Re: Talkative Band
Posted by Rob Chilton on 8/16/2021, 4:50 am, in reply to "Talkative Band"
In a nutshell, shaping any group to be more effective starts with procedures, expectations, opportunities, and consequences. I'll elaborate - |
PROCEDURES - Be sure to establish clear procedures for everything in your classroom. For example -
1) How do they enter the room?
2) Where do their backpacks go?
3) Where do they place their cases?
4) How much time do they have to get set-up? (I used a timer for the last 7-8 years. We would project it on the screen or TV. We asked our students to be ready to play one minute after the bell. This limited talking because they had to move with a "sense of urgency" to get set-up on time.)
EXPECTATIONS - Students will call these rules, but I like the using the word expectations. Have clear expectations for how the students rehearse that are reasonable and easy for them to follow. In my classroom, the rules were simple - no talking during rehearsal unless it was educational, in which case it should be directed towards me.
OPPORTUNITIES - Over the last few years, I learned to respect my students' desire to socialize and I allowed them to socialize with each other between pieces or activities. When we would change pieces, I would say, "OK - You have 60-seconds to stand-up, stretch, talk with your neighbor." Then, I'd put my hand up when it was time to start the next tune and they'd come back into focus. Eventually, I didn't even have to announce the 60-second breaks. They would just do it naturally between pieces and come back into focus when they heard my voice or I put my hand up. What I like most about these 60-second breaks is that the students knew that they would have an opportunity to chat with each other between pieces and they would honor my request to rehearse quietly. It also made rehearsal feel more collaborative between me and them. We got work done and they still got to be kids.
CONSEQUENCES - Make sure whatever expectations you create that you have clear consequences for not following the rules. I like strike systems. I would often do something like this -
Strike 1 - Warning
Strike 2 - 2-minutes of silence (no rehearsal)
Strike 3 - We pack up and practice the skill of coming into the room quietly. My students hated this the most, but it was very effective. Just make sure to be factual and non-emotional when delivering their consequence. If you show any emotional or come off as mad, they'll be mad at you. I would usually just tell the students that the skill of rehearsing properly is a skill that needs to be practiced.
Best of luck! I know it can be frustrating. I used to get really frustrated with talkative classes. Over the years, I think the best thing I learned was not to try and stomp it out altogether but rather allow it on my terms by providing opportunities when they meet expectations. Rewards always work better than punishments!