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    Try this for peace and quiet.
    By sue d.

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    I sympathize. Here's what I've been doing for seven years teaching third grade. It works, but no class of kids is ever quiet and studious all of the time, no matter what you see when you walk by other classrooms.

    1. Sit the kids in table groups between 4-6 members each. Have them come up with a name connected to the curriculum. If you're studying ancient civs., then choose Egypt, China.... They should make signs that hang over their group.

    2. Make a laminated chart with those names and another column in which you will make tally marks. I call this "Group Points." I use it every week as a way to make transitions as well as monitor talking and cleanliness. For example, if I am needing the children to put something away and clear their desks, I will count 1-2-3-4-5 and award a tally mark point to the first group I see ready and quiet. I also announce that I am "looking for groups with no trash on the floor, quiet and looking at the board..." whatever. They are so competitive for these points and will police each other. Do not award points if they yell at each other for someone in their group not being ready or quiet. Encourage them to help their teammates with supplies and organization. They can also create a silent signal if they want to tell a group member to shut up without actually saying it. NEVER take away ppoints, but be very firm on who you givepoints to, being careful not to award it to groups just to be nice. The kids will need to know that they are truly earning these points. You can give prizes at the end of each week to winning groups. Check out Oriental Trading Company for good ones. Use other incentives like extra recess or free time for other awards if prizes and candy are not allowed in your school. change groups once a month.

    3. Use the old fuzzy ball jar to award quiet days. When it's filled, the class has a "meeting" and can vote on a whole class reward.

    4. Have a flip chart system taping library card pockets to their desk. The red, yellow and green cards inside can be a quick indiv. control for talking.

    5. Walk into the class in the a.m. and put classical music on. Whisper to them and use a low voice. You'd be surprised at how quiet they'll be too.

    6. Some teachers like that "Yakker Tracker" electrical device now. Search about that on the web.

    Hope this helps a bit. Remember, they are their own best managers when it comes to behavior.

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