Have you ever asked, “How do I keep the noise level down?” “Some days my class is so loud your head is ringing when everyone goes home.” As you move through the day listening to your class busy at work and play, you may be thinking, “This group sure is loud!” All teachers have quieting strategies such as flipping the lights when the noise level reaches a deafening volume. Teachers use other strategies as well including quiet signs, to help children manage the volume. However, there are many things you can do to quiet the classroom all day long. Quieting the classroom decreases background noise and increases the ability of all children to hear what is being said to them.
It is likely that at least two out of ten children in your class suffer with an Auditory Processing Deficit, which interferes with the child’s ability to process what they hear in a meaningful way. It is extremely difficult for these children to filter out background noises. For example, a normal conversation for a child with Auditory Processing Deficit sounds like you are talking on a cell phone and the connection is very bad with static and many missing words. It is hard to understand the message of the speaker even though you are listening. A quieter classroom makes it easier for these children to pick up on the language of the speaker and filter out the background noises. The use of lower voices and creating a more peaceful and inviting environment encourages learning.
Simple Ways to Quiet the Classroom include:
- Carpeted areas or rugs
- Toy shelves lined with carpet or rubberized shelf liner
- Rubber or felt chair and table tips (tennis balls work)
- Rubberized mats or padded vinyl tablecloths for puzzle tables
- Limited number of children in each center area
- Low shelves used as room dividers. They catch noise and create quieter traffic patterns.
- Carefully chosen centers resulting in a low number of noise producing activities balanced with quiet play and spaced strategically around the room.
- Headphones for music listening.
- Closed doors to eliminate hallway noise