Use a traffic light tool to manage classroom noise.
Traffic Lights - This is something I use to keep the noise level of my classroom at an acceptable level.
To introduce the concept, I have a discussion with the students about what the different traffic lights mean (red = stop, yellow = slow down, green = go.) Then I tell them that we'll be using traffic lights in the classroom, not for moving traffic, but for speaking traffic.
Then I ask them "What would it mean if I said 'Red Light'?" The answer would be "No talking." I ask similar questions for yellow and green lights, the answers being that yellow means they can ask questions if they raise their hands, and green means they can talk freely.
After this discussion, when you about to start something, tell the students what kind of light they're at. Ex. If I was going to read a book to them, I'd say "Red Light." Once the story was finished, I'd say "Yellow light" and start a discussion with the class.
As well as verbally telling them which light they're at, I also made a spinner which I posted at the front of the room. I set it to the proper color as a visual reminder to the class.
Submitted by: Patricia Pruim - Iskut, BC, Canada
Playing Music In Class
For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my classroom. I've used it during work time, clean-up/transistion time and during indoor recess. The most important thing I've learned over the years is that I must have a variety of music genres available to play. There are times when you want to have some upbeat tracks, while other times you might need some that are calming. You might even find yourself wanting to use spoken tracks as well. (One of my favorites is s Shel Silverstein Poetry CD that I have.) Music is a great way to manage the noise level and atmosphere of your room while also introducing students to new genres. Please remember that you need to be cognicent of your students' needs. You might discover that some students have a difficult time working while music is playing. You will also want to make sure that you are playing age-appropriate music for your students. Some of today's popular songs contain inappropriate lyrics/messages for younger students. Prior to downloading songs for my classroom last year, I visited CommonSenseMedia.org and browsed their recommended music list.
Depending on your classroom's situation, there are a variety of ways to provide your students with music:
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