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Chatty Kids - Help!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by alexishelmsley, May 18, 2011.

  1. I dont know how useful these would be, but heres some of the things I've tried:

    Boy-girl seating plans (its actually school policy for KS3).
    Giving each pupil a post-it at the beginning of the lesson, and getting them to write their ideas/thoughts/questions on them. At the end as them to pick one of their ideas/thoughs/questions to share with the class.

    Instead of shouting, just give them a look, hold eye contact for a few seconds and carry on.

    Stand by the door of the class, looking at your watch. Its amazing how one person will look and it spreads like wild fire!

    Hope all these helps.
  2. I am also Secondary Science and know that feeling well!!
    One thing I realised early on was that I was expecting too much 'sitting queitly' from some of my classes - our subject is one where lots of discussion and cooperation is needed between students, but need to be quite to listen to instructions etc.
    I then made focussed discussion/ paired talk/working together etc. part of the lesson on a regular basis. The one absolute rule I have is that if I need to talk to the class (I use a hotel bell to get attention - they now react just like Pavlov's dog!! ) they have to stop and give me their full attention. It has been hard work (sanctions, no practical work for getting it wrong and lots of positive praise for those who are getting it right), taken most of the year to get them 'trained', but it has been worth it as I can now get the classes to work quietly or even in silence for short (10 - 15min) and they will listen when needed.
    For practical work I have a bike horn to get their attention (I do not have a loud voice) and that works well, but again it is about 'training' them in your expectations.
    There are a couple of classes that I still haven't cracked, I am thinking about how I can approach them differently e.g. was I completely clear and consistent in my expectations; did I really apply school behaviour policy from day 1 (if I am honest I don't think I did - I was too lenient as I didn't want to seem harsh!); did I vary how I taught the class enough as I ended up dreading teaching them and just ploughed through what they needed for exams.

    Hope this helps - you will get there!

  3. Brilliant Idea, Can I borrow it! ;)
  4. sounds good, but some of the kids I teach would relish the chance to waste time, and get out of doing work in the next lesson!
  5. The good thing about it is that you can use peer pressure, the majority of the class dont want to spend the next lesson writing in silence when they could be doing experiments (I'm a chemistry student teacher) or something more intersting, so they tell the other ones to be quiet and stop whatever they are doing.
  6. fair enough!
  7. Totally agree about peer pressure - it can be very effective and is quite pleasing when they start shushing each other! Just be careful that this is balance with 'rewards' for those getting it right (little things like is lesson before break/lunch they are the first to leave)

  8. I have found this method usefully before
    but a word of warning
    This method does take the whole class to blame, and the ones who usually want to learn are in no position to effect the desires or opinions of the ones making the noise as they are usually the 'nerdy' kids
    Peer pressure is all very good, but if the only people who can apply pressure are those who are ignored anyway makes it useless and can make those who behave well feel forgotten

    A casing example, a boy who I taught was well behaved and good mannered but then changed for the worse
    I asked him about it and the response he gave was that it made no difference if he was good or not

    If he shut up he was disliked by everyone else and was still punished
    If he talked not only was he more popular but received the same punishment
    a no brainer really
  9. twiglet84

    twiglet84 New commenter

    So glad to hear I'm not the only NQT in this position! In fact, I feel like behaviour has actually gotten worse over the last few weeks! I have a particularly horrible year 8 group; all very low ability who enjoy wasting my time. I tried doing whole class minutes etc but felt frustrated at having to punish the 6/7 kids who do try hard. So recently I basically told them I wasn't having any more of it, and they if they were going to waste my time, I'd waste theirs. I put all their names in a grid on the white board, and now ANY talking out of turn or messing about gets them one cross. One cross = 5 minutes, and it's really important that a) they can't earn it back and b) I choose when their detention is. I also told them that after two weeks, students with no crosses would get a prize. I'm now two weeks in and at the stage where only 2 or 3 kids are getting any crosses in each lesson - believe me that this is a real improvement for this group!! I will be going to school armed with chocolate and keyrings for those kids with no crosses at all.

    Good luck!!
  10. I LOVE this! And I am definitely going to steal it. I've been teaching the same group of students, in various classes, since they were in grade 2 (they're in grade 6 now) and they have not changed in 5 years. They are huge in sharing little anecdotes (for example, one of our spelling words was "sue" and one child was eager to tell us about how his cousin was suing her neighbour or something related). Usually I tell them to keep their stories to the end and then we run out of time, but this is much better.
  11. Thanks for the ideas people! Ill definitely be using these. The timer one is useful sometimes for me, and I let the good kids go a few minutes earlier so the rest of the naughties can see that being good gets rewards. However sometimes the timer has no effect at all, it depends on the mood of the class. Im starting my new classes after the half term so will definitely be trying new techniques as I want a fresh start.
  12. Hard but wise words! [​IMG]
  13. I sometimes use "Pass the punishment". I put the name of the last student to be quiet on the board (using a timer on the smart board if necessary). If someone else then talks, cross off the first student and put the new name up. This list continues throughout the lesson and the student with his name at the bottom of the list at the end of the lesson picks up the punishment. The punishment can be put the books away, stay behind, lunchtime dt, red card or whatever else you feel like. In addition, to stop it becoming a competition - if a name appears 3 times, that person also gets a punishment.
    This way the quiet ones don't suffer and you only have a single student to deal with at the end of a lesson.
    Now all I need to do is write Pass the P on the board and the noise level drops.
  14. I had that problem for a while during my NQT year last year, now it's been largely solved by a grouping tables together and giving them team numbers. I then put 1-7 in a column on the white board. Each time someone talks I add a 'x' next to the team number. Every 3 x's is worth 5mins at the end of the lesson for that particular team.
    I found they responded well to calling it a team as it is like a competition and I use these 'teams' for activities and competitions which have rewards at the end. (sometimes i don't put on crosses and only put ticks for good tables who are quiet or work well - 5 ticks is a team merit which even works at yr 9!)
    I've found peer pressure works well this way as it is limited to four people and I encourage them to remind themselves of their behaviour, if that particular table has quieter kids on and the noisy ones keep chatting I simply change the team name to the child in question who keeps chatting much to the delight of everyone else who can see that it is fair.
    After a few weeks of doing this and following it up I only have to put the table numbers on the board or put the board pen near the list now and my classes go silent. It's great!

    Another thing I do if i'm in a playful mood and don't want to shout for attention is write "shh" on the board and other comments asking for quiet and maybe unhappy faces and the kids usually catch on and quieten down for me fairly quickly.
  15. Similar to the timer idea....if I'm waiting, I write the time I am ready for their attention on the board and then the time at I have everyones attention after it (e.g. 11.43 - 11.45). After I've written it, I ignore it until the next time I'm waiting and then do it again if need be. Add them up at the end and that's the number of minutes they have to stay. Obviously this works better before break, lunch or at the end of the day. I then let the kids who quieten down first go first and work my way through so it is the chatty ones who have to stay for the full amount of time.
    To start off with, they've got no idea why I'm writing down 'random' numbers on the board but one or two soon cotton on and peer pressure really starts to work. After doing this in a couple of lessons, they shut up as soon as I pick up the board pen and look at the clock.
    The other really simple thing I've found is simply thanking the kids who are sat ready and waiting, or pointing it out rather theatrically.
    I can't stress enough how valuable it has been for me being strict and consistent about my expectations right from the beginning. I'm not in the camp of 'don't smile until Christmas' because I think there's a chance you don't develop a good working relationship with your students if they don't see your fun/smily side too; but it truly is paying off now that my students know what I expect in terms of their behaviour. It was really hard in the first term or so and I lost a good number of breaks/lunches/afterschools and wrote countless notes in planners/made phonecalls home about individual students' behaviour but it was well worth it.
  16. I think this one is better than the other advices because is simple! Just love it and I will try it tomorrow with my very-talkatived students.
  17. I think this one is better than the other advices because is simple!
    Just love it and I will try it tomorrow with my very-talkatived
  18. What I do is making up the wasted time at the end of the day. It's a hazzle for me as well, but it works excellent because the last thing a child wants to do is leaving late for home
  19. gchand

    gchand New commenter

    When you can't get them to do what you want then they aren't learning. even the good ones are suffering...they usually won't say due to their nature. you want to sacrifice a few lessons to concentrate on getting them to do what you want them to...its a part of learning. Give them worksheet after worksheet of tedious rote work if you have to.
    Us adults mustn't think they are like us...they need to be told/shown/taught what is expected from them. And STICK to what you say...forget course content...SORT the behaviour out. Reward any improvements and go down hard on naughties...its not easy and requires hard work.
    Some new teachers see experienced staff and make the mistake of thinking its easy.
  20. I use a variety of methods, but have found the most effective to be:
    A large 5min sand timer. I justhave to hold it up now and somebody will shout "She's got the timer!" They go very quiet as for all the time that I turn it upside down, they stay in at break or lunch.
    I write names on a post-it note and tell them that they owe me 5mins of their time (Lunch or break) as they are waisting mine and the others in their class.
    Use a no hands policy, or straws with their names on which I use to choose children to answer questions. This way, everybody has to listen as they don't want to feel silly not being able to answer a question in front of their friends.
    Ask children in a conversation while you are trying to teach what is so much more improtant than what you are saying. They are reluctant to answer so I warn them that next time I shall insist they tell us all as it is clearly very important.

    Hope this helps?

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