Question Detail

Help with noise level

Jun 4, 2013 5:50pm

Hello! This is my 1st time posting. Does anyone know an effective way to keep noise level to a minimum when students are engaged in teams? I've always had this problem and I had to keep using my signals to let them know that the noise is becoming unacceptable. This is one of the problems I'm facing when students are engaging in accountable talk. Sometimes I feel that they become so passionate that the noise starts to escalate. I keep reminding them to use indoor voices but I keep having to do it every 5 to ten minutes. Does anyone have any suggestion in order to sustain an acceptable noise level when students are engaged in teams? Thank you for any suggestion. Happy Teaching!

  • English Language Arts / Math / Other


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    • Jun 7, 2013 4:58pm

      Grace, I like that timer idea. I have a tendency to stick with some groups a lot because of their level of need, even though I keep reminding myself not to spend anymore than 5 minutes with one team. That's why I look at my watch a lot too.

      • Jun 8, 2013 9:52am

        There's an app called "Too Noisy" that you can project onto your screen so the whole class can see how noisy they're getting. It's like a kid's version of a sound meter with happy & sad faces when the noise level is appropriate or not. Let them experiment with random noises so they can see how loud they can get to make a sad face, then make sure you enforce some type of penalty if they reach the sad face level. You can adjust it to varying levels of sensitivity depending on your tolerance for noise and/or the type of activity. Good luck!

        • Jun 9, 2013 10:43am

          That's App is an awesome idea! I will use that too.

          • Jun 9, 2013 9:39pm

            Great idea to use the noise app. This will help the students self monitor. The use of the timer will help insure efficient time usage

            • Jun 11, 2013 3:40pm

              I find that if I circulate among the groups and keep myself in close proximity they are much less likely to use loud voices. I can also do an informal assessment while moving through the cooperative groups and make sure that they are following that day's direction and protocols. It works really well and keeps me on top of what is going on in the classroom. I get really great work from the kids by sticking nearby, much better results than when I used to sit at my desk doing other tasks..

              • Jun 12, 2013 7:56am

                I totally agree with proximity as the number one reinforce. In my early days, I would get the groups going and sit down to grade papers - before computers. smile. The noise level would slowly escalate, and I would get irritated because I had to keep stopping my progress with papers to quiet the class. I learned to grade group work as they worked on it, going around and checking sections with each group. The key is to have good visuals for the groups to follow and to not stay too long at anyone group or else that signals other groups that it's free time. Another helpful strategy is to give one of the group members the role of keeping their speaking voices at normal level. Of course, when you're teaching group procedures, you have the kids model what normal level means.