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
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:
>>> 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?
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