Yesterday, I read and shared this article. “15 creative & respectful ways to quiet a class.” It’s packed with great ideas and is a good read. The best advice appears at the bottom.
Remember there is no “magic bullet” what will get all students’ attention all of the time. Don’t get frustrated! Constantly having to refocus your class is a normal part of teaching. Take a deep breath, smile, and and keep encouraging your students. You can do this! And please, share your favorite tips for guiding students to quiet down in the comments!
My Twitter friend Linda Aragoni was all over this in a heartbeat.
She’s got a point. I know that when I used to sing a song for my Grade 12s, that would increase the noise as they tried to drown me out. Back and forth, she suggested…
And even offered to help.
How’s that for a challenge? So, to you middle or secondary school teachers or college/university professors, how do you quiet a class?
I’ll start with a couple of things that I found worked for me in Computer Science classes.
- Consider your expectations. In my Computer Science classes, I didn’t have the traditional “solve three problems” and then hand them in. The programming requirements was actually a continuum of things that ran from mid-September until mid-June. When a student had a problem to be assessed, they just called me over and we looked at it together on their computer. More often than not, this resulted in students getting to class early, loading their program and asking me to mark it; (added bonus – no marathon marking sessions…)
- Give the students ownership of the society curriculum requirement…instead of me providing examples of computers in society, students were encouraged to bring in their own stories or to talk and assess a current teachnology issue – even how computers might have been portrayed on a television show from the previous evening. Students do have respect for each other when they own the floor. As blogged previously, students got to show off their research with bulletin boards as well.
Having said all that, I’ll admit that my Computer Science classes were among the noisiest going but I like to think it was good noise. There’s nothing better than students working/arguing in groups all the while on topic. Having said that, there were days when I wished for a magic potion.
So, gentle reader in the older classes, please consider sharing your tips in the comments below. Linda has promised to promote your wisdom.
- Flipping The Computer Science Classroom (acthompson.net)
- Classroom Success Series: I challenged them! (peepeehands.com)
- Classroom Management (geekymomblog.com)
- No , you can’t take that call in my class! (j2geo.wordpress.com)
- Overcrowded Classroom (fes2013seika.wordpress.com)