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How to control a noisey yr 5 class.

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Lori2010, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Lori2010

    Lori2010 New commenter

    Helloe, I am an NQT in year 5 too, so clearly not an expert, but I can share some things that I have been experimenting with:
    -Make good use of the whole schools behaviour management system. Talk about 'disrupting the flow of learning for themselves and others around them'.
    -Independent work table, I have never had to move a child to this table, but telling them that they will have to move and work alone if they keep talking, can be enough.
    -Noise monitors on each table.
    -I have laminated traffic lights,I state the expected noise: (classroom talking, talk partner talking or independent work) at the start of activities and stick the appropriate traffic light on the whiteboard, which I refer to if the noise rises.
    -Table points, reward tables sticking to the traffic light volume.
    -'secret watchers' who earn points for their table if they meet behaviour expectations.
    - Whole class rewards to work towards.
    -Keep repeating your expectations.
    -Seating plan, so disruptive children are not in each others eyeline.
    -I have also mentioned that I have a headache (if they have given me one) Tends to do the trick.
    Like I say, all experiments and by no means expert advice :)
  2. I'm a year 5 NQT too and mine are quite chatty. This week I've done the 'if the work's not been done because you've been chatting, you are staying in at break to do it' which has worked well - some of my class opted to stay in and finish the work today!! I've got the stopwatch out too so every time they make me wait (I normally get their attention and if they are not all ready to listen by my second warning then the stopwatch starts. The time that gets accrued is taken off their golden time. The class see me get the stopwatch out and everyone starts to hush down. Also have marbles for tables that work well and they get table of the week certficate for the table with most marbles. hope that helps xx
  3. pumpkinsoup88

    pumpkinsoup88 New commenter

    Other people have given some great suggestions...

    I'm an NQT so I'm obviously not majorly experienced but I would say that splitting / chunking lessons is so important. Avoiding giving children a long time to complete a task and splitting a task in to specific bits usually produces quality and keeps them on task!

    Calming measures - I sometimes read a short story from the Relax Kids book from Amazon which is like a meditation.

    Good luck x
  4. Hi
    I have just done a term as a supply in a very lively chatty year 5 class. I am an NQT too. BUT I followed the behaviour policy of the school which included sending children to other classes. This worked for a while. I gave them team points and praised all the quiet times. I kept children in but if there were children that were not talking I let them out. This worked well because they weren't talking and the message did get through.
    I became so confident with them that by week 3 I taught them the Cha Cha slide and when they became noisy I put on the song and they danced for 3 minutes. This was fun and a bit creative but wow they loved it and it was enough to wear them out and refocus on them on their work. It was amazing.
    I am not suggesting you use the cha cha slide but some kind of movement out of their seats really helps. Lets face it - who in there right minds wants to sit quietly for any length of time.
    Remember it is early days and you have to be consistent in your approach.
    Good luck and enjoy teaching.
  5. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I'm not an NQT, but thought I could offer some advice. My Year 6 class are quite noisy (rather than "noisey"), so much so that if I take a breath between sentences someone calls something out or makes a silly noise. It's enough to drive me mad!
    My top tips are as follows:
    * write "Missed playtime" up on a whiteboard. Everytime the children are too noisy, I mark one minute off everyone's playtime. I continue to tally slowly if they don't quieten down. After doing this for nearly two weeks, I have got to the point when I just have to move towards the board with a pen and they become quiet relatively quickly. If they do, I can then erase one of the minutes, therefore giving them that time back. It has meant two or three missed playtimes or play at lunchtimes, but it's working! They can earn the time back, but only if they listen and are quiet quickly.
    * do some tactical ignoring. It's not worth sweating over every small thing, like a child calling out constantly. By ignoring and only taking answers from children with their hands up quietly, the children quickly learn that calling out will get them nowhere.
    * when the noise starts up, say nothing. Just sit down somewhere, looking at your watch and looking bored. Those nearest you normally get the hint and try to quieten the others. When they do, you can say "it's no problem to me if you want to talk now and do the lesson during playtime." More often than not, they'll choose to do the lesson at that moment, rather than stay in. If they don't choose to be quiet (which has never happened to me!), let them talk and be noisy, say nothing while you write on the board something along the lines of "Work to do during playtime and lunchtime tomorrow in silence", and then list a great long, boring list. This would let them know exactly what they will be doing during their playtime.
    The main thing is to be very, very firm. I had a child accuse me of not being "fun" the other day, when apparently I was supposed to be a fun teacher! But they need to know I mean business before we can start having fun together. This means missing playtimes (how I hate that!), sending children to a different class even when they beg to have yet another chance and don't want to miss their favourite lesson but don't deserve it, and being boring!
    It is hard, but the children will respect you in the end. Be firm and fair, do smile but let them know you mean what you say!
    Good luck. I know how hard it can be. All I can say is, I've had some interesting classes before and they've given me some very useful behaviour management techniques that I can now call on. After this year, you too will have an arsenal of strategies that will help in the future!
    If I can help, do get in touch! [​IMG]

  6. Hmm I think my main problem is not being calm enough. I have tried to not shout as I know the best thing is to save it so when you do shout it puts the fear of God into them. I think I need to be a bit of a calming influence as many of the children in my class are so used to shouting and raised voices at home, I don't think it makes much impact when I do it. Plus I'm just going to loose my voice!
    I'm also very aware that I am the only NQT in the school and I think that if I have to resort to time outs or sending individuals to other classes then the other teachers won't think I can handle my class properly, especially as they all say what a lovely bunch I have (dread to think what the rest of the classes are like!) But of course, if i don't do those things, then I won't be able to handle my class and the other staff will be right in thinking that of me. The staff are all so lovely and supportive, I know they won't mind if I do start sending children out but I think I find it hard admitting that I'm finding them very hard work and that I need help. Tuesday morning, for example, I was dreading coming into school and I haven't told anybody, just put a brave face on which, months down the line, no one will thank me for!
    But anyway, thanks for the advice, most most helpful!

    Yes, I cannot spell. In fact, I gained a reputation very early on in my training, my first placement in year 6, for being a rubbish speller. I only realised I had when a child came up and said "Miss Craft how do you spell.....oh never mind." then promptly went to get a dictionary! Plus side, I never got the annoying "how do you spell this" every 5 minutes!
  7. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Crafty, you definitely musn't be afraid of asking for help. Even several years in, I send children to senior teachers more than I like at the moment, because they're still getting used to how I work! With any luck, they will get fed up of missing interesting lessons with their peers, so will settle down a lot more. There are plenty of other experienced teachers who openly discuss difficulties they have, it's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about!
    Don't let yourself do it alone! Teaching is quite a lonely job, in that you can be in your room with the kids all day and barely see another adult. So ask people for advice and try things out! Just make sure you try things for a few weeks, don't expect things to work straight away.
    Hope my advice helps. It is a tough job sometimes, definitely!
    I didn't mean it to sound patronising, so I hope it didn't. I just wanted to point it out nicely!

  8. I knew you weren't patronising, no worries. It's hard to get inflection across typing! People have seemed to enjoy my story of the day I got dismissed by a 10 year old!
  9. Hi
    Another NQT here! I too have a lovely but noisy class. I asked the children to bring in their favourite CD (as long as it's suitable for school!) and I play these really low and the children have to be fairly quiet to hear it. They ask me to turn it up and I tell them if they keep the noise down they will hear it fine. Has worked really well so far.

  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I am not an NQT, but I have been a Year 5 teacher since 2001.
    Yes, some classes can be noisy, but we should make a distinction between productive, helpful noise that is related to the work that they are doing and noise that is just worthless, useless racket. Most of the time I want my students to talk MORE, not less, but it must be focused on the curriculum. Sometimes good lessons are noisy lessons and they always will be. Just because the class is quiet does not necessarily mean that they are learning anything.
    One of the few worthwhile things that I took away from my PGCE course, back in the early 14th century, was the lovely phrase "Catch them being good." Don't give attention to the ones who are misbehaving. Instead, make a big fuss of the ones who are doing what you want them to do, even if they are being a bit noisy!
    Of course the best way to get a noisy pupil to be quiet is to say, "Well, you obviously know all about this and so you can explain it to the rest of the class." It's an old one, but a good one.

  11. Definitely ask for help and do not put a brave face on. I made that mistake and regret it. Yes it's hard to admit that things are not going well but it's much better to do it now so that people can help than let things slide. If you are dreading coming to school it's time to take action-and it will get better. I speak from experience! Good luck!
  12. Thank you for posting this. I am an NQT with a very noisy Year 5 class, so loud my class is getting a bad rep. :-( I am certainly going to have a go at some of these posted tips. Love the kids favourite music turned down, just hope my school ok's it. I think my problem is that I am too nice, but I have also found myself shouting too much, lost my voice yesterday.
    I started keeping my class in at breaks minute by minute, but then SLT ticked me off for it, so that plan died.
    P.S I am also dreadful at spelling. But means my class will be excellent at using dictionaries.
  13. I'm an NQT in a year 4/5 class and they are pretty good noise wise, although they have their off lessons!! I'm not sure how much is my management of them and how much is them naturally though!
    Putting quiet music on is great, my preference though for lessons where they are not having to think TOO hard is to put on an audio book - we are listening to The Secret Garden at the moment and the kids love it. The room falls silent and anyone talking gets shusshed by someone on the table, bonus!! Obviously not suitable for an intense maths lesson, but it works well in subjects like art.
    My personal style for noise management is to set the level required/allowed, then give them two reminders maximum in the lesson. They know that working in total silence comes next and offenders talking when silent working get a sanction. Obviously there are positive elements too but I think you have to be firm stuff like this or everything else becomes a struggle and gets stressful!

  14. How can they stop you from keeping them in at break? That sounds really weird, I have loads of mine staying in at break for time they owe me - they hate it cuz they can't play with their friends! That really takes some power away doesn't it? :/ could you take golden time time away instead? (if they have it) x
  15. TEACHER16

    TEACHER16 New commenter

    I also have the same problem. I find it hard asking for help and advice too because I feel the other teachers / heads may feel you do not know what you are doing. I think its hard also incase they think you should know it.
    I want to become a calmer teacher and try to remain calm when the class do begin to play up. Any advice?
  16. This has happened to me also, a parent complained because their child with a 'heightened sense of justice' was upset that the whole class was being kept in.
  17. Thanks for all the great advice. I'm trying the music as of tomorrow, I have allowed them to bring in what the want (although I will check if I think it's appropriate to be played first!). And to reply to an earlier posting, it's not constructive working chatter, it's silly, pushing eachother and shouting at eachother and telling other children that they'd like to kill them.
    I think the thing which has worked the best so far is:
    1.being very positive and upbeat about everything. this had seemed to rub off on them and then they stop misbehaving and turn that energy into being excited about learning. This was evident yestarday when I did handwriting practice. (which I was dreading for fear of certain individuals kicking off about it.) And because I was so excited and enthusiastic and kept the pace fast, not only did they do handwriting for a hour(!) but didn't want to stop and wanted to carry on after break!! It is, however very tiring being so excited all day!
    2. Being stlightly strange can confuse them into behaving. I have noticed that when I act a bit odd and reply to fairly normal questions in a strange way, they're not quite sure what I've said so can't react badly and just sit there in slightly stunned silence by which time I've praised them for sitting nicely and they get the message that they can get rewarded for sitting well and so continue to do so. Example, there's a key stuck on the whiteboard and no-one know what it's for so when one of the children asked me what it was I told them it was the key to the universe and in no circumstances must the touch it or else the universe would emplode. That confused him so he just sat down!
    Problem by no means solved but I'm getting there, this week has been a turning point.

  18. Little b***ers today... grrrrr......
  19. You should by now know who your instincts are telling you are the ringleaders. Start a war of attrition with them. Deep down you know who the culprits are. Once you divide out the few that are the leaders, use sanctions utterly relentlessly to drive the message home you are the adult and therefore the alpha person in the group. They can't complain - they know fine well what is expected of them. Smile confidently at them at all times.
    The rest of the class - the vast majority - will be passive and bow to your authority easily if you do this, I promise. They won't if they see upstarts getting one over on you.
    Work out their personalities.
    Divide and conquer!
  20. Think about this sort of class as a tug-o-war of wills with you at one end of the rope and 4 or 5 ringleaders on the other. The rest of the class are mere spectators, hedging their bets whom to give their alliegence to
    Even just a sneaky comment that goes unpunished to the ringleaders pulls you closer to the middle. Sanctions pull you back.


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