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    non-stop talking
    By Carolyn

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    I occasionally have problems with the kids talking excessively. I have also taught them a lesson on what happens when they talk excessively. Rather than punishing the entire class and making them sit at recess as I used to do (with the good kids being upset), I tell the kids that the talking is slowing down the course of our lessons. If I don't get to finish the lessons on time, then we get out to recess late, or not at all.

    My kids get back from lunch at 12:00. We have an hour for writing and spelling before they have recess. If they come in and won't stop talking, I just sit down at my table at the front of the room and flip through a magazine or something. They'll start getting quiet. Then I'll say something like: "Oh, are you ready to start learning now?" (not sarcastically, but meaningfully) If they won't stop talking or acting silly while I am having class, I stop teaching. I ask them when they are ready to resume. I also say: "Tick, tick, tick" while I am waiting. They know what that means: that we are wasting valuable classs time, and that translates into a shorter recess time. Yesterday, they went out for recess 10 minutes late after basically wasting away some of their writing class. I made sure they knew that they were going out late because they weren't finished with writing and spelling. With that still fresh in their minds, they were determined today to calm down and get quiet enough to finish.

    The same applies to the morning when we are going to lunch. I stand there waiting for them to get quiet in line. I won't leave the classroom until they do, and I also remind them of the fact that if we get back late from lunch we will finish our lessons late, then we'll get out to recess late.

    What kids really need is a lesson on time management, and I think that if they are wasting their time talking, then they need an appropriate consequence.



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