Sunday, April 1, 2012

Solutions for chatterboxes

This year I have a group of talkers. On top of that, I have 5 students with emotional/behavioral issues and special plans. These 5 students all have issues with outbursts, yelling, arguing and loud disruptive behavior.

The rest of my students just love to talk. This is great when they are talking about work and on task, but not so great if they are getting off topic or not raising their hands. They talk all the time . . . and it has been quite the challenge at times. I've tried a bunch of different techniques, but have finally found something that really makes a difference.

Before implementing the technique, I was easily having 19 interruptions of students shouting out in ten minutes. (I know this is a really bad number. I was a bit dismayed when I took the data, but I guess there was no where to go but up!)I realized, that was every 30 seconds someone was saying something!

After using this new technique, that number is down to 3! That is what I call an improvement.

The idea came from Whole Brain Teaching. I now have my students rehearse the rule in the morning. (It is rule #2).

I say: "Rule #2"
Students say: "Rule 2 - Raise your hand for permission to speak."

Now, when a student talks out of turn, instead of nagging or reminding, I say "Rule #2." This means that the whole class should say, "Rule 2 - Raise your hand for permission to speak." (Now, if the class does not say the rule, or is weak in how they say it, I earn a point. If they do a good job, they earn a point. The points are not for anything in particular - just to keep them motivated.)

The first day we did this, I think the class must have said the rule 50 times! But, by day 2, the number of talk outs decreased dramatically. Now that the class is not talking out so much, it is much more fun for everyone.

Online classes I offer for teachers through

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  1. Don't you love it! I used the WBT rules with my Grade 10 class last student teaching and it was amazing but have held back this placement with my Grade 5s. I only teach one class a day with them and the rest I am observing. I was apprehensive about incorporating rules that are different from my teacher's since he is still teaching them the remaining 7 classes of the day! I am using other bits and pieces of WBT though and they love it :)
    I'm so glad that it worked so well for your class

  2. I love this idea! I'm going to share this with some teacher friends and talk about implementing this next year in a class I'm currently co-teaching. Great tip, thanks for sharing.