Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Chatty Class

     I have a chatty class this year.  The few subs I've had almost always leave me a comment saying just that.  This is especially troublesome in the mornings as it can set the tone for the rest of the day, and chatty and loud does not bode well for a productive day of learning.  So, today I tried something new.  I gave the children 5 minutes to talk to each other before completing their morning routines (agendas, home reading log, and read to self).  As I looked around the room I realized that it was quieter than usual.  At the end of the 5 minutes I rang the chimes, which means stop, look and listen, to signal the class to get back to their morning responsibilities, which they did in a calm and organized manner.
  I decided to implement this change after exhausting myself, day in an day out, with admonitions to "quiet down" every five minutes.  If I was doing this every day, several times a day, and it wasn't working then I'd better do something different to accommodate my need for quiet and my students' need to socialize.  I found this idea described in the Teacher Learning Center website.  It made sense so I decided to implement it.
     So what happened today?  Even though the children had been given "permission" to talk with each other many of them chose not to and those that did were mostly using quiet voices.  It worked this morning but it could have been because the children had already had a chance to talk with each other for a few minutes before I stopped them and introduced this change.  I will be observing this situation over the next few days to see if it meets the two needs I identified previously.  But for now, I'm excited to see what happens tomorrow.
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