I teach elem. art classes once a week: Kindergarten class is about 45 minutes long. I understand their excitement, but I need more control. (It's hard to administer circumstances when I have contact with them only once a week.) Has anyone used the chime to settle the kids down and does it really work? I refuse to raise my voice. This particular class won't stay at their table either. I don't require them to sit. they may stand but just staying at their tables has been impossible for them. There are 19 students and there are 3 paras. Quite the class. Back to the chime. What strategies work? Please share. I have class MOnday!
I teach K, and use chimes anytime I need their attention. I actually have chimes by my teacher table, and a triangle (the musical instrument) at the front of the room. I hit whichever one I'm closest to, and when they hear it, they all freeze and do our quiet signal (I call it Peace and Love - one finger over lips, other hand saying I Love You in sign language), and look at me for directions. I've used this in Kinder, first grade, and third grade. It has never failed to get the class quiet immediately. Does take some practice do they know your expectations! Chimes would work in all your art classes
I am with LilMsSunshine in this.
I taught for 15 years kinder and PreK (and art for 15, all ages), always set my class expectations lovingly but firmly the first week, and one of them is the bell (mine is a hand bell from the instruments box, it sounds nicely -not like a hotel or alarm clock)
My students know to keep their voices low, they do know that when I ring the bell, everyone freezes (I love the idea of the love sign, may add it next time!) and waits for instructions. It may be a volume reminder, a sudden change of plans (as it often happens in my school :-/), a fire drill they didn't hear. Bell works.
I don't use color system, I think is punitive... towards teachers: one more thing to keep individual track of each day -while all along kids use the system to break it and then work their way back in (or just don't care!)
Have a colleague that doesn't want to show her class is out of control, so she uses the colors. Those pins go up and down all day, but wherever they are, on the last 1/2 hr she puts everybody in green. What do you think those kids learn? That it doesn't matter if they follow rules or not, they'll all be exemplary by 3:00 pm!
I have a variety of instruments I use. We make a game out of how fast we can quiet down and then try to beat that the next time I play an instrument. I don't move on until everyone is quiet. I never talk while students are. If they start talking when I am, I stop and wait. Sometimes it eats up a lot of class time but they get the picture and eventually learn to stop and freeze the minute they hear an instrument.
I recommend H. Wong and R. Wong's Classroom Management book.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harry K. Wong Publications; 1 edition (May 1, 2014)
This book covers things like rehearsing the exact procedures you will be using in the classroom, what exact routines you will be following, how to easiest get cooperation and peace in the classroom.
This is the most fabulous "child-management" book I have seen as a new novice teacher, and most of the teachers in my school system use this book, so the symbols and actions are similar throughout the schools system.
Because your problem comes down to managing children. Keeping them respectful and on task. Right? You are a major player in this. Chaos means that you are running your classroom in a chaotic way. This book will pinpoint your weaknesses and offer real, honest, workable suggestions that will help your present situation, and make you a more effective teacher.
You have to have a plan, and then practice it for the first week or so until they understand your expectations. This throws your lesson plans down the drain. Another thing that might be interesting is to show film clips of real artists in action, to show that art is actually a very quiet intense activity.
I can see that being useful, because these children do not have any behavior to model. Someone says "specials" and they think "birthday party." To them, special classes are a break from work like recess. They need to be reminded that this is still a school class, not recess.