1st day as an English Teacher aids young English Teachers. It provides teaching material as well as tips to young instructors. The blog constitutes a communication platform which facilitates the exchange of teaching experiences among teachers of English language.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

How to Quiet a Classroom

Source : wikihow.com

Do you dream about having a peaceful, quiet classroom? About students working quietly? About not having to constantly remind them to quiet down? If so, this is the how-to for you.

  1. Make it a game. Especially for primary students, if you play "The Quiet Game" with them, they will quiet down quickly. Give them a few seconds to finish up their conversations, make lots of noise, etc., and then start playing "The Quiet Game": the students must be quiet for as long as possible. If you want, set a timer or tell them that you would like them to be quiet for 5 minutes. If they make noise or talk, start the 5 minutes over. If students don't cooperate, you may want to add a small prize/reward/sticker, etc. for the person or group that stays quiet the longest.
  2. Play some music, but only if they're quiet. Depending on what music you play, this trick can work with intermediate grades as well. Tell the students that you'll turn on the radio/CD player/iPod, etc. and they can listen to music, but only if they're quiet. Once the noise level gets too high, you will turn off the music system. If you're doing this, make sure that the music you're playing is music that the students like. For example, if you're teaching 1st grade, play their favorite children's CD. If you're teaching intermediate, turn on a popular radio station. If you don't play music they like, they won't quiet down.
  3. Turn off the lights. If the classroom is too loud for the students to even hear you ask them to quiet down, flick the lights on and off a couple times to get their attention and then ask them to quiet down.
  4. Waste their time. Tell them that if they waste your time (class time), you'll waste their time. Every time the students get too noisy, watch the clock or look at your watch, counting the seconds/minutes that it takes for them to quiet down. Tell them that they have to make up those minutes at recess time. You could also simply put strikes on the board once they're too loud. Each strike represents 1 minute that they must wait before going out to recess.
  5. Put your hand up. In most schools, when a teacher raises their hand, it's a signal for students to quiet down. If this alone doesn't work, you might want to add an incentive - for example, if students can quiet down in under five seconds, they'll all receive a sticker.
  6. Make some noise. This is another tip that will get the student's attention. By making a noise such as ringing a bell, blowing a kazoo, using a noisemaker, etc. will get the student's attention. You could also use this as a symbol to be quiet. Once you make the noise, the students must quiet down. This saves you from losing your voice.
  7. Make them put their hands up. Try and quiet the class down, and then tell the class "If you're listening to me, put your hands up." This will show you who is and isn't listening to you, and will also ensure that students are giving you their full attention and not fiddling around with pens, pencils, etc. Once you know who isn't listening, you can call their name and make sure that they're listening to you.
  8. Use a rewards system. Lots of teachers use rewards systems such as marble jars - when kids quiet down quickly, you put a handful of marbles in the marble jar. When the kids are noisy and don't listen when you ask them to quiet down, take a handful of marbles out of the marble jar. You could also take 1 marble out of the jar for every minute that you waited for quiet. Once the marble jar is full, give the class a prize, such as a pajama day, watching a movie in the afternoon, going outside, etc.
  9. Clap your hands. Clap out a pattern and have the students repeat that pattern after you. Continue to do this until the class is quiet and you have everyone's attention. This is a great idea for primary classes, but works on intermediate classes as well, if used sparingly (otherwise they'll feel like you're treating them like babies).
  10. Award groups. Put the students in groups and have a tally chart with the name of each group on it. Tell the students to be quiet, and whichever group is quiet the longest/the fastest will get a point for their group. You could also award one point for every minute that each group is quiet for, so that the groups stay quiet for a long time. Students get really competitive for points and will make sure that their other group members are quiet. At the end of the week or month, award a prize to the group with the most points.
  11. Be calm and don't yell. Ask for peace and quiet in a calm, cool, and collected voice. When you're calm, the students are sure to follow the example that you're setting and will be calm and quiet. If there's a quiet mood in the classroom, the students will be quiet.

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