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calling out in class - how much to tolerate?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by purpleflamingo, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. I have a question. I have been working on an issue of kids calling out in my class since I started teachign a few years ago and now at a new school, I am determined not to slide into allowing it. I find it difficult when it interrupts the flow of my teaching and I lose my place. Now in the first week, it has been ok but the kids were sliding yesterday and now today again. So I gave a warning to the whole class when it started and then it continued. It happened with two classes so between the two of them, I have six people in at break tomorrow where I plan to have them write about why is it important to raise their hand to speak or ask questions. I have to say it pained me to do it because some of them were calling out good points and relevant questions and they are good kids.
    Now I am worried that to be "fair" I have to keep people in recess every time it happens. For example I let it slip normally if someone next to me asks me something after I have just finished explaining. Or sometimes it´s a quick thing I am explaining so there´s a quick word or two called out like, "is it at the back of our books?" should I have to sanction comments like this? Last year the kids picked up on me letting that go and then said I was unfair when I kept them in when others had called out (although when others had called out it had not interrupted the flow of the lesson).
    I am worried about having the six of them (all boys) tomorrow and the inevitable complaining and chasing of detentions so early on... is it something I am doing wrong - that I seem to get kis calling out? (although I do know others complain about it too and some other teachers said they have the same problem but in my case, I really find it hard to teach like that and concentrate on the lesson...kids must be the same!!) I did make my expectations clear on the first day....

  2. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    I do not let them call out when I am obviously in 'whole class explanation mode'. I simply describe what they are doing - you are calling out, I need you to put up your hand. Or of course sometimes I ask for responses 'hands down' ignoring those who call out and saying that I am doing that. I rarely give detentions for calling out, and generally the calling out problem is kept to a minimum. But you do have to be persistent and devise ways of keeping your place! If there is a child who calls out a lot, (and starts to get irritated at being ignored) then I invoke the behaviour policy, sending out, detention etc.
    There are those that call out who don't know any better but are keen to join in, and there are those that call out to be deliberately disruptive. I try to focus on the latter when it comes to sanctions. BTW I am at a school where making expectations clear on the first day just isn't enough for the children. They come from the sort of families where everyone talks at once and it is a hard nut to crack.
  3. It is funny my experience of calling out is always the same... I find that even though I say I need pupils to put their hands up, they still don´t do it. And then when I repeat myself or I start to say that I need them to do it and why etc or give a warning then they act like this is so annoying and then they don´t bother making their point any more and I find it spreads to the rest of the class and so they participate reluctantly or just continue calling out to make their points. I find it so annoying!! I wonder if maybe I have a low tolerance level sometimes but really I find it hard to concentrate on my own flow otherwise.... and it can get out of hand if I let them away with it.
    What kind of things do you do to keep your place? I am also trying to move away from my notes as I am often too dependent on them and this also slows down my class as I search through them for exactly what we are doing next whereas now I am trying to have more general outlines for my classes.
    I also found it helps to actually cut down what I say, so I wouldn´t say I am talking too much either. And I speak slowly and I think I explain well...
    I am confused...

  4. Fierygirl

    Fierygirl New commenter

    This is a tough one - even for very experienced teachers. You have to keep reminding them but there are some strategies you can use on occasion too.
    Try having an object that they have to hold in order to speak. this could be a soft toy for younger pupils or a squashy ball for older ones.
    Try 'no hands up'. You give thinking time and then call on pupils yourself rather than asking them to volunteer.
    Each pupil has three 'contribution tokens'. They have to hand you the token when they want to contribute. This is helpful if you have some that dominate the class as it makes them think carefully about how valuable their contribution is.
    All accompanied by rewards for good contributions given in an appropriate manner and sanctions for pupils who continue to refuse to cooperate.
  5. gravell

    gravell New commenter

    I find the calling out can sometimes be just for attention. So what I try and do is carry on talking but put a hand flat towards them indicating they should stop. That way you don't interupt your flow, they know they should stop but they feel like they have been achknowledged.

    Hope this helps
  6. Thanks, my question then is how to respond to complaints of not having a chance to participate since with the contribution tokens or the no hands up, I would decide who participates...
    Thanks for the ideas :)
  7. Fierygirl

    Fierygirl New commenter


    You explain to them that you decide because it is your classroom. You are in control of the lesson, not them. And, do it with confidence!
  8. I've read something recently in which the teacher has a lollystick for each child, colour coded in ability and kept in a pot altogether. When you ask questions or need to choose someone it can be more random but you can still choose which ability set you want the answer from giving the less able children a chance to answer.
    That way children see it as a fair system; you could even possibly move the lollysticks from one pot to another so that you won't ask the same child twice in one day??
    I think I remember that they also said if that child didn't know the answer they could then choose someone to answer (you may want them to choose on their own or from the pot).
    I haven't been able to put it into practice yet as I'm only starting my PGCE but it coulds a good idea so thought I'd share it.
    I like the idea of giving tokens to contribute to as it gives everyone a chance and the answer may even be more thought through [​IMG] (I'll be keeping this idea in mind most definitely)

  9. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    It doesn't matter what the children think, you choose who you want to answer.
  10. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Absolutely. It's not a democracy - you know best.
  11. oldskool71

    oldskool71 New commenter

    Ultimately the best way to stop this once and for all is to cultivate a `no hands up' culture in your class where you are not inviting hands up at all in the lesson but rather picking students out to answer questions, rotating this around so everyone gets a chance during the lesson. Once the class knows this is what will happen they will soon stop putting hands up and calling out - plus you will much more effectively be able to assess the knowledge of students in your class!
  12. We use the lolly stick approach in our class, the children seem to understand this is a fair, democratic approach. For circle time we have a little shrek toy that is passed a round and the children are only allowed to speak whilst they are holding it. You still get the odd child that will shout out but this is dealt with by the classroom behaviour strategy and our rainbow wall chart which is linked to Golden time.
  13. I like the lollipop stick strategy a lot, but I also think it's important for children to be able to control themselves and learn when it is appropriate to speak and when they need to wait.

    In one class, we had a child who continually shouted out - fantastic answers and great questions, but they had not learnt when it was appropriate to speak. In the end, anything this child said (in a whole class context) without them putting their hand up, was completely ignored. The child soon learnt to put their hand up and wait - the strategy worked really well and everyone benefited.

    I have also seen yellow cards used very consistently when there is shouting out - if you apply it utterly consistently when anyone shouts out about anything, the children soon learn that it is not polite or appropriate for them to just say whatever they want whenever they want.

    In my opinion, consistency is key - if you allow children to get away with shouting out just because their comment was useful or appropriate, you are in a way encouraging the higher ability / on task children to shout out and speak whenever they feel like it and potentially seriously discouraging lower ability / of task children (who may have less useful comments to make) by giving them sanctions for the very same behaviour.
  14. This is a sure fire way for the children to switch off having only answered one question! I'm hoping you didn't actually mean it as it came across.
  15. random names generator on 'class tools .org' on the internet is useful
  16. This might sound a bit lame, but it really works for me...if a kid shouts out in my class (which they absolutely know they are not allowed to do) I say 'thanks for your comment but you shouted out' and move on to someone with thier hand up, giving them lots of praise etc. Then when original shouty out kid has got thier hand up (which hopfully they will do!) I will say 'you've got your hand up now so go ahead'. It has worked with some quite persistent kids.
  17. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    How does the lolly pop stick work when you need to differentiate with your questions? Of course you could always try what is now the panacea to all ills - the mini whiteboard!
  18. redlorry

    redlorry New commenter

    I find completely ignoring any shouting out works best for me. If students are shouting out ideas and answers to questions, I say "oh, so nobody knows the answer to this one." They soon learn and when one then puts their hand up I move to that student and let them answer the question! It takes a while of ignoring the inappropriate calling out but they have pretty much got there now, and always put up their hand. Hope this helps.
  19. Hmmmm....have a look at Dylan William on Teachers' TV...we operate a no hands up 'policy' for the most part, lots of engagement, using talking partners, peg lotto, personal whiteboards with 'show me' - all kids engaged, all having a voice but controlled. Instant feedback on their understanding for me which informs my teaching.
    Kids love it cos they get to talk, voice their opinions, explain their thinking and understanding of the lesson.
    When it is not approriate for this approach, I'm afraid it is 1 warning and then time out - I sell it by:
    "You have stolen everyone's thinking time by shouting out, and you can't give it back to them." - the kids respond really well tbh, right from P1 to P7.
  20. Hello people,
    I am still having issues with this and I am wondering what to do next. I now gave out extra work to someone as it was happening and I gave a warning to the class that calling out would result in it, so the next person would get extra work. Now I feel that I will be perceived as "unfair" as they still kept doing it. I can't seem to be able to have anything near a civilized focussed class discussion or question students.I teach kids who work very well and although they are very chatty, they don't have many behaviour issues except talking of course!


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