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Why Won’t My Students STOP TALKING??!!

What do you do when your students talk too much? I know it drives you insane!  Is there a way to curb this behavior without taking away a privilege from everyone–moving clips, taking away Dojo Points etc.?

I’m going to share with you what works for me.  First I start out the year with an anchor chart like the one pictured here.

I review each of the five items on the chart.  I have students practice acting like each of the five expectations on the chart.  For example, I have them read the expectations with me.  When we read number three I have the students whisper in their teams.  When we read number four I have them practice using low voices in teams.  We talk about how students’ bodies look when students are using soft voices–how their bodies are close together.  I even have children practice raising their hands to ask a question.  We discuss how a child waits to be called on before making any noise, how students don’t get called on when making “ooh, ooh, monkey noises” etc.

Now, what happens if children are talking too loudly while working?  After I have given them a warning or two about the class volume, I have found this to be a simple solution.  “Students, you have been talking too loudly.  Because of this, we are going to sit in absolute silence for one minute.  If after one minute no one has made a sound, you will be able to talk again in low voices.  During that minute if one person makes a sound–even a whisper–I will start the one minute over.”

I hold to what I said, and the noise magically lowers.  Sometimes it seems that children just  needed a break from their conversation and noise level to readjust their volume.  I hope these tips help you.  It is never too late in the year to establish your expectations.  Don’t give up if you are struggling with a talkative class. 🙂

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