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talking 1st graders


New Member
I have a large class of 1st graders-24 students. They are a very talkative bunch, I have to tell them to be quite during transition times, etc...also very loud during centers-no matter the center-even listening! I'm doing reading groups during this time and I can't hear my group! I'm constantly correcting them about the talking. Help! I have the "How am I doing today" chart with the colored cards and those work, but not for long.


Senior Member
talkative 1st graders

I had a VERY talkative group last year. This year's group likes to talk, but so far have been better about not talking every single second (knock on wood)! Any way, I use several different methods to quiet my talkers and it seems to work pretty well. First, thing I try is counting in a firm voice. My kids know the second they here me say "one" that voices are off. Also, I have a call bell that I ring if my group is too loud. The bell (which I just purchased this year) has worked wonderful so far! If individual kids are talking after I have given my warning, they have their behavior chart on their desk X'd for "I know when to be quiet." Each X they get is worth 5 minutes of lost recess and it also goes home at the end of the week for parents to see how they have behaved in class. I have more things I do, but right now can't seem to think. If I can remember more, I will post again.


Senior Member
Talk, Talk, Talk!!!!

I have 32 now! It's a lot of first graders who are just naturally social but this group seems extra loud! Today my day was better then it has been but I did resort to bribes! ( Let's just call it positive reinforcement!) This is what I did. I wrote each child's name on a popscicle stick and put them in a cup. Before each transition time I pulled two sticks from the cup but did not tell them whos name was on the sticks. I told them I was watching to see if the two mystery people could follow directions quickly and quietly. If they could remain quiet and ready until everybody was ready then I would tell them who the mystery people were and if they had done a good job they could come and get a treat from the treat bucket. They all tried their best each time with the hope that they were the mystery person. It worked today.....I have a feeling though with this group I am going to have to come up with a different stratagy for each day of the week to keep their interest and spirits up. I also use a card system for those who need consequences for their behavior!


Full Member

Wow 32 Grade 1's :eek: I won't complain about my 28 grade 3's now!

I taught grade 1 for the past 10 years and I did have some chatty groups. I do think change and keeping it interesting and almost like a game or challenge is often the easiest route to go.

During centers I like to play music - I remind them that if they can't hear the music they are being too loud. We also practice a lot during the first week with quiet (whispering voices) vs. outside voices. I think when they practice it over and over they begin to just use those quiet voice more automatically.

A noise maker (as the other poster described) is a good attention getter as well as reminder.

The mystery students is great for many areas - walking in line quietly, etc.,

What I have also done in the past during centers is to shut down a center after the second warning. If it is a center that is popular they tend to be much better behaved when I bring it out for a second try the next day.

Have fun and don't let them wear you out! :p


Junior Member
make a talking time

brainstorm a bunch of things they like to talk about, then set a time, preferably right before or right after you need the quiet. Set that as the BIG talking time, and then really be strict about the rest of the times.


Full Member

I also had a very, very, very talkative bunch this year. I can kind of handle talking, but they almost screamed at each other, even when they were right across the table from each other! I think part of their loudness was due to my loudness. It was my first year teaching and I didn't have the experience to know all the god tricks to get them to quiet down. I tended to use my voice to quiet them down and that did NOT work! They just got louder. I tried the Give me Five Harry Wong thing, but the kids just didn't respond well to that. I plan on changing things this year. I was told by my principal and mentor teacher that I was too nice. Normally, that is a great quality to have. As the year went on, I realized that quality doesn't fit well in the classroom. Unfortunatley, my kids knew which buttons to push, and I struggled to gain their respect. I am going to start out tougher this year. I can always slack off some if I need to, but I cannot build back up. We attended an in-service at the end of May by Jonas Basom, author of the Drama Game File. I really did not want to go, because that title of the PD had drama in it and I am not into drama at all and certainly don't have time to teach it. Well, I got dragged into going, and was so glad that I went. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak or use his product, you will be thrilled. Anyway, I learned so much about classroom management from him. He uses themes of drama all throughout, but you do not have to know anything about drama to use it. One technique he used was shaking a tamborine. His students knew that whenever they heard the tamborine shake, they had to stop and get quiet right away. I can't wait to buy myself a tamborine and use it this year. I think it will be a wonderful tool whether I have a quiet or loud class. I think starting out with a much bigger emphasis on procedures from the first day will make a world of difference. If you get a chance, check out Jonas' site at www.dramaed.net.




I teach at an Alternative School and my students are a intellectual, rambunctious group. They have a lot to say at all times of the day and I'm at a place where I prefer a whisper over wild outbursts because silence is virtually impossible. I think your idea is brilliant, but my method of delivery would have to be unspoken so that this privilege is not abused by my emotional geniuses. This is a good classroom management skill because students will respect that there's a structure and may end up viewing talking time as a reward for adhering to that structure. Thanks for posting!