Education is one of the most important opportunities we have, but there is growing evidence that excessive noise levels can create a negative learning environment.
Noise exposure weakens children’s learning. Thus, reducing ambient, intrusive noise in our schools will not only improve students’ learning experiences, but will also improve their long-term health.
Learning and memory are affected by noise
Noise research shows that noise interferes with the learning and wellbeing of children. Consequently, noise impairs memory, concentration, the ability to distinguish speech, learning to read, and reading comprehension. It is also associated with stress hormones and high blood pressure in children. According to studies, children do not become accustomed to the noise, nor does the harm it causes diminish over time.
This article will give you tips on how to handle a noisy classroom and how to make even the noisiest of students listen.
Make a good start
When students enter the classroom, it should be clear that they must act calmly and collectedly, which may be difficult, especially if the lesson follows a break or lunch. Clearly define your expectations and how you wish the class to behave throughout the lesson. Inform them of the lesson plan ahead of time, as well as when there will be time for collaborating and talking with classmates, so they can remain quiet and focused when needed. To help students focus and learn, set aside a few minutes to remind them how they should enter the classroom. When they enter a calm and quiet classroom, it sets the tone for the lesson and encourages them to maintain the same level of noise throughout.
Students should be addressed individually instead of in groups
When you are trying to calm down a noisy classroom, don’t speak to the entire group. Instead, focus on a few students who are being the most disruptive. When you speak to a group, they often have power in numbers, and no one takes responsibility, so they continue to do things they shouldn’t. By identifying students individually rather than collectively, you are far more likely to hear what they have to say, and as a result, they will be quiet because they are more afraid of being reprimanded. Once some of the main culprits have quieted down, the rest of the class should follow suit.
Don’t say things more than once
To encourage your students to listen carefully at all times, try to say something only once. Repeating what you say will teach them that they don’t have to listen because you will repeat it a second and third time. Noisy students will soon learn that if they don’t pay attention, they won’t be able to understand what is said and won’t get the instructions for the activity. Set the standard early and make sure not to repeat instructions. Students will be sure to pay attention when you don’t repeat them.
Make noisy students more responsible
If some of the noisiest students in the class are given something to do or activity to lead, they will feel more responsible and be more likely to concentrate. This will have a ripple effect on their fellow classmates, causing them to be quiet and attentive.
Engage in active listening
Developing key listening skills from an early age will greatly benefit students throughout their academic careers. Engaging in active listening will make them more likely to pay attention and listen to the teacher in class.
Listen to more
The best way to encourage good listening skills in the classroom is to set an example. Listening more to your students instead of responding to their questions and comments, using positive body language, and engaging in what they are saying shows them that you care.
The following tips can help you reduce classroom noise to keep your sanity! Classroom noise patrol can be exhausting. We know how tough it can be to have a noisy class. We hope that at least one of these tips will help you to reduce classroom volume a bit. Are you trying another tactic to make your classroom a little quieter? Please share!
Also check: How Schools Can Support Student Mental Health