Conquering noisy classrooms

Sian Evans
25th September 2017
Traffic lights representing the a common noise control system

Practical resources and top techniques for reducing noise during lessons 

Getting your class to settle down, and addressing constant low-level disruption, is part and parcel of delivering a successful lesson. To support your existing classroom management strategies, check out this selection of posters, presentations and video tips that can be used with learners of all ages.

Displays and charts   

To facilitate seamless transitions between and during activities, why not try this traffic light presentation, which uses red, amber and green to make your expectations clear to the whole class? Alternatively, this colourful poster is ideal for controlling the amount of conversation that learners should be having per activity.

Use this simple class sound meter to build pupils’ awareness of appropriate volume, ranging from silence to too loud. Similarly, this handy wall display will allow you to demonstrate to your class the level of noise expected of them.
 

Traffic Lights

A PowerPoint version of the classroom traffic light that you can copy across to your own PowerPoint presentations. Originally intended for behaviour management but can be adapted for use anywhere.
By drhellyer

Noise level poster

A poster to desplay in classroom to help control noise level, use the arrow to show children the level you expect and to ask pupils to select appropriate level for the class and certain times.
By TwinkleTwinkleLittleStar

Class sound meter

This is a sound meter to build children's awareness of appropriate noise levels, and to manage these noise levels. You can use the arrow to either indicate to the children which sound level you want them to work at, or to show them what sound level they are currently at. I have attached both a PowerPoint and jpeg version of the resource. This resource works best laminated, and with the arrow attached by a split pin. You can also modify the wording for each level on the PowerPoint version of this resource should you wish to personalise this sound meter to your specific classroom needs.
By mrcarter78

Classroom Noise Level Meter

For any age range - I have made this for my secondary Art classroom.
Just print off, cut out and stick to the board / wall wherever you have space!
I use a clothes peg to show where the noise level should be, and point to where it is if it's too noisy in the class.
By emily_fitch

Tips and techniques

Re-capture your students’ attention with this 60-second countdown, which gives learners a deadline for reducing the amount of chatter. Further encourage students to take responsibility for their noise levels with this fun activity.

Watch this short clip about overcoming low-level disruption for tips on establishing clear boundaries. For even more techniques, this comprehensive video case study looks at how using clear instructions, time targets and non-verbal signals can make a difference.
 

60 Second Timer

A powerpoint show to count down from 60 to 0. Useful for the start of the lesson, gets the students settled without you having to do too much shouting! Makes noises on every slide, and an explosion noise when the timer ends.
By emilyc25

Can I have your attention, please?

This activity is designed in mind for a class who are chirpy chatterboxes and need a fun, yet effective, way of listening and focusing when someone is speaking to the whole class. It allows the pupils to take ownership and become more responsible. I would be interested in knowing how your pupils reacted to it.
By chocolatchaud

Low-level disruption

Tom Bennett, TES behaviour adviser, demonstrates how a clear, consistent behaviour policy can stop chatting, humming and other low-level disruptions derailing your lesson. This video is part of a series on behaviour management strategies. Find more here: http://www.tes.co.uk/classroom-management
By Tes Resources Team

Teachers TV: Class Management: Make Yourself Heard

In ‘Manage that Class with Sue Cowley’, the behaviour guru coaches a Year 4 teacher on managing class noise levels by using clear instructions, time targets, and varying the teacher's voice level.

Sue Cowley observes a 3D shapes lesson via hidden cameras taught by E&'Van Tsang at Greenholm Primary in Birmingham. She is able to coach her about keeping noise levels down throughout the Year 4 lesson via a concealed earpiece.

Sue suggests using instructions rather than questions, setting time targets, getting children more actively involved and using non-verbal signs.

By Teachers TV

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