How to deal with a noisy class and get students to pay attention to you
One of the most difficult things when the whole class gets too noisy. The volume in class is unacceptable and you’re afraid that other teachers and people will hear and think that your class is out of control and you are a bad teacher.
That is one of the greatest fears teachers have. So today I will share some ideas on how to make a noisy class quiet and get them to pay attention to you.
Here are some ways to silence a noisy class:
Let’s look at the main way to get a noisy class to quiet down. Ask students to quiet down by name. Don’t shout. Silent treatment from the right place. Call and Response.
When humans are engaged in an activity you need to draw their attention with a pattern interrupt.. If they are busy you have to snap them back to reality. The easiest way to do this is through a call and response activity. The teacher calls something out and students are trained to do an action in return that overwrites whatever else they are busy with. Most teachers use some form of call and response.. The best Call and Response activities require students to do an action.
Here are a few:
1, 2, 3 Eyes on me. Students respond: 1, 2 eyes on you!
Sponge bob Are you ready kids? Aye Aye Captain
Class Class Class – Yes Yes Yes (They reply with the same tone of voice, high or low)
Rythm clap copy – Clap a rhythm, kids copy
L I S – T E N
Hocus Pocus – Time to focus
Anything works : badapapapap – I’m loving it!
Pop an imaginary marshmellow in your mouth – Students copy but can’t talk cause of mellows
Another favorite is a NAVY SEAL slogan… The only easy day… Was yesterday
Remember to give students time to settle down. Often we want them to get quiet immediately, but it doesn’t work that way.
So give students time to calm down. If they’re busy with a group activity you can tell them “Silent 20”
Students have 20 seconds to get to their desks and be completely quiet.
It allows them to gradually quiet down without stress
In my own class I employ the 3…2….1… rule
Harry Wong who wrote the great teaching book: First Days of School uses the Give me 5 method
1 eyes look. 2. Ears Listen 3. Mouth Closed 4. Hands still 5. Feet quiet
You can try to get their attention
Water and Ice. Say water then flow, ice they freeze
Make animal sounds
Sing a song, get them to join in
Start telling a group close to you a personal story, or gossip – Other students will get curious
Raise your hand. Or put your hands on your head, wait for them to copy
Teach Like a Champion author Doug Lemov––a minimally invasive hand gesture and a countdown technique (“I need two people. You know who you are. I need one person…”).
Young students you can ask: “Where is my nose?” and point.
Give them an exercise break. Do ashort stretching technique.
Write something on the board.
Remember, you want to get their attention in a positive way. If you can get their attention in a fun and non-confrontational way you will earn their trust and improve the general discipline in class.
Your main quieting technique should be rehearsed and practiced on the very first day of class and often repeated the first week, especially when they are new. Don’t accept anything less than 100% compliance. By ingraining it as habit you’ll have a pleasant remainder of the year.
I’ve got another video here on the 5 things you should avoid when trying to get the class quiet. You can watch it here.
Okay every, what technique do you use to get your class quiet?
I’m Eric from Etacude and I’ll see you next time