5 Ways to Get Kids to Be Quiet
Need ways to get kids to be quiet? Whether you are a teacher in a classroom, a scout leader, a club leader, or just a frazzled parent, managing your kids so you can get things done is essential. While the occasional chaos can bring joy and giggles, it is not overly productive so the challenge becomes how to both maintain control while still having fun. Here are 5 easy tips to help maintain order for a more enjoyable and productive class or meeting.
1. Get the wiggles out. If kids have pent up energy, it is difficult to get them to focus long enough to calm down, so give them a chance to be loud and get the wiggles out before you ask them to quiet down. Spend 10 minutes singing action songs such as Boom Chica Boom or playing a game such as Simon Says. If you have access to good sized computer monitor the GoNoodle website is a great resource for crazy fun action songs and activities. My daughter’s favorite for her first grade class is Roller Coaster. Always finish your activity with the kids sitting in their appropriate seats so you can explain that now that they have gotten their wiggles out it is time to listen.
2. Quiet Sign. Raise your hand and explain to the kids when their hand goes up their mouth go shut. Whenever the kids get too loud and you need their attention, raise your hand and stop talking. Each child must then raise their own hand and must stop talking as well. As more and more hands go up, the classroom should be quieter and quieter until everyone has their hand in the air and no one is talking. Some kids will put their hand in the air and still attempt to finish their conversation. In this case, go stand in front of them with your hand raised and without speaking give them “the look”. You know the one I mean, the look that says, “Your hand is up so why is your mouth not shut?” Patience is key with the quiet sign. Once you raise your hand, do not speak again until every child is silent. If they see you cheat, they will think it is allowed and this technique will not work.
3. Talking Stick. When trying to have a group discussion when everyone wants to talk, bring out a Talking Stick, a decorated stick or wand of some kind. The concept originated with Native Americans and only the person holding the stick may talk. If you have something to say, raise your hand and wait for someone to pass you the stick. Or if everyone needs input simply pass the stick around the circle. Visit the Art Is Basic website for instructions on making your own talking stick.
4. Catch a Bubble. Tell the kids to “catch a bubble” then puff up your cheeks and the kids do the same with their own cheeks (which stops them from talking.) Make eye contact with individual children as needed and tap one of your puffed cheeks as a reminder. Once everyone is quiet, “pop” your bubbles.
5. Clap a Rhythm. Walk over near a few kids and in a calm, normal-volume voice say, ‘Clap twice if you can hear me.’ The few students will clap with you two times. Then, repeat it again but with a different number such as 4 claps. Now, more students are quiet and listening. Calmly repeat (changing the number of claps) until you have the attention of the entire room.
If you are part of the Frontier Girls or Quest Clubs programs, you can also check out our Fruit of the Spirit booklets that will help you teach your kids other character traits to help with their behavior such as Kindness, Gentleness and Self Control.
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