Question Detail

Any strategies to help students to stop blurting and interrupting lessons? I have had many mini-lessons and conversations during Morning Meeting, constantly reviewing expectations and the class rules that we co-created, had the school counselor reinforce the idea with a counseling lesson. I am running out of ideas and would love any and all ideas. Thank you all!!

Nov 20, 2017 5:22pm

  • English Language Arts / Math / Science / Social Studies
  • 3
  • Behavior


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    • Nov 21, 2017 11:27am

      You may have already tried this; but, my most effective strategy is changing my approach. Meaning... I try to keep my lessons light and entertaining and students know that if I can't get through what I need to without being "me" then I have to teach it the boring way. It stinks for a day or two.

      • Nov 21, 2017 1:31pm

        Meg, thank you for the suggestion! I have tried that but it doesn't phase my students that if they can't cooperate and follow the expectations of the engaging lesson we have to do it the "boring way." It does stink for sure! :( Especially for me, because I LOVE making my lessons engaging...

        • Nov 26, 2017 8:12pm

          I am Special Education teacher, and my kids are known blurters, just because we are prone to those outbursts without filters.
          One analogy I use to explain how important it is to make sure we are controlling our words, and answers, is to have the students practice putting their pointer finger over their lips, and raise their hand. I explain that the pointer finger is our stop sign for words. We need to make sure we are thoughtful when we give our answers, so when we raise our hands, our finger is over our lips to remind us to "Stop, and Think, and wait for our turn" to share our thoughts. I also talk to the students about the meaning of a stop sign. What does it tell us to do when we are driving a vehicle? (tells us to stop and wait our turn) Then I ask them what happens if a car or truck doesn't obey the stop sign, and blows through it? (Crashes happen, accidents, pedestrians can get hurt, or hit.) Our pointer finger is our stop sign for words. It keeps our words from crashing out loud, and it helps us be in control, of our thoughts, mouths, and bodies, so we don't crash with our words and thoughts into other student, or our teachers lessons. We practice this every lesson, every day, and when I want them to remember to have their stop sign, I model that when I am teaching, and asking a question. I put my hand up and ask the question, and put my finger over my lips, then I tell the students I can only call on student who are using their stop sign. I expect my students to use their stop sign at all times. They have to use it if they have a question, even if I am not teaching, their finger is on their lips to remind them to be thoughtful and quiet when asking a question. When I am reminding my students, I don't even have to say anything, I just have to model the expected behavior response, with my hand up. It totally works. I also add when I discuss how it's rude when you are interrupting and not waiting your turn. Everyone wants to feel like what they have to say is important, so we need to be respectful of that. We can't always be the center of the universe.
          To support this I have also used Class dojo, and created a positive behavior for those that raise their hand for permission to speak. When they hear that ding- or buzz, they don't have to know who it's for, its a great self check for themselves.
          One last suggestion, for my severe talker-outters- I have put a piece of painters tape or masking tape on my arm when I am teaching, I keep a sharpie, and I write the students name on the tape, and the word others. I actually take data on the severe offender. I just mark tally's. When the class talks out and when the severe student talks out. I then pull that student aside, and I show them my tape, how many times they talked out vs the class. I had one student who was talking out 50X in 20 minute lesson. This was a rude awakening for her, she had no idea, it was that much. I compared her talk outs to how many commercials would be in a 30 minute show. It would be like being interrupted so many times, I couldn't watch the show. She agreed. It was the visual example that she needed to see to be aware of that. Every time after I put tape on my arm they were behaved and got in line.
          From a Brain and learning perspective- Kids with executive function issues, filters and self regulation are going to be a LEARNED behavior for them. They will have to practice practice practice, in order for them to learn how to keep their filters, and stop signs in place. It's important to give them the tools to help them remember. The finger gives them a kinesthetic (Touch) reminder of thinking before speaking. They need this to remember, when they are dying to answer, I tell them sometimes they may need the whole hand on over their mouth to help them keep their words in.
          A great book to read to your class is Julia Cook- My Mouth is a Volcano

          • Nov 26, 2017 3:11pm

            Every student learns in a different way. Give lots of partner share talk time during your lessons, or cooperative work groups so that students have chances to speak and share thoughts. IF they are speaking out to be the center of attention, then take that away from the student. Tell them ahead of time that they've been distracting your ability to think while teaching and that they'll have three chances. Agree upon a signal - touch your ear or put up a one finger. Whenever they call out or disrupt, make the sign without acknowledging them individually. Second interruption, make the sign and have them get up and.sit at the back of the class - one step removed. Third interruption, motion for them to sit outside of the class at a designated spot, but they are responsible for the information, so they'll need to stay in at another time of the day to make up the lesson. They'll miss recess, lunch or choice activities and find that their "audience" (you and the class) is removed from paying attention to them. DO THIS ALL WITHOUT ANY EMOTION - don't show frustration, anger, or whatever. Don't do the motion angrily, just matter-of-fact one, two and three. Don't argue ever either! Consistency counts! Hope this helps!

            • Nov 26, 2017 5:59pm

              In our school we use Class Dojo, an online program which has been very effective. It allows us to reward students by giving them points for participation, behavior and cooperation. Also, it allows the parents to participate just by providing their cell phone number. We can take a quick picture of the students in action and send messages to the parents that they receive on their cell phones. Parents can also communicate with us, minimizing the number of phone calls. The program has many good features that are very effective in keeping the students on track.

              • Nov 27, 2017 4:57am

                I tell my students that, "I only respond to raised hands". If they want to participate, they must raise their hands or be ignored. I also give them "the look". The get in line really quickly. finally, I have a card with yellow stickers and one with red ones. I discreetly place the sticker on their desk as a "warning". After 3 yellow stickers they get a red one. That means no recess. It has been weeks since any one has gotten a yellow sticker. I think they got it!! Keeping students engaged is key.

                • Nov 28, 2017 2:03pm

                  Thank you Cari Hutchinson! I will try the stop sign idea! I actually have read My Mouth is a Volcano with my class and remind them of it at the end of Morning Meeting everyday, but i will try using the stop sign analogy-thank you again!!!