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Best noise management techniques?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by emlotu, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. So I started my school direct primary placement last week and am really enjoying it so far. However, the class calls out a lot, gets quite noisy and then some pupils start getting out of their seats. The teacher I'm shadowing claps in rhythm, which the class then repeats, and it does grab their attention. However I don't want to over use this and desensitise the class to it. I also don't want to resort to yelling.

    So I'd love to hear any tips/ tricks that others have found for this.
  2. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    It's often a good idea to use systems that the children already know. If you actually see clear signs that they are becoming 'desensitised' then try something new. If you just fear it 'might' happen, then I wouldn't change anything yet.

    Being in a shadowing position can be a little awkward. You probably won't have time to 'change everything' and you won't be expected to 'make the class your own', so to an extent you have to 'fit in' with how things are being run. When you get your own class, you might want a little more 'active participation' ;) from the children. Now isn't the time to try to change too much.

    I've used a one-note (metal) chimebar which I keep on my table. When I need silence I hit it. If it has a good, long resonance, the effect can be unusually hypnotic.

    Regarding leaving seats, you will need to be firm and consistent. With younger children a visible 'warning' system can be useful. 1st time out of seat: name on the board. 2nd time: 1 point added next to name. You can decide where the limit will be, eg 3 points equals 5 minutes discussing behaviour during playtime. You can reduce this as you rein in the behaviour, but it avoids confrontation in the class: 'That's a third point for you, we'll discuss it at playtime. End of'. They will test you out, it might take some time for them to learn you mean business. Establish your strategy (maybe even discuss it with the shadow teacher first) then stick to it. Behaviour modification takes time.

    Remember also, these children have probably been out of school for a long period, if so, re-establishing classroom discipline might take longer than usual. Discuss all these issues with your shadow teacher, they are there to help you, they know the school and the children. Remember, you're not there to show how good you are, you are there to learn: You're not expected to have all the answers. Be happy to admit that, take advice, then if it does go wrong, your shadow teacher is involved in the issue.

    And something I always tell the children, but I've always said it to student teachers as well: You are here to make mistakes. It's how you react to, and deal with, those mistakes which is important.
    VeronicAmb likes this.
  3. lentils22

    lentils22 New commenter

    I'm in secondary but this might work with upper KS2; I have a small notebook and explain to the students that I'll be monitoring behaviour (both good and bad) by making notes in it as I'm teaching. I tell them it's a way of me keeping an eye on how they are working without having to stop and interrupt the lesson.

    If I notice someone talking while I'm talking, or otherwise off-task, I jot down their name in the book without stopping my explanation etc. Often just seeing me write something in there is enough to refocus them back onto their learning..but if you have persistent offenders then you could use a warning system in which you let them know that their name is now in the book twice for one lesson, for example, and that a third time will incur a specific sanction.

    The advantage of this system is that it minimises disruption to the lesson from you stopping to deal directly with low-level disruption, and also minimises the tension/confrontation that can result from that. It's good practice to let the students see that you're also using it to record good work/effort, so they don't see it as an entirely negative thing.
    VeronicAmb likes this.
  4. JJ83

    JJ83 Occasional commenter

    Put your hand up when you would like quiet - they all have to do it too?
    What's the BFL system in school - make sure you use it consistently whatever it is
    Also use positive reinforcement

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