Quieting a classroom seems to be one of the most sought after skills of the teaching world. Most think that if a teacher can quiet a classroom their teaching skills must be top-notch. Well, that may not always be the case. However,a teacher in command of her/his classroom is priceless when beginning a lesson, ending a lesson, moving through transitions, providing directions….ok, ok there are many situations when quieting a classroom is essential. Here are ten highly used techniques. Which ones work best for you?
1. Place noise makers such as metal clappers, kazoos, maracas, or desk bell around the classroom. Have students practice becoming silent when they hear one of the noise makers.
2. Use the classroom lights. Flash once to indicate silent time is coming soon. Flash twice for silence.
3. Recite a fill in the blank phrase that changes weekly. The teacher says the first part of the phrase the students finish it and then remain silent. An example might be “wwwdot” says the teacher, and students reply “com.” Another example is “Facebook and Insta” says the teacher, and students reply “gram.”
4. Ask students to sit on their hands and be silent on the count of 1, then count backwards from 3 or 5.
5. Clap out a pattern that students either repeat or finish.
6. Raise your hand and have students who see your hand raise their hand. This way if students are not facing the teacher they will see their peers. Some teachers like to use a peace sign, but an open hand is fine too.
7. Talking in a whisper will sometimes catch students off guard and they will become silent. Notice how well they behave on days when you have lost your voice or aren’t feeling well.
8. Young children like to “Put a bubble in your mouth” then they sit silently until you tell them to let the bubble out.
9. “Close your eyes and count to five” this moves the focus to the teacher request and away from talking. Once the students get to five continue on with your directions.
10. Your best ideas! Please share with everyone!