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Yacker Tracker
Old 08-28-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Does anyone here have a Yacker Tracker? I teach first grade and I think this might be a good visual for them to see when it's getting too noisy. Scholastic has them in their bonus catalog, and I'm thinking about splurging on one. Is it worth it?


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Old 08-28-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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IMHO, No. I feel like it was a waste of money. My former students thought it was a game. I finally got sick of it and put it in the closet. Now I wish I had the $50-60 I spent on it to use somewhere else.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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Oooh, I can see what you mean about students thinking it's a game. Good point!
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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I have one and I LOVE IT!! It was MIA the first few days this year and I really noticed the difference. I let the kids set it off a few times, and even let them do it with the noise, then I will have 1 or 2 boys interested in clapping just to see it go red... but even the 1 or 2 loose interest in it quickly - especially when they get to call home and tell on themselves for "stealing" learning time from classmates.

I love it so much I was prepared to get another one. I guess it really depends on the teacher. I really like to put as much responsibility for the classroom on the kids as possible. This is one way they can self monitor and I only cough and point... they quiet themselves.. eventually I don't say anything and I hear that my room is always so quiet???
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yacker tracker
Old 08-28-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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I also teach 1st grade. I used it for a couple of years, but now it just sits in my office in the box. It works real well for the first couple of days. The kids are real worried about it flashing yellow,but when it goes to red and makes the buzzing noise, they are either disappointed or they think it's funny. I eventually got tired of hearing it go off so many times, that I packed it away. Plus you have to position it in a spot where louder noises CAN occur, like when I am talking! I had to put it toward the back of the room so that when I was explaining whole group things, it wouldn't go off. So, basically it controls the noise level toward the back of the room, but doesn't do much for the front of the room. Then, when it came indoor recess time during the winter months, I had to remember to change the volume before going to lunch to allow for louder voices during recess time. Otherwise it'd go off non-stop. Therefore, I say...save your money or bonus points to go toward something more beneficial that won't drive you crazy!


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I'm low tech. . .
Old 08-29-2009, 04:16 AM
 
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I use an egg timer to track how long students have to complete something (I'm going to set this for 10 minutes - Go!) and if group work gets loud I ring a desk bell - there should be silence and seats by the thrid ring. Don't know if this helps any, but my total cost was only about $10.00.
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:04 AM
 
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The one I have has the option to adjust volume (I keep it at 60) and I DON"T use the sound. My voice often makes it go red, which also tells me I could lower my voice and they will be able to hear me just fine. (if a siren sounded it would be a real problem for me as well as the class next door. (we only have a 1/2 wall)

The students are responsible to notice the change to yellow or red ...and they do. I would not be able to deal with the siren either. I let them set that off as a treat a couple times a year. (I teach 2/3)
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:04 AM
 
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I bought one 2 years ago because I had a very loud class & nothing else I tried worked. They would lose points when it went off, but it would go off when someone closed the drawer of their desk or bump into a chair! Some thought it was funny to do this. I used it for about 2 months & it's been in its box ever since. I too wish I had the $$ to spend on something else like books.
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I love mine
Old 08-29-2009, 08:16 AM
 
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I teach second, and I have used my Yacker Tracker for 5 years. I'm always amazed by the number of posts that that come up about students trying to set it off on purpose. Aren't there consequences for that? I have never had a student try to purposely set it off.

I teach my students how it works and why it works. I do use the siren. When the siren goes off (not really all that often after the kiddos get used to the accepted noise level), then the class loses a penny. (I use a money system). Every once in a while it will go off because a chair scraps the floor, or a pencil box drops, but we address those incidents as a class. As long as it as an accident, then no pennies are lost.
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interesting use for mine
Old 08-29-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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I teach 4th & 5th grade science/social studies. This year I have started using power teaching. This means lots of student talking. I have mine set at the highest decibel. It's hard to make it go to red. I challenge my kids to teach so hard with gestures and talking that they can make the light go to red. The only limit is that they shouldn't be shouting or screaming. I tell them to use their teacher voices. They haven't been able to get it to red yet, but they sure are trying which means that they are teaching each other away like mad!!!
Before I tried that, they were super quiet while teaching each other. My principal came in the other day and was very impressed with the way the students were responding as they taught each other the steps of the scientific method.

He even groaned with them, when they got a frownie for not teaching with gestures. LoL!!

So I guess I've got a bit of reverse psychology going on. BTW -- mine has the siren option as well and I keep it turned off.
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