There are many types of noise in a classroom. There are happy noises, noises of discovery and learning, as well as joyful noises of laughter.
There's that other noise.
The one that travels up the spine and causes Administrators and staff to seek out your classroom to see what the ruckus is. With anything, we believe in planning ahead and yes, planning for quiet times are essential to classroom success. After all, having a few tricks up our sleeve keep us ahead of the game.
Tips to Get Kids From Noisy to Quiet:
Finger Puppets: Have one stashed in cases of emergency. Simply sit in a strategic location and hide the puppet cupped in your hand. Challenge the children to guess what you have. In our twenty years of experience it has always drawn a gaggle of children just itching to know what the surprise is. Invite them to sit with you and only show them the 'surprise' after they have quieted down.
Whispering: Sometimes there is just one excited corner of the room that needs some toning down a bit. We like to quietly walk over and whisper to the group. Something like, "Excuse me, friends, I see your are having fun. We need you to please use your twelve inch voices. Thank you." We do lot's of measuring in our class so the children have a great idea of what it is.
Dead Ants: The children are familiar with what a dead ant looks like. We find them outside, flat on their back, appendages in the air and a slight twitch to a leg or two. I will yell, "DEAD ANTS" over the din and we all drop on the floor twitching. While we are down I congratulate them on a good job and reminder the to use inside voices.
Hushing Songs: As a whole class we begin a circle time and draw them in with tried and true favorite songs. Songs like; BINGO, Twinkle-Twinkle, or Hush Little Baby. Whatever song you choose, make the lyrics get quieter and quieter as you go. We wind up singing the song mouthing the words in the end. It's a very calming circle time and the children love repeats!