Take Control of the Noisy Class: From Chaos to Calm in 15 Seconds by Rob Pelvin

12. Maintaining lesson flow

  • When students experience boredom, frustration or an interruption of any kind, varying levels of inappropriate behavior can start to emerge. Boys, in particular, benefit from knowing exactly what they are up to in a lesson and what’s coming next, and a checklist on display enables them to tell at a glance what they have achieved so far and what there is left to do. When a lesson isn’t working, be sure to have some fun, meaningful and engaging backup activities from the Internet and/or teacher resource books ready. Rob also includes some structured break activities for classes where working non stop for the entire class is beyond students’ abilities. Avoid excessive teacher-talk. Giving too many verbal instructions throughout a lesson can become very distracting for students. You want the students to be working. Your job is to circulate to provide support when needed. The chapter ends with 23 ways to get the attention of the class if there is too much noise.

13. Dealing with problems

  • You must plan ahead and pre-empt boredom. As soon as you detect the warning signs, act quickly to keep them on task. That is the time to change the activity, begin a quick energizer or just offer them some quiet encouragement or support. Give limited choices rather than confrontational commands. Next we have ways to deal with disruptive student comments. The key is to stay calm no matter how profane the offense. It’s also important to have relationships with the likely offenders. Like Rob, I recommend you ensure the other students are occupied then take the offender aside and calmly deal with them out of earshot of the rest of the class. Encourage parents to follow up at home by encouraging polite language and discouraging swearing.
  • Mobile phones can be disruptive, but they can also be useful tools to integrate into your lessons. They feature stop watches, a GPS, video and still cameras, the ability to watch Internet videos and listen to podcasts, and a writing tool. When it comes to homework, it needs to be something students can do and ideally they have some choice in the matter. Rob also offers advice about how to deal with students who are late to class.

Conclusion: The end of the lesson

  • Rob feels that it is important to have an end of lesson routine. He suggests: 1. Put all textbooks on the shelf and exercise books on my desk. 2. Put all equipment away in the correct drawer or cupboard. 3. Clear your work area and sit silently facing the front. 4. After you get permission to leave, push in your chair and leave in silence. Vague instructions more often than not lead to misbehavior because they don’t give the students clear enough direction. You can download a full set of ready-made routines from: Noisy Class Book Resources.

Rob Pelvin

  • As a new teacher in a comprehensive school Rob struggled to maintain control in the classroom before discovering that certain key strategies would lead to an immediate improvement in the way challenging students behaved amd responded. Using these relationship-driven principles as a foundation he went on to develop a complete system for preventing and dealing with behavior problems and improving student motivation in the classroom.
  • Rob now runs training courses internationally for teachers, lecturers, parents and care workers on behavior management, student motivation, stress management and mindfulness. His live workshops are frequently described as ‘unforgettable’ and his materials are used in thousands of schools worldwide. His Noisy Class video is the highest ranking video on Youtube for the term ‘classroom management’. Rob is also the originator of Needs-Focused Teaching. @RobPlevin @CrownHousePub
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