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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

What is your best advice to get students attention and keeping them quiet?

What is your best advice to get students attention and keeping them quiet?

Related Tags: Classroom Management
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21 Replies 2865 Views
I am having difficulty getting students attention and keeping them quiet. I have tried many different techniques i.e, 123 eyes on me..(singing)We were talking now lets stop. What is your best advice to get students attention and keeping them quiet?

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Rebecca vallejo's picture

Most of the time I find that when students talk during a lesson it is that they don't understand what it is you want them to do. I take the time to give them an opportunity to let me know what it is they don't understand. That way students know that you are aware of the difficulty of the task. I will then try and either solve or answer the question. If you show them the steps they need to follow to complete a task, be it math, science or Language, they will see that you are there to teach them, if you give them time to complete one or two on their own, they will become self sufficient, quiet and often help each other solve the problem. Repeat steps one and two, until mastery is achieved. Next time they will work quietly.

Dennis Pack's picture

Have you thought about the RELEVANCE TO THE STUDENT of what you are trying to teach them? Try to connect your content to their life worlds ... if you can't you should question why you are teaching it. If the reason is "because you'll need it next year" ... teach it next year!
It's time we stopped trying to fill their heads with crap that is no longer relevant ... there is plenty of relevant stuff they could be introduced to.

Dennis Pack's picture

Have all of you looked at your comments?
Does some of it sound like training dogs?
Is that what education is really about?

Rhoonda Howard's picture
Rhoonda Howard
6th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies; 8th Grade Language Arts

>>"Whole Brain Teaching". Chris Biffle is the leader of this program. Believe me, it works and makes my teaching fun for me and beneficial to my students.<<

100% agreement. Amazing!

Pam Espinosa's picture

I'm not sure the goal should always be to keep kids quiet. We do want to teach and practice the signals for various transitions, including keep quiet and listen. Learning for the human brain is a very social experience and ensuring that students have opportunites for collaboration and talk time is critical to their learning. I would make sure there is appropraite talk time built into the lesson even if it is a one minute reflect with your partner and share one idea.
Pam E.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

I agree Dennis- it should be ultimately about getting the kids to see the relevance and importance of what's going on and getting them to buy in. Differentiated Instruction helps with this, as does Backwards design- start with the big idea of the lesson/section and work backwards to design the lessons so kids see not only where you're going but how you're going to get there.
Maslowe's hierarchy of needs states that people need to be assured of food, clothing and shelter before they can concentrate on other issues. Part of the "shelter" piece for teachers is making sure that students feel safe and have a place in the classroom, and don't feel like they are entering a firing squad. Making the classroom a safe place for them to be helps tremendously to abate discipline and crowd control issues.

Resource Specialist's picture

I have found the best way to capture students attention during a lesson is to question THEM; have them offer insight or observations into the lesson. Never do a 'right' or 'wrong' question and encourage the student's participation. The more they can show what they know, the more engaged they become. Movement is essential, lots of visuals and hands on artifacts; remember any hands on artifacts will result in some talking but as long as it refers to the topic or artifact, it is enriching the classroom. Also, veteran teachers always know that to start a lesson. first step is review of the background knowledge (perhaps see how much the students recall from prior lesson). Scaffolding is key, make it a group project. Rather than candy (which irritates parents) or food products (so many children have allergies), I agree that giving out simple little gifts for incentives is good. It could be as simple as putting a star after a childs name on a chart, to handing out stickers, pencils or erasers.

ardiecole@aol.com's picture

When it seems like you are losing the group (any age), invite them to go "knee to knee, eye to eye" and tell their partner what they are wondering. For more on this structure, as well as, piggybacking, responses, etc. see Chap. 2 of KNEE TO KNEE, EYE TO EYE. Let go! Let kids!

nili frank's picture
nili frank
English teacher from Israel

you are amazing and you gave me many ideas!
thank you
nili

Dennis Pack's picture

[quote] it should be ultimately about getting the kids to see the relevance and importance of what's going on and getting them to buy in. [/quote
Close, but I have to disagree just a bit ... WE should be making sure what we do IS relevant to the kids life worlds ... not trying to get them to see relevance. Make it relate directly to them. I think it is US that needs to "buy in" to their world.

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