Controlling the Volume in the Classroom

12/01/2016 / Leave a Comment
I am not a silent person, pretty much ever. I have always been a bit of a chatterbox, and that is probably the reason why I do not mind a chatty classroom. I could not make it through the day without talking to the people in my life, and I certainly do not expect them to be silent throughout the majority of the day.


Of course, there are times when silence, or at least quiet voices are essential. We have a few systems in place to help us manage these times.

After the first 2 weeks of school, I read one of my favorite books, Decibella and her 6-Inch Voice by Julia Cook.
It is a great real world explanation of exactly what voices you should use in school - and in life!

We read this book everyday for the entire week, talking in detail about what the best voice volumes are for school.

Then I introduce them to this chart.
We display ours on the board where everyone can see it. This year I used my Scholastic points to get some arrow magnets.

This makes it easy for all of my students to change the voice level when a new subject calls for a volume change.

We use the table talk during snack.

6 inch is for center times.
Whisper is for independent reading and writing times.
We joke a lot about how you will never see it on outside voice - since we never use it unless we are outside!

Too Noisy is one of our favorite classroom apps. I put it on my iPad whenever we need a really quiet room.  It has 3 screens:
 Blue screen means they are using the right voice level.
The yellowish sky and scared face give them a visual of the noise level increasing.
The black sky, sad face combo shows them when it has gotten out of control. We don't have this happen very often, but we talk A LOT about only making appropriate noises in the classroom. You will always have a kid or two who think it is funny to make it creep up!

We try to keep our red sensor between the blue sky and green hill. This allows them to chat, but keeps it so it does not move to a yellow background. They can still here my voice and can concentrate on what they are working on. Click here to try it out!

If you would like to use my voice level chart, click here to download this freebie from my TpT shop!

How do you control the volume in your classroom?

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