April 30, 2011

You Talk TOO Much! Classroom Management

When you read the title of this post I know what you're thinking. I have chatty classes too. . . but that's not what this post is about.

I'm talking about TEACHERS! Teachers talk too much. I remember being a kid in school and thinking. . . when will this teacher ever stop talking so we can learn. As teachers we strive to say things that are really important. But it's not what we say, it's what we do, that the kids really care about.

This week I went back to my classroom after maternity leave. After 8 weeks of missing each other, the students and I were really excited to reconnect. But many of my classes forgot my expectations. I used my most powerful classroom management skill.

A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION A LITTLE MORE ACTION!


I didn't say a word when the classes came in rowdy, let them do their "thing." Then table by table called them all back to line with no explanation. Then when they settled down we tried again. It worked beautifully. Every time they forgot my rules I had them do it again without lecture.

Try it. It works. 

9 comments:

MJ said...

Just yesterday I had a conversation about teachers talking too much with the music teacher at my school! I know I talk less now than I did my first year teaching and class goes so much better because of it! And I feel like the kids benefit from more time for hands on experience with art making. I have used the "line up, try again" method a few times after long breaks from school and it works GREAT! I am glad that it sounds like your first week back went well - I am sure the kids were beyond thrilled to have you back!

HipWaldorf said...

I LOL when I saw you attached the video of Elvis - what fun!
(Elvis's "a little more action" is surely not artisitic though....!!!)

Stephanie said...

Love that you posted this right now! I'm a newbie (teaching since February!) and classroom management has been a constant struggle. As the school year is winding down (we are done May 23rd), it is becoming more and more of a challenge. I am going to try this method and see what happens! Thanks!!!

Hope Hunter Knight said...

I have a sign on my lightswitch that says "Lights out=Silent signal", so all I do when they are loud is turn off the lights and they quiet down. When I see they got the message, I flick them back on without a word.

Phyl said...

Nice and simple. I like it!

Nancie Kay said...

We have a hand signal (the 'quiet coyote', named in honor of our school mascot) that is used in just about every classroom as a silent signal for quiet. I simply stand at the front of my classroom, use the signal and wait. Because students are used to it in their own rooms, it usually takes just a moment or two for them to settle down. For those who take longer, once it's quiet, I remind them that this waiting time is reducing their time for painting, drawing, clay, etc. At clean-up, I mention that it was their choice to have a shorter class period today, perhaps they will make better use of their time next week. Works with my K-5 learners...

@auroraflorealis said...

That is absolutely brilliant and I will definitely give it a try! Thank you for posting a new way to handle that situation...action! :)

Phyl said...

OK, so this comment has nothing to do with this post, but... oh well. I am watching Dancing with the Stars and was watching Ralph Macchio (did I spell that right?) dancing and remembered your post about your childhood crush on him.

Well I seem to have a crush too, but not on Ralph (though he danced well tonight). I'm totally smitten with Hines Ward! It's pretty ironic, since I have zero interest in football, haven't seen a game since high school, and never heard of Hines Ward before he started dancing. But oh my, that smile... Totally smitten...

Art Project Girl said...

I was thinking he has the best personality on the show!!! He's not a show off bit all action:)