September 20, 2015

Shhhh! NOISE Letters in Action

It's hard to believe, but this year marks my 9th year of teaching.

It's crazy how fast the years have flown by and even crazier to think about ALL the different classroom management techniques I have tried over the years.  Some have stood the test of time and some have worked for a moment in time, but they are all part of my toolbox when I get a new crop of kiddos.  

One of my favorite and simplest classroom management strategies involves 5 little letters... NOISE.

It all started with this clever pin a few years ago.

The caption read, "Take away a letter each time the noise level gets too high and when there are no letters left, there is NO talking."  Um.... BRILLIANT! And, oh so simple! I pinned it and then... I promptly forgot about it.

Last year one of the amazingly brilliant woman that I work with used this strategy in her classroom, but I still didn't implement it. Silly, silly me. I didn't realize how much I was missing out until one fateful day.

That day my students came back from a math rotation raving about this super cool thing Mrs. Nash did called NOISE. They wanted to know why we didn't use NOISE and could we start using NOISE and kept saying how awesome Mrs. Nash was for using it. They were hilarious and absolutely right. She is awesome!

So, we started by just writing NOISE out on the white board. You know... just to see how things would go. I had students erase a letter whenever it got too loud.  They LOVED it. I think they felt in control of the situation. While playing games they would remind each other to keep it at a reasonable volume so that the class wouldn't loose a letter. 

It held us all accountable. If I had to ask them to lower their voices, they lost a letter. Clear, plain, and simple. If we lost three letters, no more noise. Depending on the activity no more noise could mean no more activity, no more partner, or just no more talking. It worked like a charm. 

This year, I decided to get fancy, well...fancier. I made my own letters for back to school - Happy Apple Style!

My new crop of kiddos love this technique too.  They have set a goal to never get down to NO.  LOL, I hope they make it. So good. 

Making the NOISE letters was so much fun, I just kept creating. I now have several different sets which are available in my store.

I firmly believe that sometimes the simplest strategies are the very best.  NOISE has been a great addition to my classroom management repertoire and I hope yours too.  Feel free to start trying it out tomorrow and then come back and tell me how it goes!

Happy Teaching,

Note: I have tried to find the original owner of the NOISE letters photo, but the pin links to a BuzzFeed article that just sites Pinterest. Boo! So, if you this is your great idea, please tell me who you are so I can personally thank you for this terrific technique and give credit where credit is due.


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