How Do You Handle a Class Full of Students Who Like to Talk All of the Time

Philippines
January 8, 2008 2:55pm CST
I'm a teacher in training, and I'm trying to come up with some ideas to prevent my students from talking so much and to pay attention. Moreover, I don't like to yell in order to get them to be quiet and behave. Any tips? Thank you!
1 person likes this
21 responses
• Philippines
20 Jan 08
you have to be more exciting.what subject are you teaching anyway?
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
25 Jan 08
while this is true, you have to understand that not every aspect of teaching can be a dog and pony show.
@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
29 Jan 08
When you enter you class and they seem to be still noisy, then stand in front quietly. If they ignore you after a few seconds, talk in a low quite but with conviction that ifthey won't stop talking, you will not discuss their lesson and you expect them to have studied the lesson you will be tackling. The best way to catch the students' attention is to make sure that your visual aids and teaching methods are interesting since some subject and topics are not really that interesting. Even your assessment should be kept interesting so that their attention won't fade. Maintain a class where everyone can participate. When I taught in a freshman class who seem to be addicted on friendster, RPGs and Online games, I tell them stories and make use of those as example or icebreakers. Sometimes you have to get to know them so that youll know what to say that might catch their interest.
@Annakhan (25)
28 Jan 08
hi i m a teacher too n i teach to 7th standard i mean to class 7th n i m a class teacher too n my class is very famous in all over the school that misss anna's class is very talkotive....:)so i treat them like they are my friends n u didnt mention that u teach which class ???which standard ??? n i alwayz ask them that my dear sududern shall i need to deliver a speech on DISCIPLINE so they answer in once NO MAM then after wards they rremain silent n if some of the students still do some misbehave or talkiing or disturbing class so change thier seats ...... i hope u will get benifit from my suggessions if yes so pleaese replay me :)
• Pakistan
27 Jan 08
this is just a trick to handle a student. the first thing is that dont cry with ther studentrs just remain calm and try to nake the attention of the students towards urself by talking to the interests oof the childrten. i think this will be use ful for u alsom thanks a lot Muhammad atif atifshahzad1@yahoo.com
@kiran1978 (4137)
• Australia
25 Jan 08
One of the best strategies I use is a hangman technique. Say your theme for the term was on the environment. Write blank spots on the top of the blackboard to represent the letters of the word environment. Explain to the class that each time the WHOLE class is quiet for ....minutes then you earn a letter to the word environment. When they have all the letters to the word, environment then you can reward them with a game outside or a movie afternoon. It works wonders, best strategy I ever used. Don't make it too easy to earn a letter otherwise you will be giving them reward everyday, lol. This way you do not have to raise your voice, every time you see them quiet for a certain period you simply put a letter up on the board. Hope this helps.
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
25 Jan 08
I did a variety of things. First and foremost, contact the parents...it can't hurt. Even if you have to call every single one of them. It really does make a difference sometimes. Keep detailed notes about each student. I realize that along with teaching, there's not much time to do this. What I did was buy an extra gradebook and create a "code" of sorts. Each symbol represented a different activity. I would mark that code by their name and under that date it was happening on. After the third time, a detention was issued. They continued to be issued until detentions turned into office referrals and then it was the principal's turn to contact the parent. Also, using this system, you have a dated record of each students' behavior. Parents appreciate this because they see you aren't just making up stuff out of frustration, but you have a day to day log of what their student does in class. I taught 6th graders, so one thing I learned was to talk non stop. don't stop talking while they are getting out books or THEY will start talking. They are less likely to start talking if you never stop (though that's not a promise lol) Also, I like to reward them when they've had a great day. Bring them suckers, etc to show them that their good behavior doesn't go unnoticed. I hope this helps...but again, this is with middle school kids. High school students don't respond in the same way, so you have to use more firm techniques.
@Tetchie (2933)
• Australia
22 Jan 08
Maybe if your students are talking all the time, they are disinterested in your class. Sad but common - don't take it too personally. Go totally opposite and make talking a part of your class - how novel. Public speaking is in the top 3 fears people have. How about nipping that in the bud for your kids. If your kids love talking so much, maybe everyday for 10 minutes in the class one child has to talk about something that he/she thinks will be interesting to other class members. Bear in mind that embarrassment while public speaking can cause neurosis in later life! So make sure the space you create is safe on all levels. Using encouragement and not intending to cause embarrassment. If a student makes fun of the speaker or talks while they are speaking, it becomes that student's turn to do better tomorrow. Make it fun and light so fear is not a factor in the process. If kids don't have some level of fun in class, they won't like your class - that's what kids are like. So reaching them on their level at some time in your classes shows that you're not so bad as a person. If they like you as a person then maybe they will have respect too and pay attention to what you have to say and teach.
@kingcrapper (1538)
• United States
21 Jan 08
I love to have the students do alot of group activities and 'active' lessons. Try to create lessons where they would have to discuss...use their skills again them. I have a great econ lesson that the kids eat up because they have to move, they have to socialize.... They are talkative...are they getting their work done though? The best thing about being a teacher (been at it for over 10 years) no matter what...you get a whole new crew the next year! And this year is half over now! :-)
@hysiow (5)
• Singapore
21 Jan 08
It depends on the age group you are teaching, and what subject. You can have a discussion with them relevant to the topic you are teaching, or activities that take their minds off talking. Involve them in the learning, rather than just teaching them. There was a saying... Give a man a fish, he can only eat the fish for a day. Teach him how to fish, he can only eat fish for all his life.(My addition...) But, if you make him learn to fish, he can eat all kinds of seafood for all his life.
• India
10 Jan 08
I can understand ur problem very well, I know it is not an easy task to handle small children but I have a suggestion that u should make yourself cool before asking them to keep Quite. I think that will really help u.
@eyewitness (1577)
• Netherlands
9 Jan 08
Well im a highschool student and when our class is noisy and won't shut up, my teacher just wait till everyone's quiet. Or he tells us he has loads of extra work as punishment for us. The whole class is quiet then. And maybe you can make the lessons more exciting, because the class will talk when the lessons gets too boring to listen to.
• Chile
9 Jan 08
I would try to do some funny things, teaching using games or different things. When I had fun activities at class, I always kept the attention... and other thing that works just fine is separating those who talk a lot; maybe if they sit with no friends near them, they┬┤ll pay more attention at class.. greetings and good luck!!
• Philippines
9 Jan 08
i am a secondary teacher who happens to be in that same situation like you now...well, i do most of the time is give a lot of student activities in order for them to be busy for the whole 50 mins... actually it does work for me and my students... but most of the time when i have to discuss something to them in order for them to know more about my subject well..i make it a point that i have a monitor inside the class who list down all his or her classmate who is not listening and talking instead with somebody... then afterwards i call out their names and announces to the class that they will be the one to polish the floor inside the room though polishing and cleaning our classroom is one of their obligations for it is allowed in our country to assign students as cleaners for the day..
@lucy67 (819)
• China
9 Jan 08
try to make your class interesting to attract their attention. when they are quiet even only for a very short period of time, praise them for their good behavior. help them to talk about things concerning your lecture. you can divide them into groups and ask them to discuss some questions.
@aries_0325 (3062)
• Philippines
9 Jan 08
I am a teacher for almost 10 years and I will suggest that you can motivate them by giving them a seatwork everytime you see them talking too much. Or everytime you have a lecture and after the lecture, you talk to them you will give them a board work or oral recitation or some quizzes regarding the topic you already finish at that time.
• Philippines
9 Jan 08
I am in the academe just like you but I handle college students. Are you handling pre-school or elementary pupils?It is not really easy to handle young students.. I think it is important that you explain to your students the value of listening. Tell them how important it is for them to pay attention while in class. Moreover, consider giving them rewards when they pay attention but not too much so as to spoil them. From time to time, give them tasks that they really enjoy.
@enbrown (282)
• United States
9 Jan 08
Lol I'm a pre school teacher assistant and I woud also really like an answer to this question! Seems like once they start talking it keeps going!
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
8 Jan 08
Sometimes a token economy works. Go to the Dollar Store and pick up a few items they might want, then establish a point system based on the number of minutes, or seconds, it takes for the first student to show signs of quietly paying attention. The rest of the students in the classroom will soon get more involved with earning little trinkets than talking to each other!
@cher913 (25867)
• Canada
8 Jan 08
first of all, you don't mention how old your students are...of course that has a lot of bearing on their ability to cooperate with you... each teacher seems to have their own way of controlling the class...i would talk to other teachers to see what they do
• United States
8 Jan 08
I always got really nervous when my teacher went absolutely silent. Kids expect to be told what to do, but when a teacher turns around, crosses her arms and just makes eye contact with each student without saying a word, it definitely gets your attention. I had a English Lit teacher who would do this. Looking back, she was probably just trying to find a solution as you are, but it was intimidating in a way. We always thought she was about to let lose at any minute when she did it. It definitely got our attention and calmed us down.