How to Quiet a Noisy Classroom.

We have all had the one class where the volume level is out of control. No matter what you do, every student is using their playground voice inside the classroom. So many teachers today are asking for help, they want to know how to quiet a noisy classroom.

There isn't a magic wand, or quiet spray, but there are lots of management tools that when used together can help to quiet that noisy classroom.  We all know that kids all learn in a variety of learning environments but a loud classroom doesn't really work for most people, especially if you are the teacher and you are trying to work with a small group of students.  When the classroom is so loud and you can't hear, then you know, it is time to change things up, bring in new ideas.  What worked last week or last month- might not be working now.

#1 Voice Level Expectations: You need to teach your students about voice level expectations. Students may not even be aware of the fact that they are yelling.  If they come from a home where there is a lot of noise and everything is loud all of the time, their table talk normal voice, just might be their playground outside voice.  

You need to practice voice levels and every so often reteach it.
Use a voice level chart to teach your students about appropriate classroom voice levels
#2 Getting Their Attention:  How do you get their attention when your class is noisy? Are you adding fuel to the fire by shouting above the noise level?  Over the years I've used many different things, buy my all time favorite has always been my wireless doorbell.  I've been using one for about 8 years now, and it is truly the best thing ever.  

I push the button, it rings a little tune, kids freeze and place their hands on their head.  I can them give them directions and we move on. 

My doorbell comes with at least 50 different chimes, I found one that is similar to our all school intercom chimes, which they also know they must stop for.  One piece plugs into an electrical outlet.  The remote, I wear on my school lanyard.  I bout a hand sanitizer holder from Bath and Body Works for $1- ok I bout 2 as I couldn't decide on the color. The remote fits perfectly into it.  I then attached it to my lanyard.

Use a wireless doorbell for easy classroom attention getters.  Hang on your lanyard so it is always with you. holder from Bath and Body Works

Here are two options one come with 1 remote the other with 2 remotes. I wish I had seen the one with 2 remotes so I could have a second one to leave for a sub.

Other Attention Getters: Call and Response is often used in the primary grades.  Teacher calls out a phrase and students responds.
These are some of my favorites to use.  I did not create these.  I have acquired most of these from attending conferences.
Call and Response Attention Getters

  1. Class, Class--Yes, Yes ( change the tone or the speed- classity class-- Yessity yes)
  2. All set-- You Bet
  3. Shark bait…Oooh ha ha! (from Finding Nemo
  4. Flat Tire--Psssst
  5. Chicka, Chicka--Boom, Boom
  6. Hocus Pocus--Everybody Focus 
  7. Peanut butter--Jelly
  8. 1,2,3 Eyes on Me--1, 2 Eyes on you
  9. Hear yee, Hear yee-- All Eyes on the Queen (King)
  10. Hands on top--That Means Stop is an online website that has several tools you can use such asa stop light, a timer and picture cues to let students know what to do.
tech tools to manage your classroom

Bouncy Balls is another Free and fun way to monitor the noise level in your classroom.  However, first you do need to let them play with it and make the noise to watch the balls bounce.  Then you can give them a challenge.  See if they can work without making the balls bounce too much.  You do need to play with the sensitivity level. I like to change up the screens from time to time and I don't always use it.  Again, it is just another tool to use.
tech tools to manage your classroom

With all classroom behavior techniques nothing is fool proof.  What works for one group of students might not work for the next.  However, practice is the key for all.  Teach your students the expectations.   Let them make the noise, then ring the doorbell or call out the response. Keep practicing until you have 100 percent of the students participating. 

#3 Class Rewards: So now that you have a doorbell and the kids are responding, or most of them, now what. We are still looking to answer that ultimate question of how to quiet a noisy class?  This is where I use classroom rewards. 

I have a whole class Hooray Jar I fill it with color pompoms whenever the whole class is on task, whether it be on the carpet, at tables or if I see that one kid who always has a hard time having a great moment.  i might say- "XYZ is really doing a great job, they just earned our class a Hooray"  The Jar is from TJ Maxx, I used my Cricut for the letters and the PomPoms are from Amazon

I do not wait until the jar is full to do a reward.  Different sections of the jar equals different rewards.  Top of the O could be extra GoNoodle time or 5 more minutes of Free Choice Time.  They get excited when the pompoms go in and encourage each other to make good choices.
Classroom Management Tool for great behavior.  Easy for class to see  how close they are to earning a whole class reward.

Lip Smackers: I use as a reward for kids ho are doing a great job participating, following along, or working quietly.  I just swipe a bit across the back of their hand.  It wears off so they always work hard to get more.

Instant Reward/Prize Box: I do have a prize box, but kids in my class don't earn tickets or stamps or anything they must collect in order to go to the prize box.  I use it as a Caught Doing Good- Roll Model Behavior. I will often just select a student or two who are on task, when everyone else is getting ready to spin out of control.  I'll ring my doorbell, then award a prize.  Magically everyone else is now on task.  

Our school also has tickets called Leopard Spots. students earn them on the playground or in the classroom.  I am super stingy with them as I only give these for above and beyond.  The leopard spots go into a class box.  I then will draw a name from the box every so often to goto the prize box.  School wide our assistant principal come on the PA system and asks us to draw a name and those students then get to go with her for something fun.

How to Quiet a Noisy Classroom- Are you looking for strategies to calm that noisy classroom.? I have ideas and suggestions on how you can bring order back to  your  room with 3 easy steps.
The Smelly Markers:  I use smelly markers as an incentive to get my kids to work quickly.  Many times it will be only the first 10  or 15 students who are finished that get the marker.  Less talking equals more working.  You can read more about it here.

I hope you have found these suggestions for How to Quiet a Noisy Classroom helpful.  If you have other tips and tricks, please share them in the comments below.  I am always looking to expand my techniques.  Remember, what works one year with one class won't always work with the next group of kiddos.  

No comments