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Cafeteria problems- help needed
Old 01-23-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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Our school has almost 600 students. OUr cafeteria is fairly large and we usually have at least 200-225 students in it at a time- one group will leave whena nother enters so there is always overlap. Our cafeteria is extremely noisy! We desparately need help with ideas on noise control!! It was discussed again (by teachers) at our faculty meeting and we are trying to come up with ideas. Could you please tell me how it works in your school? How do you keep that many kids under control and at a tolerable noise level?? We have three teacher tables in the cafeteria and classroom teachers do have to eat in there. Any help and advice would be appreciated!!!
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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At one school where I sub, they've set up a system where the noise level is ranked each day (very simple: if it gets too loud, someone draws a big X on a chart; more than 2 X's earns a frowney face. The chart is large and displayed on the stage, so students can keep an eye on it.). If they've got a certain number of smiley faces for the week, they get to listen to music (students can put in song requests) during lunch on Friday. It seems to be working reasonable well. Those are middle schoolers; with younger kids I might change the incentive and maybe give them a little more feedback, like a warning before they get their X, but I think the same general idea would probably work.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:05 AM
 
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Could the teachers sit and eat with their classes instead? Teachers might find it more manageable to deal with a smaller number of students than with all of them.

If that's not possible, maybe increasing the number of cafeteria duty teachers could help--walking around and monitoring, of course. I've heard of schools using green, yellow, and red cups on tables to monitor individual table volume.

One teacher at our school started teaching table manners during lunch. She sits with one table at a time and teaches appropriate behavior while they eat. The kids really enjoy it, and hopefully learn from the experience.

Another thought: sound-proofing tiles. I know in my cafeteria, there is nothing to absorb the noise--no carpeting, soft furniture, curtains, etc, which is very good for cleanliness, but doesn't help in curbing noise. S-P tiles might be something PTO could be persuaded to raise money for.

Last idea: Ear plugs.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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Our lunchroom is set up the same way.

We teach students the procedures for cafeteria behaviors. If they don't clean up after themselves, get up without permission after being seated, throw food, talk loudly, or otherwise violate the set behaviors they mst sit by class for a day or longer. In the meantime, they get more instruction on how to behave properly in the cafeteria. Then we try again. A few times we've been asked to sit with out class for a day or two, but those were extreme cases. (We have duty-free lunch.) I've had to eat with my kids maybe three days in 17 years.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. I think most of the problem is the way the cafeteria is set up. The classroom teachers do not have duty free lunch and we eat in the cafeteria, but the teacher tables are not positioned well. Has anyone ever used the colored cup method that was mentioned?


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Yakker Trakker
Old 01-27-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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Our primary school has a Yakker Trakker installed on the cafeteria wall. If it goes off two times during the lunch period everyone must be silent. We eat with our class, and only have 20 minutes in the cafeteria. It seems to work very well with the 2nd and 3rd graders.
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Possible answer to your question
Old 03-20-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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Hi! We are having a very similar problem in our school cafeteria. Starting this week, we began implementing a new reward system that is working at least with the students in grades 3rd-5th. A group of teachers and administrator came together and decided to reward students if they follow 3 rules. 1. Stay seated until is time to leave to class. 2. Speak softly and 3. Clean up before leaving the table. Each day students will have the opportunity to earn a "buck". Depending on the number of bucks, students will earn class rewards. Our younger students are not responding as well to the reward system. We are going to give them this week to see if it works. We are already thinking of something else for them.
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