I find that my elementary school classes can be a bit noisy. It’s partly because the kids have been in class all day and drawing is after-school enrichment. It’s probably also because I talked a lot in school and I have a relaxed attitude toward letting students converse with their friends. When I was in 3rd grade I had a teacher who sent notes home every week complaining about my mouth. Eventually my parents pulled me out of that Catholic school and sent me to the public school down the street. Luckily the new school had a teacher who saw and supported my interest in drawing and art and I had a much better time.
But now I find I’m on the receiving end of being talked over and ignored by groups of 2nd and 3rd graders. While I hope the kids enjoy my class, I do need to keep it all in check or I wind up with a rising din of noise, distracted students and a bunch of half finished drawings at the end of class.
Charity Preston posts articles and videos for her Organized Classroom blog and the video above outlines her technique of using red, yellow and green cups to keep the noise in check and let the kids know when they’ve become too loud. It seems like a smart method and I’ll have to see if I can make it work.