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Should we make children work in silence?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by justbrowsing, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. There's working noise and there's non working noise. Providing you can tell the difference, which I am sure you can, and your children can work in silence if the need arises then I prefer a working a noise!
     
  2. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    You're right and the TA is wrong. I have acheived consistantly high standards for many years of teaching and I swear that the main reason for this is because I allow the children to talk. Just by looking round the class or doing a quick walk I can tell that they are talking about their work, furthering their understanding and raising new questions. Yes-my class has always been the noisiest in the school (I have taught nursery to Y6) but they can't complain - look at the standards.
    Yes, there are times when they are off task and the talking is not related to the work. They need bring back to task then but honestly, this doesn't happen often.
     
  3. Silence is useful if I want to know what children can actually do on their own. Sensible noise level usually means they are working together and a fair bit of peer to peer reinforcement going on (usually a good thing!)
    "Yes, there are times when they are off task and the talking is not related to the work"
    Hmmm.... about 80% of my class will default to using the hubbub to have a natter given the opportunity - If that is happening I demand a bit of silence from everybody.
    I have 2 children who have specific attention problems. Sometimes silence is the only way I can be sure that they can concentrate. For that reason I expect silence for extended writing.
     
  4. Surely there's a place for both?
    I often have my Y5 class working silently, but that is because they are a class with many personalities who find anything other than silence means they cannot fully concentrate on the task in hand. I also feel that working silently is sometimes the best way to ensure total focus and concentration.
    I also often have a VERY noisy class, because I teach using a lot of Paul Ginnis styles like 'Marketplace'.
    I insist on silence (for example) during Guided Reading. How do you manage this?
    I would agree that children should walk quiety down corridors when other children may be working quietly in their classroom. That is just basic manners. Especially as we also have children working one to one with an adult in corridors.
    'Chatting' about work is one thing. 'Chatting' about the results of last weekend's results on 'The Voice' is quite another. I can't help but feel the latter means you aren't getting the best concentration on the task in hand!
     
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    If your class are disturbing another then there is a problem. My class don't work in silence, but they do work quietly enough that they don't disturb other classes. Classes that can be heard miles away are a nuisance to all and I have a lot of sympathy with the TA who is finding it tricky. Doesn't mean your class need to be silent, but they do need to learn to show consideration to others.
    Talking excitedly is not ALWAYS a bad thing at all. But when one class is on their way to an assembly (going past my room) and my class are doing phonics, it is a real nuisance if their teacher does not insist on fairly quiet and orderly movement. Luckily the classes that go past mine are required to show consideration, the poor reception teacher has to put up with pretty much a rabble going past hers.

    Silent working is rarely the best idea, but noise loud enough to be heard in other classrooms wouldn't seem to create the best learning environment either.

    I have sympathy with the views of the TA, but I don't think she should be telling you how to run your class either.
     
  6. Would agree with much of what has been said about the need for talk between children.
    Having said that, I think there is also a time for quiet for children to fully focus on, for example, writing. If they have had Talk for Writing activities, drama, role play etc, there is no harm in insisting on 'hush' to apply the things that have learnt. (I'm talking Year 6).
     
  7. Pageant

    Pageant Occasional commenter

    OP would do well never to apply for a job in an open plan school [​IMG]
    The worst experience I had was in a 'large' room that I shared with a teacher on temporary contract for a term. We both had reception classes in that one room and each of us had over 30 children (in the days before TAs and smaller class sizes).
    She saw no reason why her children shouldn't arrive back from PE in dribs and drabs while she hurried up the slower ones but, she never saw how they barged through the open space next to a Y1 group and then barged into our area and disrupted my class while we were taking advantage of the room to ourselves and doing carpet work. As soon as the first lot rushed back in all my children's attention was gone and focussed on the other class and I had no option other than to start directing her kids until she ambled back.
    Nightmare!
     
  8. Thanks for all your views. I take the point that a balance between the two means all children have a chance to concentrate as many find it hard to work with noise. I might try a bit more silent working next week.
    About the walking down corridors - I'm talking about when the whole school is going to assembly. Also, my class dont actually pass any classes, we go outside to get to the hall. Hence why it has been agravating me a bit as they arent disturbing anybody.
    I dont think my class are so loud they are disturbing the class next door, just that a quite hum can be heard as the class next door (door ways literally next to each other) are silent. If either door was shut you wouldnt be able to hear them so it cant be that loud.
    Its good to get an opinion from both sides - I was quite offended by the TAs comments as I felt it was a dig at my teaching and behaviour management when to me it was simply different styles. But perhaps I took it too personally, I know noise outside a classroom can be disturbing. Perhaps I'll just suggest they shut the door <strike>and get a life, </strike>but I do vow to make more of an effort when moving around school.
     
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I think you are missing the point that it doesn't have to be one or the other. Quiet concentration is perfect really. Loud excited chatter is fine for some tasks. Silence is fine for some tasks. But generally a happy medium is best.
     
  10. I don't think children will do their best individual work in a noisy environment, although it is unavoidable in some situations and year groups. I always insist that the class remain quiet when I am taking a guided reading group, or if possible take the group to a separate area (more practical with younger children).
     

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