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Too Noisy During Centers


Senior Member
I have 30 students in my class and I'm having a problem with the noise level at centers while I'm meeting with my guided reading groups. It's not that they are yelling, but with all of them talking it gets pretty noisy. Any suggestions??


If you have a fun activity like Free Choice at the end of the day, write that on the board in large letters. Whenever it gets so loud that you have to stop teaching to redirect the class, flip the lights on and off, remind the students to use quiet voices (preteach what this involves, talking about the difference between a close voice and a far-away voice, and reminding students that we can only speak quietly to those close to us during Centers), and erase a letter. Every letter is 30 seconds to a minute off Free Choice, and they spend that time quietly looking at a timer on the rug, then talking briefly about how to make things go better next time.

You can also look into a Yakker Tracker, but I have too many kids who would enjoy setting that off...


Senior Member
30 students

Just wanted to add that, I imagine you have tried many wonderful strategies. You have 30 students...a 30 kid purr is going to sound like a roar and 30 whispers is going to sound like a hurricane wind blowing by!!! Why is it that there are schools that have 30 students in one classroom. CRIMINAL. Report cards and parent conferences must take months alone!!! Anyway...

How many kids do you have at each center? Could you make one more group so the center teams are smaller?

Can you always have a listening center and computer literacy game going so some kids are wearing earphones and not talking at all?

Maybe you could have a reward system for a while around this so your kids could focus on it:

After each reading group, if the rest of the class was quiet, you fill in a star. After a pre agreed upon numbers of stars are filled in, the class earns a prize. Start big and brainstorm prizes as a class...pizza party, class pet like some hermit crabs, field trip, extra recess, or lunch in classroom with teacher. <!--leaves_fall-->


Senior Member
Thanks for the ideas - i think I will try some sort of group incentive - I hadn't even thought of that & it seems so obvious. I have 8 centers so my groups are no larger than 4 students. I do use a listening center each day, and am waiting for my computer to be fixed. So hopefully when I can open my computer center that alleviate a little more of the noise. You are right though - 30 kids is criminal, especially in kindergarten and with that many little ones there will always be a certain amount of noise. Thanks for the tip!! :)


You could also try playing classical music (or other type of soothing music) quietly and requiring that students have to be able to hear the music. Of course adding noise might not be the best solution... :)


New Member
Music Box

I have a music box on my desk. Every Monday I wind it up all the way. If they get too loud I open it up until they quiet down. On Friday I open it up and if it still has music they get extra recess or free center time.