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Old 09-02-2017, 07:42 PM
 
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I need advice. I am finally teaching first grade, after a few years of teaching upper grades. I like the kids in my class, but they are so chatty!

Maybe I'm just too used to upper grades. There never seems to be a single moment when they are all quiet. Is this normal for first grade? What should I try? A few of them also have a problem staying in their seats.

Help!


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Chatty
Old 09-04-2017, 06:29 AM
 
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My first graders were always chatty and many had a hard time staying in their seats. They get better as time goes on but you can reign them in by using a timer ( like what they do in the Daily 5 for reading) They need to build stamina with working quietly. I made a game out of trying to beat the timer in silence. No one including me could talk for 5 minutes and they tried to beat me. (I usually lost). They were so proud that they wanted to increase the amount of time. Actually after awhile the silence made me miss the chatter. When they talked I new what was inside their heads.

Also devise a single to have them stop look a listen to you. I used a small bell that had a soft ding like they use at the post office. We practiced a lot so when they heard the bell they put their hands in their laps stopped talking and looked at me. I told them that I did it not to ruin their fun but because I had something important to tell them.

My students could be silent went it counted...tests, fire drills and walking in the hall. First graders have no "inner speech" early in the year so there will be a buzz.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:29 AM
 
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Thank you so much! I knew I was going to have to adjust my expectations a bit. It doesn't help that I have 32 first graders. I will absolutely use your stamina idea. We have been using it for reading, but using it for working quietly is brilliant!
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First graders are chatty at the beginning.
Old 09-04-2017, 01:13 PM
 
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But they are usually easily redirected. They thrive on praise. When I teach a lesson, I have them come to the carpet, and I tell them they can only participate in the hands-on activities if they are sitting quietly on the carpet with their hands to themselves. They want to participate, especially if you have a smart board. If not, you can use pocket charts.
Our school uses tickets for good behavior. Whenever a child is following rules in the hall or in the classroom, he gets a ticket. Then they have a store for everyone to buy prizes with their tickets. This is an all school thing, but you could do it in your classroom. I don't personally like bribes for good behavior, but our whole school does it, and it does promote good behavior in normal kids. Difficult kids take more imagination.
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32??? Yipes
Old 09-04-2017, 01:17 PM
 
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That's a huge group to try and get to work quietly. I do 2 things in my room. I use table points and they earn points by following directions and quiet working. The team with the most points gets to go in the prize box at the end of the week. I also have a compliment jar. The entire class can earn a buttons for great behavior ( walking quietly, staying on task etc). Extra buttons if a compliment comes from another teacher. In the beginning I usually ask someone to give the class a compliment.😝 it is really motivating. When the jar is full we vote on a reward. It doesn't have to be expensive. We've earned extra recess, pajama day, free time etc. Good luck.


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Old 09-06-2017, 05:07 PM
 
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Hats off to you! 32 is huge!

I have 26 which is larger than my norm. It has helped to constantly go over expectations, model it, have volunteers model, and "narrate"their behavior when we get started on an activity "I see Annie is sitting up straight and quietly writing, Johnny is quietly writing, Cindy is remembering to raise her hand before asking a question...". Naration works wonders. I don't do any rewards/prize boxes. I like for kids to do the right thing because it's the right thing to do. We do have "Spirit Fridays" where I pick a fun thing in addition to wearing spiritwear. For example, last week was bring a stuffed animal, this Friday students can wear socks or bedroom slippers in class. We also have frequent brain breaks.
I hope this helps!
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Procedures for Quiet and Seat Work
Old 09-20-2017, 08:01 AM
 
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Model procedures for your students now, and keep practicing. Model entering the classroom and putting stuff away, quietly. Model raising hands, and waiting until they are acknowledged. Model/ reinforce NOT getting out of seats... No you cannot throw that away right now.. No you cannot sharpen a pencil...
(that leads to interrupting other students)


Model how you want them to behave in your classroom.... teach them procedures. Also add STAND-UP STRETCH BREAKS into your activities.... when you notice things beginning to "fray around the edges" it's a sign of a needed wiggle break!



Another teacher has a similar problem with her first graders, and it was suggested by another poster that she create file folder Offices to block the view of students from each other. Every other student could use an office folder to create a zone of quiet to work in.


I suggest that you use this and also create big Octagon signs to illustrate to your students what zone of whispering/talking/ or NO talking they are in.


You have to model and teach the use of these signs, and the expected behavior of the students. And you have to return to modelling every few days.... until they get it.





Put up a sign for Quiet or No Talking Zone when using the Offices.

Display a sign for Whispering or Ninja Warriors Zone when you allow quiet talking.

Display a sign for Inside Voices Zone for regular talking.

Hold up your Quiet of No Talking Zone sign (or put it on the SmartBoard/White board) while giving instructions.

Once they are on task display the Whispering/Ninja Zone sign if it's okay to whisper...or Quiet/No Talking if using Offices.

When they are doing the Daily Five Activities display the Inside Voices Zone sign.

Practice. Practice. Practice. They'll get it with practice and consistency.

When you go to the hallway, take your No Talking Zone sign with you, and when you are outside tell them "Now, you can use your outside voices..... go play!"

Kids watch other kids to see how far you will let them go. If you start now and stick to it, you will have the class you want (and the class the second grade teacher wants) soon.

And use Consequences... clip up or down in colors.. and mark on their folders to take home daily! At recess, have the students who consistently failed to follow the Zones, stand by you for 1 or 2 minutes, before being allowed to join others in playing.
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