Question Detail

I have a student who is "chatty" and does not pay attention to instructions. I have moved her seat away from the group table (just for her workbook and journal writing), and that has helped her to stay focused and on-task. The desk is next to the bathrooms, which means she tries to talk to students as they walk by. Should I sit her closer to the front? This may give her too much attention, but I like the proximity. I could also move her closer to the teacher's desk, but that is at the back of the room, and I am never at the teacher's desk! Any thoughts?

Nov 12, 2014 7:17am

  • K
  • Behavior


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    • Nov 12, 2014 9:56am

      I have similar issues in my kindergarten class.

      Here is what I have done. I have a room with 5 large work tables that seat for kids each. Then I have another kidney table that I use when working with small groups or individual students, I also have two students sit at this table as their regular spots. The table is in a central location, yet the students face away from the class (towards a window) so they are with the group, but not getting distracted by the people walking by. Hope that helps!

      • Nov 12, 2014 11:01am

        Thanks, Jasmine, that does help. I like the idea of a table because there are times when I like to sit by her to give clear instructions and to listen as she reads to me what she wrote in her journal.

        • Nov 29, 2014 10:09am

          I have some single tables that are in the mix of my large tables that I put the ones who are chatty in the single tables and they are still in the mix of the whole group.

          • Dec 1, 2014 8:45pm

            Thanks, Denise. That helps as well. I have found she turns in neater work and follows the directions better when she is away from the others, but I still want her to feel included!

            • May 23, 2015 8:48am

              My goal has been to flip how I see behaviors in my class. How is chattiness a strength? How can this be used to forward the classroom? What does she have to offer? Once that is established, then you can work on curbing her enthusiasm.

              1) Have a private meeting with her (or with all your chatty kids) instructing them to listen to the directions carefully because you need their willingness to share with the class to reinforce the directions. This flips chattiness to the skill of public speaking. It might channel the chattiness a bit....

              2) We have students consider types of participation in conversations/discussions. A few teachers use the terminology "hogs and logs" to call attention to extremes of participation. (A lot of adults don't like the terminology, but middle school students find it funny.) They observe who is hogging the conversation and who is not participating or being a log? We then think about how those things help a conversation (when do you need hogs? logs?) and/or when they hurt it (how does hogging or logging get in the way?). We also discuss what causes people to hog/log? (Ex: nervous, need for norms, unsure, too sure, expectations of others, etc) I think this has helped students be more reflective about their participation styles.

              3) I have also seen a teacher successfully manage students who are disruptive by having the class determine the level of noise during an activity. When the class determined that it was a quiet work time, her students who were disruptive responded much better than when she tried to manage their behavior.