Help! My class is too loud. Tips for a quiet classroom.
Is your classroom too loud? Have you had other teachers or your principal complain that the noise level in your classroom is too high? A quiet classroom will help students concentrate and it does give the appearance of calm learners. Here are 8 tips for a quieter classroom.
Before I share the tips with you, one thing to keep in mind is that your classroom doesn’t always need to be quiet. There are times when you will want silence, times you want quiet, and times where students are excited and working. While your classroom doesn’t always need to be quiet, it does need to be calm and you do need to be in control of it.
Tips for a Quieter Elementary Classroom
The below tips are suggestions that you can use to keep your classroom quiet and calm. Try one. Try two. You may find that one suggestion works well for awhile, but then stops working. These are tools that you can have in your classroom management tool belt to calm a noisy classroom.
Play calming music.
Classical or instrumental music played at a low level can keep students working at a quieter level. Play music during your math rotations or while students are working quietly on their writing.
Not only can music provide a calming environment, it can also introduce your students some great classical composers.
If you have Spotify or Apple Music, you can stream it through one of those apps, but Youtube is also a great resource for FREE calming music. Here are a few ideas:
Use a noise monitoring app.
The Bouncy Balls app is web based, so you can play it through your web browser. This Noise Meter is great if you have an iPhone or iPad.
One caveat – Your students might try to make more noise to see how they can affect the meters. If you think your students will do this, consider giving them purposeful time to do it. It’s a fun game and it could be used as a fun introduction to the apps. Let students make enough noise to hit the top of the meters as a way to demonstrate in appropriate behavior.
Use a wireless doorbell. Ring it when it gets too loud.
Sometimes students just need a gentle reminder when their noise level gets too loud. If you have a wireless doorbell, you can attach the button to your lanyard and ring it when students’ voices are too loud.
Here are a few options that work well in the classroom.
Reinforce the positive behavior. Print tickets and give them to students who are quiet.
Print up a few tickets with encouraging words on them that praise students for their calm, quiet working behavior. Keep a stash of these tickets and place them on students’ desks who are working well and modeling your high expectations.
Positive reinforcement with a few on-task students will likely encourage other students who are slightly off task to change their behavior and quiet down.
Dim the lights.
Like calming music, dimming the lights can also have a positive effect on your classroom noise levels. In fact, consider doing both! Creating a calm environment through light and music will help students’ relax their bodies and minds to focus on their work.
Use a voice level chart.
As I mentioned at the beginning, you don’t always need your students to be quiet, but you do need them to be calm. Consider using a voice level chart. Determine the different times of day you have in your classroom. How do you want students to sound during those times? Create 4-5 different levels on the chart with the top level being an outside voice level.
Practice all the voice levels.
When you introduce the voice level chart to students be sure to have them practice each level so that they understand your expectation at each level.
Break students into smaller groups or partners. Spread kids out around the room.
I use small groups and partner groups several times throughout the day. During the first two hours, students are in small reading groups. After lunch we do math groups and at the end of the day we do science stations. Small groups help me keep a calm and quite learning environment. They allow students to interact with a variety of partners throughout the day without getting too excited and overwhelmed with an entire classroom of noise.
Links to how I use rotations and groups throughout the day.
Here is how I create reading groups for my students. This is how I run our math groups. Here is how I organize our science stations.
How do you maintain a quiet classroom? These teaching ideas will get you started on training your students to resect each other and the deep learning they are doing all day long!
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