May 14, 2012

Every Trick in the Book: Tip #3


At this point in the year, one of my 5th grade classes is getting especially "chatty." I love that word "chatty". . . when a teacher drops of their class and says they're "chatty" today it makes me feel like I'm in England. I always feel like saying "Cheerio, enjoy a spot of tea while I take these chatty buggers and doodle for an hour!" Sorry for my side track but you have to have some humor with yourself teaching 500++  kids a week.

When my 5th graders got "chatty" this week, I said to them in the nicest way I could muster up, "I don't think you know what to do because you weren't listening. I'm just going to check to make sure everyone is ready to start their clay project." I started passing out these quiz's. "No no no, we are ready!" "Oh, Okay. . . then show me." Right when the chatter started up again while I was teaching, the quiz went right to those offenders and it stops pretty quickly. Class went smoothly and most understood the concepts and made an awesome clay sandal! I am so proud of them (and me for finding this trick in my book:)

Sidenote: Next class we all took the quiz and did a raffle for a prize the quiz was their ticket. Some did better then others (it's always the quiet ones.) I got to see there are some things I need to reteach to certain individuals!


Jessica Young said...

I just did the same thing with my 5th graders! I have one class that is very "chatty", and I gave them a quiz. I was not at all surprised which students got a zero. And, I must say, I enjoyed marking them up with my red pen. We don't get to do that very much as art teachers ;).
~Jessica (

J.ham said...

Love this idea. I definitely have some chatty classes with school being so close to over.

Anonymous said...

I had a year, awhile back, with a group that was so "chatty", (oh come on, who's kidding who here?They were bratty and incorrigible!)and I taught them art from books about artists and art movements. I wrote short answer and essay questions. They BEGGED me to go back to hands on projects and all of the problems didn't go away, but it did get better. You do what you have to do.....

Ms. Art Every Way said...

Does it factor into the grade? I have a few chatty classes I am having hard time motivating because we don't give any grades in art!

Unknown said...

This is great! I'm definitely doing this! At the beginning of the year I also passed out a test. I had them read the directions (which told them to not answer any questions and draw a picture of anything they wanted on the back of the paper). Out of 250 students only 5 read the directions! You should have seen them struggle to answer questions we had yet to go over. Amazing how they don't listen or follow instructions.

Anonymous said...

I love this topic. Some of my students are "chatty" and love to talk. Honestly, I've got a weak spot for them since my son is that way.

I deal with the chatting problem by requiring silence (only with the classes who need it). If a student chooses to talk they have to copy sentences about "following directions." So far, sentences seem to be the most effective thing I've done. The offenders are quiet after having to copy down several lines. This strategy works best with my 2nd - 5th graders.

I love the idea of handing out quizzes. It's definately an idea to consider for next year.

Thanks for the ideas!

Unknown said...

Oh Pat! I've been there. One year even had a few classes with "art" in their own classroom because I told them they lost the privilige to use the art room.

Emily, no it has nothing to do with grades because we don't grade art this year, we are doing common core grading and since that has been a work in "progress" we are doing a few grades for behavior. It is what was decided with kicking and screaming from us. I believe that if grades are being given in other subject areas then art that should be the standard across the board. We are not teaching at a Montessori school here so grades make the most sense. I use the quiz to see what I need to work on as a teacher. I tell the students if they get an answer wrong it's okay but it does mean I will be reteaching it next class. This usually gets students to try on the quiz so they don't get retaught what they already know. Most of the chattiest students (and I have no problem with chatty but when it crosses the line of disrespect I do) are the smartest! I love them all. That's why I have to make sure that they are motivated and learning up to the last day of school!