How to Quiet a Noisy Classroom So That All Voices Are Heard

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Not every moment in the class is meant to be quiet, but it's important for students to be mindful of when to lower their voices. Create a respectful learning environment where students are aware of their volume levels with the following strategies.

Facilitating Noise Control: Classroom Strategies for a Respectful Learning Environment

1. Carve out time for “quiet time”

The absence of sound can help students focus. Intentionally take time during the school day to stop and sit in silence. This offers students the opportunity to collect their thoughts and reflect on their day. 

2. Turn on the music

Play some soothing tunes in your classroom to set the tone. Let students know that their voices can be no louder than the song playing. This way students will lower their voice to listen to the music. Classcraft Ambassador and 7th grade teacher Meagan Frazier says, “I also play a lot of music in class, so when music is turned off they know to come back.”

3. Use a volume measuring app

Volume apps can give students a clear visual of how much noise is in the classroom, so the whole class can better manage their volume. 

4. Set clear expectations

Establishing clear expectations of classroom volume can help students better understand how to manage their voices and what  levels are appropriate when. Rob McKenzie, a 4th grade teacher and Classcraft Ambassador from Pennsylvania, says that his elementary school uses posters to help kids understand what voice levels they should be using in different situations. This strategy can help students course-correct their own behavior to what’s appropriate for a certain setting or activity. Additionally, middle school teacher and Ambassador Tara Artusa-Ballard shares that practicing what each voice level sounds like is important to their understanding. 

5. Create a Classroom Callout

Get students attention with an attention getter, like a classroom call out or echo clapping. My third grade teacher would say a phrase to get our attention and let us know about our classroom volume. He’d say, “Space...”, and we’d say, “… the final frontier!”

6. Foster a positive classroom culture

Overall, it’s important to remember that taking the time to build positive classroom culture can go a long way to having a calm classroom. By developing a trusting relationship with your students, they’ll be more likely to be respectful in the long run.

One step to accomplishing this is to take an interest in what your students are passionate about. What movies or TV shows have they watched recently? What games do they play? If you can, watch or play them yourself so you can participate authentically in conversations around them. Because this strategy focuses on creating positive shared experiences, it’s a fun and easy way to encourage students to take part in the daily classroom management and ensure a calm and inviting classroom environment.

This article was adapted from a blog post initially developed by the education technology company Classcraft, which was acquired by HMH in 2023. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.


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