"All the noise, noise, noise, noise!"



To quote The Grinch, if there's one thing I really dislike in my classroom it is all the noise. Don't get me wrong... if the noise is on-task, accountable talk, then let it roll; however, if it is social conversation and silliness, during MY instructional time, interrupting the learning opportunities of others, I have little patience!

A while back, I saw a post on Pinterest by Charity at The Organized Classroom. The idea was to use green, yellow and red Solo cups like traffic lights to indicate the "status" of the group work happening in one area of the classroom. When my students begin working, all the cups are green. If noise gets excessive, or if behavior becomes off-task, I switch the cups to yellow (the three colors are stacked together) - this is their warning. Almost all of the time that's the end of it. My kiddos are eager to please and they fix it and get back to work quickly. (Ahhh... I'm smiling!) Occasionally, the silliness and noise continues and the cup is switched to red and consequences are issued.


Take a look at some examples from today...
See the focus in the body language?
... pencils on paper...
...discussing! Working together to solve problems! LOVE IT!!
 Did you spot the green cups?
Now, take a look at a pair having a little difficulty staying focused...
Notice that body language? This group had some trouble making the best use of their time! (Luckily, it didn't take long for them to sort the problem out and get back to work!)
The beauty of this strategy is, I don't have to stop doing anything... I can keep conferencing, keep circulating to listen to kids talking the math problems out, keep TEACHING!! It takes only a second to switch the cups since they are stacked together, AND it didn't cost a fortune!

I love finding or hearing about great ideas like this one from other teachers! Please feel free to share the strategies you use in YOUR classroom!

Happy Wednesday!

12 comments

  1. You are so clever Erin. Can you teach me how to do this at home? :)

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    1. Haha! ;)
      I wish I could take the credit...! The best part is that they actually ASK to have the cups out! They're such great kids!!

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  2. Sometimes I write QUIET on the board. If the class is too noisy I erase a letter. If we lose all letters then we have a consequence if we have the letters (they can earn them back) then we do something fun. Love the cups idea.

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    1. That's a fun idea as well! I could see my group responding to that!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Erin

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  3. I'm not going to be quiet about being your newest follower :)! Stop by anytime! SMILES!

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    1. Awww... you're sweet! Thank you!! And, as a brand-new blogger, I'm appreciative of any noise I can get! ;)

      I'm on my way to check your blog out now!

      Erin

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  4. This is a great idea! I think I will try it out next year. Good find.

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    1. Thanks, Rochelle! My students actually ask to have the cups out on their desks when they are working. They know they may get to "clip up" if they remain green the whole time! So motivated!:)

      ~Erin

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  5. I love it! I'll have to try it out with my Grade 2's. Now, the hard part... trying to find red, yellow, and green colored Solo cups. Not an easy task in Thailand. :-)

    I am so glad I found your blog. I am your newest follower and look forward to reading your future posts.

    Cheers,
    Kate
    Innovate, Create and Relate

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  6. Wow... Thailand?! You've traveled a long way to find me... ;) Hehe. Seriously, I couldn't find them in my area either - actually contacted the company for some help tracking down a retailer in my area that carried the three colors - but a lovely employee (wish I could remember her name) sent them to me!

    Your blog is cute, Kate! I'm following you right back!

    ~Erin

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  7. Cute idea and I just linked up to follow on Bloglovin! :)
    ~Brandee
    Creating Lifelong Learners

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    1. Thanks, Brandee! Glad you're following! :)

      ~Erin

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