Hi Teacher16. I'm not John, but I hope I'll do. To avoid the hands-up situation, simply ignore them when they do. You don't have to take every hands up. In fact, may I even suggest that you simply say, 'Hands down now, we need to move on/ keep working,' etc? I know it's awfully hard at times to ignore hands-up, especially when you've asked them to do so to communicate with you. But it sounds like classic diversionary tactics, to distract you and to avoid working. So grit your teeth and ignore it! And especially ignore anyone shouting out! You don't say what kind of sanctions you use for those who continue to talk despite your warnings. Make sure that you have some kind of consequence system in place, otherwise, why should they stop talking? The goodness of their hearts? Take a chair. They need to see that if they disobey you, they'll receive some kind of uncomfortable reward that will deter them in future. Oldest trick in the book. Good luck. Read more from Tom here on his personal blog, or follow him on Twitter here.