We often get asked by teachers: how do you calm down noisy classes quickly?
Getting a noisy class to enter a classroom and settle promptly is a problem that many teachers face. Teaching time is wasted whilst the adult has to settle disputes, bring the group together and focus students on the business of learning.
So: do you want to spend less time managing behaviour and more time on teaching?
Here’s how one behaviour expert, Rob Plevin, tackles this problem.
1. Accept that the class are not yet ready to learn.
Rob reminds us that the class may be in a state where they are not yet ready to settle. Carrying on regardless only makes matters worse.
In addition to this, allowing your students to come into the classroom whilst they are noisy and disruptive leads to an imbalance of power – you are allowing them into your classroom on their terms, without following expectations or listening to instructions.
The solution is to calm the class before they walk through the classroom door.
Start by setting the tone out in the corridor – the aim is to get the class under control and listening to instructions.
2. Make non-confrontational statements.
Don’t berate the students or blame them for things that are going wrong.
Instead, talk to them about the behaviours that you do want to see.
Remind students about the things they are doing well, and encourage others to change their actions by using a mixture of individual, group and whole class praise.
3. Use informal chit chat.
Teachers who are comfortable talking to their students are much more likely to respected than those who can’t.
You need to be happy talking to your students outside the classroom about topics that are of interest to them. The aim is to engage your pupils in a non-academic conversation, distract them, and then encourage the behaviour you do want.
Use this approach to divide and conquer. Work through small groups of students, engage in some chatter and then quieten them down, before moving onto the next group.
- Remember: use informal talk (for instance, about films or television programmes) to get the children’s attention before reminding them to show they are quiet and ready.
By the time you reach the end of the line, the class should be quieter and more receptive.
Your class will now be in a calmer state, ready to enter the classroom and start their work.
This technique for calming classes is highly effective and works with children of all age ranges.
To find out more detail about Rob’s method, watch his video below, or check out his website by clicking here.