Most kids are naturally chatty. Humans, after all, are social beings. But when you’re doing your best to engage a class and hear the unmistakable sound of kids talking when they’re supposed to be listening – or when the kids are supposed to be working on a project but are talking about everything but the project – it can be more than a little frustrating.
I wondered if there were student-centric strategies for dealing with a chatty class, so I asked Julia Thompson and Kristen Vincent to join me on a Responsive Classroom-sponsored episode of Studentcentricity to answer that question. They did so admirably. You can listen to the conversation by clicking here.
Below are some additional thoughts from them. Julia offers these tips for turning this challenge into a positive class attribute:
Be very clear with your students when you discuss this issue. They should know when it is acceptable for them to talk and when they should be working silently or listening carefully. Setting clear limits and communicating those limits reduce your students’ tendencies to test the boundaries of your tolerance.
Be aware that sometimes you may be the cause of the problem. Once your students are settled and working, be careful not to keep talking to the whole class. Work with individuals at that point instead of distracting the entire group....