Interactive Classrooms

How to handle noise in the classroom

Image of Olivia Hanifan
Olivia Hanifan2019-12-10
It is inevitable that every now and then your classroom may get noisy. Often it is like a domino effect, one starts talking and then like a wave it takes over the entire classroom. The best technique to handle noise is to prevent it from getting noisy in the first place. Easier said than done right? A crucial tip is to not shout even if they get loud, reacting to noise with noise rarely makes anything better. The earlier you set a standard the less your students will question it. This article will give you tips on how to handle a noisy classroom and how to make even the noisiest of students listen.

Start as you mean to go on

It should be very clear that the students know that when they enter the classroom it is time to act in a calm and collected manner, which may be difficult especially if the lesson follows a break or lunchtime. Define your expectations and how you want the class to behave throughout the lesson. Letting them know the lesson plan at the start, and when there will be a time to collaborate and talk with fellow classmates may encourage them to be quiet and focus when needed. Setting the tone for the class will give the students the structure they need to focus and learn, set aside a few minutes to remind the class how they should enter the classroom. If they enter a calm and quiet classroom, it will set the tone and encourage them to keep to that noise level throughout the lesson.

Address students individually and not as a group

When trying to quiet down a noisy classroom, don’t address a whole group, instead focus on a few individual students who are being the noisiest. If you speak to a group, they have power in numbers and often no one takes responsibility and continue to do what they shouldn’t. But by identifying students personally and not as a collective you are much more likely to get results and get them to be quiet as there is more fear that they could get reprimanded. Once some of the main culprits are quiet the rest of the class should quickly follow.

Say things once only

Try and say something to your class only once to encourage them to listen carefully at all times. By repeating what you say you are enabling them to be lazy listeners, as they will learn that they don’t need to listen as you will repeat it a second or third time. The noisy students will soon learn that if they aren’t paying attention they will miss out on what is said and not get the instructions for the task. Make sure to set the standard early and let all the students know early on that you don’t repeat instructions, that is sure to get their attention. Engage your students with these top tips.

Give noisy students more responsibility

By giving some of the noisiest students that drive the disturbance in the classroom something to help with or activity to lead they will feel more responsible and much more likely to concentrate. This will help to cause a ripple effect throughout their fellow classmates causing them to also be quiet and listen.

Encourage active listening

Instilling from a young age key listening skills will greatly help students throughout their academic life. The more they understand and engage in active listening, the more likely they are to pay attention and listen to the teacher in class. For younger students, a great way to practice their listening skills is to play different games such as Simon Say or Popcorn Storytelling. Check out the Menimeter template for more ideas to promote active listening among students.

Active listening

Active listening

Listen More

To promote good listening skills in the classroom, it is important to set an example and model such behaviour. Listening more to your students instead of listening to reply to their question or comment, showing positive body language and actively engaging in what they are saying, shows you care what they say and that you are listening.

Listening is the perfect foundation to build a good teacher-student relationship, more ways to build effective communication check out the article.

Get to know your students

Getting to know your students on a more personal level can support good listening. Research has shown that students are much more likely to listen to a teacher who has taken time to get to know them than one that hasn’t.

Get to know your students’ template!

Get to Know Your Students

Get to Know Your Students

Learn more about how Mentimeter can be used in schools and universities.Mentimeter for Education

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