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Advice on getting pupils quiet and listening at the start/introduction to the lesson.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by swimblue, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. swimblue

    swimblue New commenter

    Please does anyone have any effective strategies as to getting pupils to be quiet at the start of the lesson?
    I have just attended a meeting where we decided that low level disruption at the introductory stage of the lesson was a real barrier to progress in learning.
    We all come from various subjects and found this to be a universal problem in our big secondary school - any advice or tactics gratefully received!

  2. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    I do - "3-2-1...well done Bob, who is doing the right thing. I can see Tracy and Bert ready to learn etc etc"
    Sometimes I stand and wait - it's embarrassing to be the last person talking. Prob wouldn't work for bottom group Year 8s either!
    A colleague holds up a red card when she wants silence...not sure how successful it is, but another thing you could think about.
  3. Say quietly, almost under your breath, "I'm thinking of having a sex change".
    Works every time.

  4. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    Establish your expectations even before they come into the room. Get them lined up quietly and enter the classroom in a controlled way. I know some teachers insist that classes stand behind their chairs and are allowed to sit down when quiet. Seems to work for them.
  5. EYE CONTACT. The way we do the 'silent' thing at the beginning is to be confident in your classroom.
    After you've lined them all up outside, let them quietly into the room. They will start talking again. As they sit down, find kids who are looking in your general direction and look straight at them - not in a challenging way, just don't drop your eyes first. If they ask, 'what?', put your finger to your lips but keep eye contact. You then move your eyes round the room until the number you have made contact with outnumbers those still talking. This works if your demeanour appears confident. But then it is YOUR classroom, so feel confident, not aggressive / defensive. Also, stand at the door as they enter. Say hello to them in a polite welcoming way, again with eye contact. Knowing you're a human helps.
  6. How effective do think it would be with children who suffer with sensory issues?
  7. lol
    as a teacher in France, I'll need to think of the equivalent : )
  8. We are encouraged to practice 'Co-operative Learning' (which involves teaching mixed ability groups of 4-5)
    one of the strands of which is 'Active Listening'. Pupils know that this means eye contact with the teacher and no speaking, no fidgeting, fiddling, etc. The process is initiated by the teacher raising his hand and waiting for pupils to follow suit. No-one with their hand up, including the teacher, should speak. Peer pressure gradually compels all to raise hands and stop speaking. Teacher then rewards (with points) those groups who were prompt and all of whose members have hands up, eye contact and are silent and still. Careful group selection is important - friendship groups best avoided where this has negative impact.

    I usually also call out 'Listen up!' as I raise my hand, or sometimes 'Last hand up, last one out to break!!'

    Points can be totalled at intervals and groups rewarded.

    This works well for me in an inner city comp, even with the most challenging pupils. Only thing to look out for is it can lead to a lack of pace if you have to wait too long, too often though kids do get used to it very quickly

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