So it’s states standardized testing time here in Missouri. Our 3rd-5th grade students are testing in the mornings which has caused a bit of a switch for us as they normally have morning specials. While it’s kind of fun to see my K-2 kiddos in the morning rather than the afternoon they’re a bit wound and excited at the change. This wouldn’t be a problem except my room has doors into two other rooms that are both being used for testing so the noise level has to stay low. After several reminders Monday and clapping for attention several times I had to find a new way to handle the noise level, then I remembered something I had pinned a while back: Bouncy Balls just plug in your microphone (and turn off your speakers) and watch the balls bounce the louder it gets. I think I’d like to start with this earlier in the year next time and actually let them play one day to see how loud it gets. It worked really well yesterday when I tried it out and continued to work well today. I drew a line across the board about halfway up and told the kids we needed to keep the balls below the line. I was also able to have the page open on half of my screen while having a word document open for them to refer to on the other half.
As the library is the room next door I also wanted to do this with my fourth and fifth grade classes that can get quite loud sometimes but I wanted something more delineated for them and found the Calm Counter, with the levels on the gauge I can mark what is acceptable and what is not, with certain consequences to follow certain levels.
This has turned out to be a great way to handle the noise, all I have to do is tap students on the shoulder and point to the board and they quiet down, they really do want to see just how still they can keep the balls.