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Ways to Quiet the Classroom

Compiled By: chteacher Bookmark and Share
The following will help to get the students to quiet down and focus on direct instruction
attention getters
Posted by:Elizabeth #48329

I use a variety of "quieters" (wooden castanets, frog clicker, metal New Years ratchet...)and spread them around the room. My favorite one is a wooden train whistle. The first few weeks we spend a lot of time practicing our quieting procedures; when I use my quieter they freeze their bodies and their voices. After practicing quite a bit they are tuned in to those noises. I also will reward their exceptionally good response time with a marble in their marble jar. If they are unable to respond we take a few moments to practice again. I will also stage a practice time right before recess; if the practice doesn't go well we take some of the recess time to practice as well. This saves my voice and my nerves!

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attention getters
Posted by:Julianne #63413

I've seen teachers blink the lights as a signal that it's time to listen. I teach first grade and use a technique I learned while teaching kindergarten. It is for times when the students are busy at their work and you need to stop them quickly to explain some little thing ("Oops, remember to color that paper before cutting it apart!"), or to tell them of a change in plans ("We have an assembly I forgot about." or "The school nurse is here to check your vision.") In your loud, teacher voice say, "Everyone put your hands in the air." Not one hand, both hands. This way they aren't fiddling with something else and they are focused on the directions you have to give.

Of course, there are tons of other classroom management tools, and you'll probably find a file full of ones that work for you before...

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Attention Getters
Posted by:Fran #82665

I'm constantly trying to use different ones because I get bored with them. One of my favorites is to chant, "I know something you need to know, peanut" and then the kids respond "butter". Sometimes I change it to other words like, "jelly" "Donuts" or "Hot Fudge" "Sundae". The students like to make up chants too. Another one I use is, "1, 2, 3, eyes on me, 3, 2, 1 until I'm done".

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Desk Bell
Posted by:Joy #47114

I love my desk bell! I purchased it a few years ago from my local teacher store. They go for about $5-$7.00. The bell that I use is exactly like the kind of bell that you would find on a counter at a bakery or dry cleaner. These bells were created to be attention getters.

I keep my desk bell nearby me whenever we have quiet work times. The bell is very helpful when I am working with my guided reading groups. Whenever I ring the bell 2 times, this means that I want your attention. If I ring the bell 3 times, it means that the classroom is too noisy and not as productive as I would like it to be.

I hope that you will be able to locate a bell. I would suggest that you contact your local teacher supply store. If one is not...

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Posted by:Lisa L #47631

I have two attention getters from the very beginning. You can clap out a pattern, the students clap that pattern and you continue until you think you have all attention.
I also use a "hands up" signal; it is a universal signal at our school. Anytime the students see an adult raise their hand, they are to do the same thing and look and listen. The ones who are not looking at you, hopefully, will see the ones who are already raising their hands and get the hint! I use both of these with my kindergarten students.
Hope this helps

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Try this for peace and quiet.
Posted by:sue d. #32899

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...

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Noise levels and gaining quiet
Posted by:Bev #66255

I am fairly new to subbing in Florida, but wish I could go back to a few of the classes that made me feel the way you do now ...because I know I am a better teacher now than when I started.
I used to raise my voice a lot I remain calm and speak in a voice that is fairly constant(mainly because back in Britain I had trouble with losing my voice and even ended up having scarring on my larynx please dont raise your voice k).
I stop and say I wont raise my voice over you so you need to be quiet now. If it looks like you are losing the battle go to the buzzer to call someone this usually gains the quiet you want and tell them the next time you feel the need to walk over there you will be...

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keeping students quiet
Posted by:D Allen #25942

Sometimes it is difficult just to get them quiet for seconds, not even minutes. Two different tricks I have used are 1) Play the quiet game. Ask the students how long they think they can be quiet. After all, you may not have heard them quiet all day. Count out loud, or count on your fingers. This really appeals to their competitive nature. You may have to separate the contest into all of the class, except (name of noisemaker). I did this once, not to isolate the child, but because he was insistant on standing out and making noise. Another option is 2)playing heads-up seven up. This works well for younger grades, as long as they know how to play. Seven students are selected to be it. All others lay their heads on the desk, eyes closed, and thumbs up. The "its" then select one student by pushing...

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Quiet time
Posted by:Jackie #33386

I think the first two posters gave wonderful suggestions. Many of their suggestions have worked for me as well.

Our rest time begins at 1:00, immediately following lunch and a bathroom break. The children bring beach towels or blankets from home and get them out of their lockers on their way back into the room. The lights go out and I read a chapter or two from a Junie B. Jones book. Then I put on some restful music. You might want to try different types of music, until you find something that works for your kids. I've used classical (G'night, Wolfgang), new age (Enya & Yanni) light jazz and international lullabies. has lots of good cds, though they're not cheap. You could try playing stories on tape, if they're interested in the story, it would help them rest quietly. I really like using music, especially...

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Catchy attention grabbers
Posted by:ritabochita #47856

I have borrowed a few attention getters from friends. The first is the quote of the week- You say the first half of the sentence and the class responds with the second half. The second was thought up by a student- You sing "Scooby Dooby Doo" and the class responds by looking at you and singing "Where are You"/ My class loves to also sing "We've got some work to do now" It is the all time favorite of third graders in our school. The Third one is You say "Mama Mia" and the class looks at you and responds with "What a spicy meatball" YOu all use a heavy Italian accent and do the little delicioso sign with your hand accenting your lips- If you know what I mean?

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attention getters
Posted by:jjj #35196

One teacher at our school has a windchime suspended in the middle of her class-- out of reach of kids-- when she hits it, they know to freeze and listen

A 4th grade teacher has a frog shaped clicker on her desk that she clicks 3x to get attention

Another teacher starts singing a song-- kids join in and there are 3 claps at the end. By the time she gets to the claps everyone is with her and looking at her attentively.

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