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Talking goes on and on!!!

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Talking goes on and on!!!
Old 03-25-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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My crazy 6th graders can not stop talking. They are grouped into cooperative groups of four. They talk and talk. They will not stop when we are going over answers and reading stories. I've tried a clapping cue, a raised hand cue, counting backwards 5 seconds, group points, opening up their groups so they are looking at me and not a peer and they still do not get it. I've tried the "speaking ball" to acknowledge those with the right to speak. But it lasts a few turns and then they are at it again! These are English language learners and a good chunk of them have taken this course before and failed. So they are repeating the same material. I am trying to integrate more technology to help them make connections but they are never quiet enough for me to explain the connections. Do any veterans out there have any ideas for getting a group quiet enough? Maybe it's my approach. I'm ok with talking about the lesson but I HATE it when they are talking while I talk or while another student is sharing. Any thoughts?


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Impossible to teach
Old 03-25-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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under these conditions. I hate it when the students talk and talk--it's rude and they can't learn anything when they're not listening. It's a common problem, however, for all grade levels it seems. One thing I've noticed is that many veteran teachers are NOT willing to keep students grouped together because of the talking. Forget the new methods using groups--the kids can't focus, can't keep quiet, can't do their work. So, they get put back into old fashioned rows and need to work by themselves. Students today are used to being able to talk, communicate, multi-task, etc. all at once and are not used to sitting and being silent. They just aren't trained that way anymore. I'd consider sticking the kids back in rows, if possible, perhaps for the rest of the year. Start out fresh new year, teaching expectations, getting them used to group work gradually, with mini-lessons in how to behave. Is it possible to get the parents on board with behavioral expectations? Is is possible to do detentions or move kids to another room (temporarily) if they don't quiet down? Sometimes depriving them of their audience helps. Keep trying and remember--the end of the year is fast approaching!
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timer
Old 03-25-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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I use a timer. When the students start talking, I start the timer and hold it up. It is amazing how quickly this gets them on task. I write the time they've lost on the board so they are aware. The time they've wasted is either taken from recess, after school, or reward time that I give them. After I implemented this, my students only waste about a minute/day. I know that this is not the most popular way, but my master teacher suggested it is the only thing that works. Good luck!
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I'm having the same talking problem
Old 03-25-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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I'm having the same problem. My sixth graders are all fluent English and more or less at grade level, but they aren't at all motivated to learn the material. They seem to want everything to be fun or celebrated with a material prize. And talking to their friends about anything but the lesson is high on their list of things to do.

I'm a new teacher, not a veteran, but here are some of the things I've tried. When I use all of these at once, it seems to make things better.
1. Moving desks around so they didn't sit in cooperative groups for a few weeks.
2. Not talking over them and just waiting patiently, and if I had to wait for a long time I took away something that they valued (like the 3 min passing time between my two periods).
3. Rewarding good behavior with a movie on Friday.
4. Collecting every assignment and "grading" every single assignment so they have to be accountable for the work they do in class.
5. Doing different types of lessons -- at one point I had small groups act out the chapter in the history book where the Minoans moved to Crete and traded with other communities.
6. Remind them constantly that "active listening" means only one person talking at a time.

Good luck.
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God, I know
Old 03-26-2008, 06:01 AM
 
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My sixth graders are the same way. I have begun to remind them pretty frequently that every thought that pops into their head doesn't have to come straight out of their mouths. We can actually have thoughts that we don't speak aloud. They can stay in our head. This is a brand new concept for many of them, and this seems to help.

I am also allowed to keep kids--even bus riders--after school for detention. I start writing names on the board and it gets really quiet, really fast.

One thing I think we need to remember: my kids, at least, come from poverty, and in poverty, this is common. People in poverty talk over each other all the time. If at home we're all talking at once and no one is ever really listening, then we do that at school too, because it's normal. It's how they do business. They don't mean to be rude. It's just how it is in poverty. So many kids come to school and experience the only middle class culture they've ever been exposed to. Anyway, if no one has taught you how to behave in school, how to listen to others, how to wait your turn, then you don't know how.


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I had
Old 03-26-2008, 06:05 AM
 
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the same problem this year. Had to resort to rows...UGGG! I have never had to do that in the 11 years of teaching!!
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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It's reassuring to know we're not alone.
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I like this
Old 03-26-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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but can't remember where I got it. It's an acromym for THINK

We need to think first...then speak.

Ask yourself, is what I am about to say

Truthful?
Hopeful?
Inspirational?
Necessary?
Kind?

I have this posted in my room.

These are rules for me

1. I listen to one student at a time.
2. I listen to kids that raise their hands.
3. I teach when there are no distractions.
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It is good to know
Old 03-27-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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that my kids arn't the only ones who talk constantly. Is it just the age or this particular generation of kids?
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I feel your pain...
Old 04-27-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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I teach at an international school in South America and have this same problem. They NEVER STOP TALKING! To them, socialization is a way of life. Whenever the parents come in, I can see exactly where they get it from. I feel as if I'm going mentally insane somedays. There's this constant murmer of chatter that I just can't handle. No matter what I've tried, nothing works. I've timed them and added the time they wasted to recess detention, but they just don't seem to care. I, like many of the rest of you, am just waiting until the end of the year.


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I do RESPECT
Old 05-08-2008, 08:20 AM
 
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I have a reward system. I write RESPECT on the board every day. I take a letter away when they are not doing what they are suppose to....most of the time it is for talking. I keep a tally of how many letters are left every day. For every 7 letters, they get one "flower" on the respect bulletin board. They have to earn 21 "flowers" and then they get a class party for a few hours. I chose 21, since I have 21 students; one for each student. The peer pressure it pretty good once I start erasing. They start to tell each other to shut up. In my class I have 2 students who are always the last ones talking. I usually just remind them directly when everyone else is quiet, by sternly saying "Billy, you need to stop talking now." These two seem to be in a world of their own, and have no idea everyone else has stopped. You could modify this system any way to suit your class for the remaining weeks of school.
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downsize
Old 05-26-2008, 09:13 AM
 
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I move the students into partners first, this way they can turn around and still interact with Kagan structures without moving the desks all over the place. (Obviously partnering students that are not likely to have deep conversations with each other.) I lay out a reward system to earn the tables of 4 back. If this does not work I then move to rows. Usually, the students want to be back in groups and will readjust their behavior.
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