I would like to make a "Noise Meter" as a visual reminder of what type of voices students should be using in the classroom. What categories do you use for your Noise Meter? I was thinking of these four categories:
I have three colored apples (red: no talking, yellow: whisper voices or one inch voice that only your partner an inch away would hear, and green: normal voices or 12 inch voices that can be heard in a small group) I try not give them a louder choice because they always get louder on their own. I actually use rulers to have them practice the volume control.
Library voices - where you are whispering to the person next to you
Inside voices - where you are able to talk very lightly
Lost voices - where you can't talk (we practice in younger grades to throw them away)
In my class I have a yakker trakker. I bought it at Lakeshore. Its pretty much a noise detector. Its in a shape of stop light. So if its quite, its on green. As it gets louder, it goes on yellow. Once it hits a certain volume, it goes to red and makes a siren noise. My kids love it. Also, if you just want to put it on a color you can. You can also determine how sensitive it is! Its great for centers because the noise level totally dies down once its on.
i don't have a meter...but my school does use voice levels with numbers...0 is no talking, 1 is whisper, 2 is table, 3 is classroom, 4 is outside. i also made some cutouts out of construction paper that are really cute. i have one that is a yellow star and it says "silent star" on it. i have another that is pink lips and it says "whispering workers" and the other one says "talking time" and it's a blue clock. the kids can look up and see which one is hanging up to know which voice level they're supposed to use.
Instead of spending $40 or so dollars on the "Yacker Tracker" I laminiated a 8-1/2" by 5-1/2" poster that has three circles on it to make it look like a stop sign. The red circle is the "red zone" where there is no talking, the yellow circle is the "yellow zone" where kids use those 1" voices (I like the idea one person posted about practicing their 1" voices with a ruler) and green, of course, is the "green Zone" and kids know they are allowed to use their 12" voices.
I am out on a surprise surgical leave but I have a neat noise level meter in my classroom. We now use it school wide. It has silent spider, whispering whale, buzzing bee, and talking tiger. The whole thing is a half circle with 4 colored pie shapes. I use the Carson Delossa small note thingies as pictures. The kids REALLY get it and it has worked great for several years.
I have a volume control in my class. It has pictures of the kids and the volume level. They are as follows:
Silent - has a picture of the kids with their finger to their lips.
Whisper Voices - has a picture of one child whispering a secret to another child
Inside Voices - has a picture of a group of children working on a project at their desks
Outside Voices - Has a picture of the kids on the playground
The reason I have the outside voices is to illustrate to them how loud they are when they get too loud. I'll say something like "Your voices are here. (point the arrow at the outside voices) Lower your volume down to your inside voice. (point the arrow at the inside voice) I also use it as a treat from time to time when we are moving back up from silent after a test. As I move it up I will quickly flash it to outside voice before lowering it to inside voice. The kids love it!