Saturday, October 12, 2013

Quiet Down Class!: Managing Voice Levels in the Classroom {take 2} and a Freebie

Looking through my past blog posts and stats, I noticed that one of my most popular viewed blog posts was one I did on voice levels in the classroom. I also noticed that I created a fun voice level chart, but didn't leave a link for the readers to grab one for themselves! To be perfectly honest, the file was hanging out in Power Point just waiting for me to release it on TPT... as a  FREEbie! Now that I have a few more followers (I love all my blog followers, thank you!), I thought I would share the post again with links to get this voice level chart as a freebie. Click {HERE} to be taken to my TPT store to snag this free Voice Level Chart. 

Here's the scenario: You ask your students to partner talk. As soon as you say, "go" the classroom erupts in noise. Your classroom is so loud, partners have to talk in their own teacher voice to be heard by the person sitting right next to them. Yikes! Read on to find how I tackle this common voice level problem...

One of the first things I teach my students at the beginning of the school year is voice level control. I want my students to know that during certain activities, the expectations on how loud the classroom should be are different. This is also one of the easiest management strategies to teach because the kids love practicing changing their voice levels. 

Primary students and intermediate students alike respond well to a visual reminder of their expectations. That's why a voice level chart is so important to have hanging my classroom! 

This year, I decided to update the voice level chart I'd been using for the past 4 school years. I included 6 voice levels, from zero voice to outside voice, and included what the voice level sounds like in the classroom and when that voice level is used. I attached it to string and will use a clothespin to change what voice level I want my students to be at (see photo above). This was simple to make and an easy way to remind students of voice level expectations! 

Here is the voice level chart I used in the past...

I used 5 cards in 5 different colors. Each color has a number to indicate the voice level I want students to be at. I attached the laminated cards to a binder ring so it was easy to hang on my whiteboard. When I wanted the voice level to change, I would simply flip the card. At the beginning of the school year, we would frequently practice what each number meant.

Voice level charts are easy to make and an important tool in the classroom! Come back soon as I will be adding my current voice level chart to my freebie page! 

How do you manage student voice levels in the classroom?? 



  1. This is really cute and a great idea! I am thinking of pairing this with one of those decibel apps- setting decibel ranges for each level. I'll let you know how it goes!
    Chris Making Meaning

    1. I'd love to hear how that goes! I've seen the decibel apps on Pinterest and I am curious to see them in action!


  2. I'm dying in the classroom with voice levels! My kindergarten friends can get so loud and I have to make them stop and put their heads down. In the morning they are pretty good about it, but as the day goes on (and they WAKE up, lol) they get louder, especially at center time. I have them move their clip on the behavior chart and have them put their heads down, but I feel like I have no control in this area

    1. I hear ya!! I am with you here! I have a very chatty bunch and had a very chatty bunch last year. It was a big challenge for me last year coming from a private school where my students were pretty easy to manage. My saving grace has been being as consistent as possible with a quiet signal (I say, "Class, class" then put my hand up). If they don't do that, I have students go to the carpet and we practice and practice ( they hate this, so after awhile they catch on and learn to just stop talking when I expect them to, lol ).

      I also have a rain stick that I turn over when the class is getting too loud during group time. They have two "warnings" before we stop the lesson to practice (again, they don't like to practice, so they catch on).

      I'm NO expert, but being as strict and consistent as possible in September helps make things easier in October and the rest of the year :)

  3. Yes, consistentancy is the key and mine hate having their heads down and practicing too! One day they were so noisy in the hall I told them them to go back and we would miss our 20 minutes of computer lab that we were on our way too. They put their heads down then we had a nice long talk about how they just missed out on something they loved to do because they were too loud. That preceded them asking, can we go now? When they figured out they REALLY DID miss computer time that day it has certainly helped in the hallway!!!


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