Monday, June 24, 2013

Bringing da Noise!

One of the most challenging aspects of classroom management, at least in my opinion, is cutting back on the chatter, social elements, and flat out noise. In my classroom, especially, they love to test me during assessment times. I've voided more tests than I ever thought I would...

I found this idea on Pinterest - one of the few I think really work for a secondary room - and latched on to it. The original post came from this Tumblr account.  I found it too late to use for this past year, but I'm definitely using it this year.

Every conference I've ever been to (including when I heard Charlotte Danielson speak) and almost everything I've ever read has stated that one of the best methods of getting rid of the noise is to have a silent signal, like raising your hand. That system doesn't work for me, but I need something. This is the solution.

I am posting these letters on my white board in the front of the room, where they are clearly visible. Whenever it gets too loud, I take off a letter, starting with the "E".

Eventually, this is what's left...

And this "NO" means exactly what it says - NO more. The classroom basically goes on lockdown. No talking, no working with partners, no getting out of seats, etc.  

I like this because it gives the students a chance to regulate themselves and seems a lot clearer than putting strikes on the board or what-have-you. Having this decoration up all the time shows that expectation is always there, as opposed to being able to "forget" when there are no strikes.

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