Sometimes classroom noise levels can threaten to get out of control and getting a handle on them right away is critical to successful classroom management. The ideas below are perfect for controlling classroom noise and redirecting students’ behavior. Best of all, they have been classroom tested!
Quiet Classroom Strategies
This idea comes from Gloria, a 2nd Grade Teacher, in Altoona, PA. It is both simple and ingenious! “To help with classroom noise levels I challenge my students to ‘keep the music in the box,’” she explains. “Whenever noise levels start to rise or we need to get quieter I open up the music box. The music box, which is wound up once a week, plays until everyone is quiet. At the end of each week we check the box for music. If there is still music in the box the class gets a reward. They are so excited that they remind me each week to be sure to check the box. Not only is it effective, but it puts a little music into our day.”
Imaginary fun is a great way to help students remember to stay quiet. Try this idea by Natalie, a Kindergarten Teacher, in Tamarac, FL. “Here’s a way to keep students quiet in a line,” she shares. “Have the students put a pretend marshmallow in their mouths. Have them take the marshmallows out of their pockets and stick them in their mouths. If they make noise in the line, remind them to put their marshmallows back in. They students love it and remind others to do it, too.”
What’s Your Name?
Although Sharon, a 4th Grade Teacher, from Waterford, PA used this idea with her students in the cafeteria, it can also be adapted for classroom use. “Our cafeteria staff was struggling with keeping our students quiet and sitting down during lunch. We tried various strategies to help, even asking them to log the names of individual students who were especially loud. This was time consuming for the ladies, especially if they didn’t know the student’s name. We even tried deducting recess time for the entire class. Nothing seemed to work,” Sharon admits. “Finally, I decided to create a necklace for each of my students to wear to lunch with their names on them. If caught misbehaving or being loud, this necklace was simply taken away and placed in a basket. When I came to pick up my students, I would check the basket and only those students whose necklaces I found would lose recess time. Students who were able to keep their necklaces all week were allowed to participate in a drawing to visit the prize box on Fridays. It worked so well, all the teachers in my grade level are planning on having their students make necklaces the first day of school. Staying with the theme, this year I thought it would be fun to reward students with consistent appropriate behavior to add ‘fun’ beads (sports theme beads, smiley faces, hearts, stars, etc.) to their necklaces!”
What are some of your favorite techniques for controlling noise levels in your classroom? Share them with us below!