oh the noise noise noise noise

I love my class, but boy are they loud.  One child with special needs talks really loudly but has no idea that he does.  When I ask him to speak quietly, he looks either blank or confused.  I guess his voice doesn’t sound loud to him.  Little One is pretty good about using an “inside voice,” but when she loses it, she SCREAMS.  And at least half the class shrieks or uses their “outside voices” when they are excited or having fun.

It is driving me crazy, and it is very disrespectful of the kindergarten class next door.  (We have a door between the rooms that is usually open, because my class uses the bathroom that is right on the other side of the door.  That’s another problem — my kids go to the bathroom and start shrieking in there, and then it is REALLY loud to the kindergartners.)  Yesterday, when we were in the meeting area having a quiet discussion about Halloween costumes, the kindergartners got loud for the first time all year.

I seized the opportunity.  “Shhh,” I said.  “Listen.”

We all listened and could hear the kindergarten class being really noisy.

“Do you hear how loud they are?” I whispered.

“Yeahhhhh,” my class whispered back.

“That’s not very nice.  It’s hard for us to have our conversation when they are being so noisy.  Now think about it; that’s what you guys do to them ALL THE TIME.”

My class looked at me blankly.  Then they started raising their hands.

“We should tell them to be quiet!”

“Yeah, that’s not nice to be so loud.”

“I don’t like that.”

I stopped them.  “Guys, they have only done that to us once.  Think about how it feels.  Now think about how it feels to them when you are loud in here every day.  We need to be more quiet so they can do their work.”

Another child raised his hand.

“Yes, honey?”

“Let’s go tell them to be quiet.”

Cue Mrs. X. bonking her head against the wall.

**************

Any advice for me?

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3 thoughts on “oh the noise noise noise noise

  1. Since your kids are familiar with signing their names, maybe they’d think it was exciting to write up a poster-sized agreement for the kindergarteners AND preschoolers to sign, about everyone using quiet voices indoors. It could hang in your classroom as a reminder. (Hopefully the kindergartners would recognize it’s more of an apology than a nag, as far as they’re concerned.)

  2. Could you (in the midst of the 800 other things you are doing at any given moment) record your class? Maybe once during a really loud time and once when they are actually being pretty quiet? Then show them and talk about the differences and which one they would rather have next door.

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