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Quiet Signal Advice Please!
Old 08-26-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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I have a couple of different quiet signals that I use in my classroom and for the most part the kids get quiet and pay attention when they hear them. However, there are times when I give the quiet signal and they get quiet for about a minute and then everyone starts talking again. I have 30 kids and I can't pinpoint who it is in order to make them move their cards because it is so many of them doing it. This drives me crazy! Friday was one of those days and I left never wanting to come back! They just would not listen. Does anybody have something they do in a situation like this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!


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Old 08-26-2006, 04:39 PM
 
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When I went through a particularly tough time with my class last year, I made a chart with a clip that could be moved up or down depending on the students' behavior as a class. I took a sentence strip and added those white nametags (with the red border) all the way up. (The sentence strip is vertical so the nametags look like levels. Next I taped a fun looking diecut at the top. I also used a clothespin to show where the class was. I told the students that when the clip reached the top, my husband would come in for a visit. The clip could be moved up and down based on their behavior. It was near the end of the year, so I wasn't worried about keeping up with this type of system all year. At the present time, I use a marble jar to reward the behaviors I want. After several marble jars, I change to something else and slowly take away the reward system.
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quiet signal
Old 08-26-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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I use a quiet signal when every my timer goes off. Students stop what they are doing, look at me, with their hand on their shoulders (so they stop whatever they are doing). I tell my students at the beginning of the year if i have to wait too long for it to get quiet the whole class will have to walk a certain amount of time silently during recess, instead of playing. It only took my class one time of losing some of their recess last year to realize the need to be quiet.
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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It is so hard sometimes to get the class to quiet down. So far I'm using a clap pattern and it is working well. However, I've only had 3 days of school. I do take away recess minutes if they get out of hand-as well as I give table points to tables who remain quiet the longest. Kids will do anything for table points!

I would recommend having everyone you saw move their cards though. I have asked in the past who was talking and I've been surprised at how many were honest. If you don't use the behavior system you have, it will never have a chance to work.
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Thanks for the post!
Old 08-26-2006, 06:34 PM
 
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I have had this problem too in the five days we've been in school. I taught my kids several different quiet signals. The one they respond to the best is when I sing the McDonald's commercial "Ba da ba ba bah" and they repeat with "I"m lovin' it!" They think it's great! However, we still have friends who start talking a few seconds later. After reading your post, I started thinking about it. I use a system similar to the card system and I agree it would be difficult even to pin point the few that are talking. I also use a whole class behavior system called Behavior Bingo which I found on here and the kids are really into it. I might try this: When the kids hear the quiet signal and get quiet (which they do) I will start a timer and I'll see how long they can stay quiet. I'll post their time on the board and pull a Bingo Chip. Each time they beat their time, I'll post it on the board and give them another chip. I'll start it on Monday and let you know how it goes! Thanks again for making me think about it!


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Old 08-26-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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I had the same kind of class last year. I tried everything, and nothing worked. I tried table points, but no table ever got any because they were always talking. I basically gave individual rewards for those who were listening and behaving (that didn't happen a lot either). Finally, at an inservice, someone told us about buying a cordless door chime (I got mine at Wal-Mart). If the class was getting too loud, I would ring the bell. That was their warning. If I rang it a second time that day, the whole class would lose out on something fun, like Friday free time, doing a fun art project, watching a movie, part of their recess. They lost out on only two fun things last year. I only rang the bell if nothing else was working (table points and individual rewards). I tried not to use it very often because I wanted them to know that it was very serious when I rang the bell. The kids caught on pretty fast, that if I rang the doorbell, I meant business. Hope this helps.
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Quiet signal
Old 08-27-2006, 05:14 AM
 
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Last year my school promoted the classes to the next grade by class. It was horrible because the class I got was a class whose teacher was very easy. She ignored students who did not listen, rather then take the time to really deal with them. This class would not be quiet. I was lucky that I have been in this school for 7 years and my reputation precedes me. I did very little work for the first few weeks and was a real hard a-s with them. Sending homework home with notes such as "incomplete classwork due to talking during lessons" It took a lot of patience (I was really pulling my hair!!) but I did not let up. If you can pinpoint the area where all the noise is coming from is it possible to move those students desks before they come in the next morning? My students were always shocked when they would come in and see the room in a different order. It's funny how comfortable they get in class so quickly. In my school cooperatively learning is practice. All desks must be in groups. One day when this same class was really acting up that same day afterschool I moved all the desks in rolls (reminded me of my catholic school days) The students were so shocked. I told them they seemed to have trouble listening and they would remain in this position until I was ready to move them. Little by little I made groups again some stayed in this position because they kepted talking but soon they were begging to be in a group. The others who were in a group were not allowed to speak with them or I would move their desk back to the forward position. Sounds drastic but it worked. I had 27 students in a very small room. Good luck.
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:17 AM
 
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I use "give me three" which stands for stop, look, and listen. I am also using Behavior Bingo (which someone posted on here earlier this summer). I like the idea of timing the students and seeing if they can beat their record. They seem to do very well when they are timed. I have attached the poster that I made for "give me three" that I made as well as the Behavior Bingo board that was posted earlier this summer. "Give me Three" worked well last year for me. This year's class is a lot more talkative, so I may have to get more creative.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Behavior Bingo board.doc (185.5 KB, 464 views)
File Type: pdf Give Me Three Poster.pdf (66.9 KB, 518 views)
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:21 AM
 
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You don't need any complicated system! At the beginning of the year you tell them that just like there are rules for them at school, there are rules for the teacher too! (They love this!) You say My rules for myself are... 1) I only teach when there are no distractions. 2) I listen to 1 student at a time 3) I listen to kids that raise their hands.

See, the problem is that you're trying to control your students behavior.... you don't have control over anyone else but yourself. You CAN control what you will do. So if they start talking after the quiet signal you just pause, get a really sad look on your face and say...awwww, I only talk when there are no distractions. (In about a week or two the kids can finish that sentence for you!)

Usually that's enough to make them stop, but if not, then when recess times comes around you can say. ohhh guys, this is so sad. Remember when we had to stop several times earlier today because I was being distracted? Well, now we still have work to do instead of going to recess right away. That's too bad.... but we'll be sure to try again tomorrow!

There ya go..no fancy card flipping, charts, or bribes!
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:34 AM
 
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I have a new principal this year and we are doing a quiet signal as a whole school. (We can still do other things as well....she just wants them to be familiar with the signal and know the expectation.)

Our school mascot is the Eagle. I say "Eagle" and my hand is open like a beak. The students respond "Pride" and show their hand closed like a beak.
The hand motion helps because they aren't continuing to do other things.

Other things I use...clap patterns, train whistle, frog clicker, etc.

HTH!
Michelle



Last edited by Miccol71; 08-27-2006 at 06:15 AM..
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:45 AM
 
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Here's the problem-- you're trying to control someone else, when the only person you can control is you. Instead of telling them what to do, tell then what you do. For example, I use these 3 rules for me. (The kids love it when I say that these rules are not for them....they are rules for the teacher! 1) I listen to 1 student at a time. 2) I listen to kids that raise their hands. 3) I teach when there are no distractions.

For the first few days you tell them these every time before you're going to explain something whole group. After awhile, they can finish the sentece for you. Last year kids would even say to each other "shhhhh! She only teaches when there are no distractions!!"

This is usually enough to stop the problem, but if you have to, when it's recess time you just get really sad and say, "Oh guys, this is so sad. We're supposed to be going out to recess right now, but remember earlier when I had to keep stoping because I was being distracted? Well, now we have to make up that time during part of recess. I'm sure tomorrow we will get another chance to make it to recess on time."

There ya go--- no complicated systems, card pulling, bribes...
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Old 08-27-2006, 07:13 AM
 
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In the past I have held 2 fingers up and this was the signal for quiet. It really worked even with my worst class. When I hold up my fingers - the children must do it as well until each child has their fingers up and is quiet. I have also seen something similar to give me 3 - It's Give me 5. I plan to use this in September - since this is my first time in 2nd. Give me 5 = eyes looking, ears listening, lips closed, hands folded, feet still.
Hope this helps.
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Old 08-27-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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When the children are very noisy, I just tell them "Heads Down." I have used this almost since I became a teacher, even with many years of subbing. This gets the children quiet quickly. It gives me a chance to tell them what I need to say, then we can all move on. If I have to do it more than once, I am like another poster, and tell the children that since I had to wait for them to get quiet, they would have to wait til I was done with the lesson to go to recess. After all, if we don't follow through on our threats, they don't work.
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grab a book
Old 08-27-2006, 08:09 PM
 
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When all else fails for me, I grab a picture book, take a seat on the teacher chair at the rug and whisper "If you can hear me, come join me on the rug. Let's tiptoe quiet as mice."

When the kids see the others getting up to go to the rug, they are usually quick to close their mouths and join us.

Other times I'll just start reading the book right there.

As this is my all else fails method - it usually means I'm pretty p.o.'d. So, I always follow up with the frustration talk. Usually they are very understanding and better listeners for a few weeks!

Other ideas: Teach your class a poem - post it and start to recite it when they're chatty, they'll join in.
Skip count - by 2s, 3s, 5s, etc. It's a great way to get them used to skip counting too! And by the time some of the talkative students join in they're getting practice in the higher numbers - which is what we all need!
Wait, don't ever talk over them. You are important and deserve to be heard!
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love and logic?
Old 08-28-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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Sounds like love and logic to me. I always have good intentions of using love and logic in the classroom and always find myself eventually going back to my old ways that never seem to work. How do you stick with it? It just seems like a backward way of thinking....it's so logical, yet so different from usual tactics that I slip back often. Helpful hints????
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Old 08-29-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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You're right... Love and Logic! It works so well for me, that, to me, it's the EASIEST thing to use, and believe me, I'm all about things the easiest way possible! If you google "love and logic forum", my forum will come up with tons of advice and discussion.
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