By Teachers, For Teachers
What do you do when a student interrupts your lesson? Do you carry on with the lesson and ignore them, or do you stop what you are doing an address the student? Teachers use a variety of different classroom management strategies to control blurt-outs and other classroom disruptions. Each teacher usually has her own classroom management way of dealing with these types of situations. However, there are a few strategies that have been known to be effective in stopping classroom blurt-outs. Here are five of the top classroom management teacher-tested tips.
First and foremost, you as the teacher set the tone for the classroom. If the students see that you are letting them get away with blurting out during class and interrupting others, then they will continue to do so. Setting the tone means creating the initial impression that the students get when they walk into the classroom. Essentially, it’s the feeling or the mood that they get. If the students see that you are a pushover, then they will take full advantage of that. Set a positive tone by being confident, clear, calm, and likeable, all while maintaining control of the classroom.
When it comes to effective classroom management, you must clearly define your expectations as well as model what the expected behavior should look like. If you expect your students to not disrupt you when you are teaching, then you need to define and show then what they looks like, as well as show them what it should not look like. For example, ask for a volunteer to come up to the front of the classroom and explain how to do a math problem. Quickly take that child’s seat, and as they start speaking, interrupt them to show the students what they should NOT do while you are teaching. Then, have the child continue to speak and do not blurt out or interrupt the child to show students what they SHOULD be doing while you are teaching. Role-playing is a great way to clearly show the students what you do and do not expect of them.
You may think, “How can I possibly teach a child self-control?” Well, it is possible -- self-control can be learned. Some children may have more trouble than others regulating themselves. But by creating a classroom environment where self-control is rewarded, as well as playing games that practice the skill, students can achieve success. If you want to hinder those pesky classroom blurt-outs, then show students what they can earn in the long run if they are able to have self-control when you are teaching. Play games like the freeze dance game, where students must have self-control. When the music is fast, their brains will tell them to dance fast, but instead tell them to use their self-control to dance slowly when the music is fast. This will really give students a self-regulation workout of the brain.
One of the best ways that you can hinder students from blurting out in class is to have routines for everything. Implement a routine for when you are speaking and someone wants to talk. There are several things that you can do to make blurting out nearly impossible. You can create a signal: Anytime a student wants to talk when you are talking, they can raise their hand and sign the letter “C” to comment or the letter “Q” to ask a question. Another option is to give students a colored flip book to place in the corner of their desks. The book would have three colors: Red, yellow, and green. If they didn’t understand something and had a question, they would change their flip book to red. As you are teaching, you would walk around the classroom and anyone whose book was turned to red, you would take a moment and address their needs.
Consequences are a necessary part of your classroom management plan because it shows the students that when they do not follow your rules and routines, there will be an outcome of action. This is where you will need to make sure that you have set up clear expectations and rules. One of your rules can be, “If someone blurt outs while someone else is talking the consequence will be …” Make sure that these rules are posted in the classroom so if a student claims that they forgot, you can direct them to the poster.
Whether you have been a teacher for 20 years or two years, these classroom management tips can be an effective way to stop classroom blurt-outs. All you have to do is make sure to set a positive tone, clearly define and model your expected behaviors and consequences, teach your students self-control, and make sure you have set up routines for them to follow. When you have done all of these things, you will have controlled the overtalking in your classroom.
How do you stop classroom blurt-outs and interruptions? Do you have any tips or tricks that work for you? Please share in the comment section below.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds master's of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Skyword. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.