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A class of whisperers and chatterers


c green

Can someone give me suggestions for after the break, getting a class to QUIET THE HECK DOWN?

I have two groups. One I am controlling right now by main force. The other is a much stronger academic group, but still prone to insolence, not-getting-it, being unprepared, arguing, and reacting to assignments with 'I don't want to'.

They are also prone to TALKING. A LOT. They will start talking almost on a dime, and talk constantly. During tests. While I am talking. Whenever.

Has anyone got ideas? These are basically good kids. They really do NOT get it. If I enforce talking violations like I enforce my other stuff (5 incrasing consequences), I'll have fifteen kids on referral every day. They do not really learn from repeated warnings, or from examples. They think silent reading is a time to socialize. I'm frustrated. These are intermediate ESL students, of middle school age.

Ideas? I don't want to make the classroom unpleasant, but they do not realize that they have to mind. I get really aggravated at times. I will speak to them repeatedly about their behavior, and they usually start up again the second I stop speaking. Sometimes before. A kid will get out of his seat, go across the room, and stand talking to a friend. I tell them they're out of their seat, and they stare at me and say "But I'm just telling him something. Ideas? I want to make a fresh start after the holidays, but I'm not sure what on earth to do.

Abu Idris

New Member

I have found that writing lines is an effective way for the hand to teach the mouth how to be quiet.

Depending on the grade level I start out at 75x. for grade 5. and 100x for gr.6 and up for 7 & 8.

I tell them that if they "get sick" its still due, but its due on their lunch break. Or if they dont bring it its automatically doubled to 150 or 200, etc. and then doubled again.

Dont worry if it seems its not effective, because after 1-3x in class during the break or recess and he/she is writing, you'll find they start to comply.

I have found that the "Pressure Points" are PE and Recess/lunch. They LIVE for that, if you take that away, then what's left?

Start out simple "I will be quiet". For upper grades, "I will be quiet when my teacher is talking in class" 100x,

You can also have the lines signed by the parent(go for the parent who is the firmest) If they dont turn it in, call the house tell them he was supposed to turn in the lines and that it is treated as a writing assignment and he will/will not recieve a grade if its not done.(and mean that)

If they become Immune to the lines, start giving textbook pages usually 2 nice heavy pages written about 5 x aughta do it. Be consistent and tell them you wont let up until they finish it. This will also serve as a deterent for the rest.


I have had the same problem and it always works for me.

Also, if you have a kid that wont stop talking to the other one, go for the kid who's weaker and put the pressure on them i.e, the You can do better speach", "I expect more from YOU", call his parent more often and give the same speech at a PTC. You'll see that the weaker kid will begin to shy away.

The stronger kid will lose his hold gradually.

Also tell them when they write dont write like this:


NO tell them long hand "I will be quiet" you'll be able to tell if they do it. The whole idea is to make it as unconfortable for them as possible.

When they finally finish, ask them "Which one was easier, being quiet or writing lines"? You know the answer you'll get.

Hope that helped...sorry sooo long.


Junior Member
Call their parents.

What grade? I would call a few parents first. Use the worst offenders as examples. If it still doesn't improve, call more parents.


Senior Member
I teach middle school. I do NOT teach when students talk. I simply stop. When they come in the classroom I have bell work on the board to be done in their notebooks. I collect them once a week and give them a grade - usually for completeness. On the board are also my objectives for the day and the last thing I write is "assignment". I plan my period so that they could theoretically get the assignment completed, or almost completed in class. The rule is - whatever doesn't get done in class gets done as homework. If I did not have a written assignment planned, I'll make one up based on the days lesson if we run out of time due to behavior issues. If it involves reading - a quiz on that reading is the order of business the next day. When students do not have their assignments done, I e-mail or call the parents THAT DAY. For the most part this has been VERY effective for me.

Do you have a classroom procedures plan in place? If so, do you follow it consistently? If not, put one together over Christmas Break. For some good examples read Harry Wong's "First Days of School" or read his columns at this site: http://teachers.net/wong/

On the first day back from school, go over it and practice it. Have a copy for each student. When a procedure - ANY procedure - is not followed, you stop and practice it. What you do not finish in class becomes homework. The time you take to do this the first week or so will save you a LOT of time in the long run.
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Paula C.

Special Ed Tchr

Hey, I have the same problem. I started a behavior chart with 1/2 increments. I have three columns. A happy face, straight face, and sad face. Each child has a behavior goal. Two goals at the most. My problem is the talking and getting out of the seat with out permission. If the child stay's in their seat or does not talk during the half hour that I observe, the child is rewarded with something. I use classroom supplies, and classroom activities. No candy or food. Each behavior you observe needs a reachable goal of "I can get 5 out of 10 happy faces." See the below for an example.

8:30 - 9:00 Happy face Straight face sad face

Behavior goal: I will stay in my seat.
Target goal: I will earn 5 happy faces.
Circle One: Goal Meet Goal not Meet Reward:Caught good pencil.

Do this for every half hour of the day. Including recess, lunch, & all specials.

For group. You can do the the same thing. If the volume level reaches to high first give a warning. Then second time you do not add the happy face to the blackboard. The goal of the class is to reach 5 or 6 out of 10 half hours. Etc. Be creative. Make it positive. Do not taking away the happy faces they have already earned. Give a daily reward. for individuals. do a weekly reward system for the whole class. I may take a few tries. Stick to your system and don't waiver. 1st time warning, second time consequence. thrid time -write a referral to the principal for continued disobeidence of teacher directions. They will get the hint. If you want any more advice. Contact me via email. pkcram@iwest.k12.il.us.


Chatty class

Lastly, I suggest you give them an independent, assignment that they have to do in their seats when they return from another class or recess. I taught a high school Resource class and I used to start my classes with a warm up on the overhead projector. When the students entered the room, I had the overhead turned on and I was standing in front of the class. I started on time, regardless of whether or not the students were in their seats. If they weren't in their seats when I started, I wrote down their names and they were either marked tardy or got some kind of consequence. They learned the routine very quickly, and even those who didn't want to work got in their seats quickly because they didn't want the consequence. The light on the overhead helped focus their attention to the front of the room, and the noise of the fan on the projector helped deter them from talking to each other. It worked like magic for getting my classes started smoothly. A bell, chimes, clap, or other non-verbal signal can also help, but I strongly suggest you establish a clear routine for the end of transition times and use the non-verbal signals for other times.