then I say (just like
kindergarten!) "Stop and listen, eyes front!" Then I pick up a score
sheet on a clipboard and look around at each table. The students at
tables who are quietly looking at me get a table point. At the end
of the week, the table with the highest number of points gets a
treat. In my case, they are allowed to bring snacks from home and
consume them in class for 15 minutes on Friday. The winning 'mayor'
(supply monitor) gets 25 extra credit points; the other mayors get 10
points. The mayor's job rotates each week.

The way this works for noise control is this: I stop the class often
to give more instructions or to comment on the noise level. Each
stop and listen gets or loses a table point. The students become
positively Pavlovian in their response to seeing me pick up that
clipboard to score their tables. The students exert peer pressure on
each other to become silent and turn to face me. I use humor to
reinforce the being quiet and facing me. I ask to see all 65 purple
eyeballs (usually someone figures out the math on that one)

I also use the seating arrangement to my advantage. I tell students
that they can sit with friends along as they can 'work' for me. I
define that to them as being able to stop and listen when I need
their attention, keeping a good voice level and also being able to
complete the assignments. We change table seats about every three
weeks; if they have been working for me, they can sit by friends. If
they haven't been doing well, I seat them where I think they will do
better (sometimes a single seat).

This isn't a perfect system and it doesn't always work in every
class, but so far it's been effective for me.

When all else fails, use humorous threats:
I like Bunki's quote of "I only have one nerve, so don't get on it"
My version is "As much as I adore you, you are driving me nuts; make
a choice, change or leave the room.

-Alix Peshette
Day three of 7th grade
(where did the summer go?)

> My 7th Graders get very loud at times. I give them 3 chances and then
> we have silent art. However I need a consequence for if they speak
> during silent art. What do some of you do? I have a safe place desk in
> the back of the room and it is often in use. It is difficult to place
> five or six kids in the corner to write if they speak. It just seems
> silly. This class is a handful because they are so talkative. It's not
> like they are doing things which are bad enough to warrant a detention.
> Help!
> Melissa