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.
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.
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.
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:
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?