In the last few months I’ve added some blogs to my “classroom management” series. They’ve all been strategies I’ve learned either from my coach or my students since I started working at Bricolage. First, I explained what hand signals we use to quickly signal when kiddos need bathroom or water. I love the beauty of quickly nodding to a child or doing a lightening fast silent acknowledgment, and that student knowing they can go take care of what they need. It keeps my class in the TL and on track.
Next, I explained how I have implemented Habits of Discussion, or silent signals to help students communicate with me without blurting out so much… it also scaffolds output for students who tend to wait a while before they start “speaking” but it still lets me learn lots about them. Today, thanks to my patrons who voted on me writing this blog, I am talking about voice levels. Y’all, I had NO idea I needed these in my teaching life until I arrived at Bricolage and had my mind blown. Voice levels are ONE important piece to giving your students CRYSTAL clear instructions. Believe it or not, you can take care of the MAJORITY of your behavior problems through
- SLOWING down (in our classes, I’ve found the #1 reason for students NOT doing what I want them to do is that they aren’t comprehending the input, the best way to get them there is to make sure I am going SLOW enough for them)
- Clear instructions! The number one reason students misbehave is actually: INCOMPETENCE- Students do not COMPREHEND the instructions or directions given to them
- Level 0– SILENT
- Level 1– Pair work- Your voice is at a level where only the person next to you can hear what you’re saying. Teacher and students can see you’re talking but don’t know what you’re talking about unless we are right next to you
- Level 2– Group work- Your voice is at a level where the friends and peers around you can hear what you’re saying in a group of 5-6 people. When you raise your hand and speak to the class, this is the level you use
- Level 3– Presentation voice- (which since my kids never present to the class, I called this OUTSIDE voice) When you’re playing at recess or you’re at a football game cheering on your team, THIS Is the voice you use. It is your power voice. It will RARELY if EVER be used in the classroom (because the LA teacher next door will get me fired…not really… but I make up a white lie like that to make them chuckle…)