11 Tips on Noisy Classroom Control
Stand near the noisy students
This strategy is a classic that most teachers learn early in their career. If the class is being too rowdy, standing near the loudest students can get them to settle down, especially if you stay silent while doing it. Keep in mind that how a teacher decides to use their presence in the classroom can be very powerful.
Try a countdown
How you react can also have a big impact. Establish a rule at the beginning of the year that if the class gets too noisy or off-task, you’ll start a countdown at the front of the room. Students should know early on that if the clock counts down to zero, there will be a consequence, such as an extra homework assignment.
The absence of sound can be effective in general. 7th grade teacher and Classcraft ambassador Meagan Frazier told us, “I also play a lot of music in class, so when music is turned off they know to come back.”
Get clear on what’s ‘too loud’
Making expectations clear and upfront can keep student behaviour on the right track and help you achieve a quiet classroom, elementary school puts up posters so kids understand what voice levels they should be using in different situations. This strategy can help students course-correct their own behaviour to what’s appropriate for a certain setting or activity.
Foster a positive classroom culture
Overall, it’s important to remember that taking the time to build positive classroom culture can go a long way to having a quiet classroom. By developing an amiable, trusting relationship with your students upfront, they’ll be more likely to be respectful in the long run.
You can also build little lighthearted moments into your classroom, such as greeting students with a high-five, having a special Friday routine, or using callbacks where you say a phrase and students complete it. (My third grade teacher taught us to finish phrases he’d drop into lessons randomly to see if we were paying attention. Eg., He’s say, “Space …”, and we’d say, “… the final frontier!”.
Because this strategy focuses on creating positive shared experiences, it’s a fun and easy way to encourage students to take part in the daily classroom management and ensure a quiet classroom.
Never talk over noise or shout to be heard in your classroom
Don’t allow noise to get out of control.
Once students are very loud, you will have to take extreme measures to get them to stop being noisy. You’ll find it easier if you begin to control noise levels as soon as class begins.
You should not try to assume control of a noisy class without enlisting the cooperation of your students.
Ask for suggestions from your students about how to manage noise.
Some noisy activities are just not okay.
Teach your students that it is never acceptable to talk during a movie, talk when you are giving instructions or teaching, shout at any time, talk during a test or other quiet activity, or talk across the room to classmates. When you plan activities that have the potential to be noisy, consider moving to a part of the building where you can’t disturb other classes.
Don’t plan group work activities without teaching students how to control the noise level of their groups.
One way to do this is by using distances as measurements. For example, students should find a one-foot voice useful for working in pairs and a three-foot voice useful for working in groups. When you give directions for an assignment, tell students the acceptable noise level for the activity.
Model the noise level that you want from your students.
If you speak softly, your students will follow your lead. If you shout, you will dramatically increase the noise level in your class because students will see this as permission for them to shout, too.
Be consistent in enforcing the noise levels that you expect from your students.
Set reasonable limits and stick to them if you want students to learn how to manage their own noise.