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Method & Theory

    Re: Classroom Behavior

    If group work is deafening, stop group work. Stop doing it
    especially if it's driving you out of the profession.
    I'd also say - one reason group work becomes so loud is because of
    the poor acoustics in school classrooms. Nobody will ever take this
    suggestion - maybe because it would work... - but get felt and cut
    it to the size of the chairs and duct tape to the bottom of chairs.
    It absorbs the sound waves that otherwise bounce off the walls of a
    classroom and so make the sound louder. The kids can do it and you
    can buy the felt at any fabric store.

    And tell them why you're doing it - because they are so loud that
    the sound can't be stood. And in line too. Sit them down and tell
    them. Tell them you've been nice about it but it's now upsetting
    you and will upset other teachers as you walk through the halls.
    Tell them ' it's rude'. It's rude to talk when others are working
    in their classrooms. We don't shout out in church, we don't shout
    out in libraries - it's rude. There are loud places like roller
    rinks and there are places that are supposed to be quiet. Not
    silent. But quiet. And walking through the halls is one of them."

    Then walk them through the halls and the first kid who opens his
    mouth- take out of the line and scare the bejeebers out of him.
    Whatever special he's going to, hold him out of it. Take him back
    to the classroom, tell him to sit down and then go to your desk and
    start to work. If he tries to speak with you, tell him you're too
    angry to speak with him. Sit there. I'll speak with you soon."

    And when you do, ask 'what part of what I said didn't you
    understand??" What part of it's time to be quiet in the halls
    didn't you understand?"
    He won't have an answer to that. Ask then - did you do that to make
    me angry? Because you have made me angry and right now I'm thinking
    that you deliberately wanted to cause trouble. Is that so?"

    When he says no then ask why he did it? He won't say yes. He'll
    babble something about why he did it and then say "Why you did it
    isn't really the important thing. What's important is - are you
    going to do it again?" He'll say no.
    Then walk him to his special and he'll walk silently by your side.
    Don't be warm and open the door, put him in his special and look
    sternly at the specials teacher with a glance at the kid so she
    knows he's in trouble - and so will the rest of your class.
    You can't always be nice - it's a shame, I'd love to always be nice
    but there are times we can't be. If you can manage the above, you
    will get quiet in the halls. Tell them to be silent if they can't
    be quiet.

    Tell the same if you ever reinstitute group work.

    And - work on your lesson plans if possible. Move quickly through
    them. Tight, focused lesson plans help to keep them quiet. Take an
    acting class and I'm not kidding. We can control kids and their
    talking by our presentation of self, our manner, our stance, our
    faces and you can learn to put on that manner, stance and face in
    an acting class.
    Good luck. Post back - keep in touch.
    > I teach 4th grade.
    > On 3/02/10, What grade?? nfm wrote:
    >> On 3/02/10, Becca wrote:
    >>> Hi,
    >>> I am a new teacher and I am struggling with classroom
    >>> behavior. My students are often well-behaved, but more and
    >>> more frequently, they are becoming rowdy and disinterested
    >>> in learning. Sometimes, when I'm teaching I have to stop
    >>> several times to make sure they are listening. When we walk
    >>> in line, they can be disruptive and loud. I have almost had
    >>> to stop group work because the noise becomes deafening. I
    >>> feel more and more like I'm not sure I can do this anymore.
    >>> Any suggestions?