Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Too Much Noise? Try Whisper Claps!

 Happy Hump Day!  I'm not here today, but please welcome my guest blogger Liz from 

 Hi all!

My name is Liz and I am a second year teacher living in (usually) sunny Phoenix. I teach first grade and have 24 sweet kiddos and I am a newlywed as well. I love finding good deals at stores, cooking, tea, and reading (when I have time).

So I hate to admit it but everyone was right - second year of teaching is much easier than first year of teaching! Instead of focusing on being able to survive day-by-day, I am able to focus more energy on making sure my classroom is running smoothly and getting things done. It's relieving to have kind of known what to expect this time around and even though I am still learning and make mistakes all the time, I feel much more confident than last year.

One of my very favorite things to teach is small group reading. I just love teaching kids how to read. I love teaching sight words, teaching phonics, teaching vowel teams, teaching kids to look at the whole word...basically everything that goes with reading. I'm even hoping to get a master's in reading and eventually become a reading specialist so I can do small groups all day long!

I am allowed thirty minutes of small group a day - not much time - so I have to make every second of it count. But that's hard when it sounds like you have 7423623592 kids in your room. Last year, noise was one of my biggest struggles. But not this year.

Enter....the whisper claps. I saw a video by Teacher Tipster called Whisper Bell. I love Teacher Tipster. That guy is genius. 

Anyways, Whisper Bell is just a simple little bell that when the noise gets outta control, Teacher Tipster (I don't even know the guy's name) rings the Whisper Bell. When kids hear it, they stop and whisper "Whisper Bell!..." If they get too noisy again, he rings it again...."Whisper Bell!..." But three strikes and you're outttt! If TT (that's Teacher Tipster) has to ring the bell a third time, no more noise. That's right - silence until you decide they can start talking again.

I was excited to try this out...except for the bell part. Because I already use my bell as an attention getter. I couldn't use the bell for that too!

That would be too confusing for me the kids. 

Enter...Whisper Claps. Instead of a bell, I picked up the most annoying hand clapper at Dollar Tree. 
I, of course, forgot to take pictures of my own (those are from Dollar Tree's website) but it was a rainy day. And in Phoenix, rainy days are a big deal. Basically, everything was crazy. No recess for the kiddos and an extra 30 minutes spent together. Plus not to mention that when it was raining really really really hard, everyone coincidentally had to go to the bathroom. One girl even asked to get a the outside bubbler. Yeah no. I think not.

But the clapper. It's great. 

When the kids are getting too loud, I clap the hands together and the kids stop and whisper to each "Whisper Claps..." in murmurs all around the room.

I also always make a big deal of how annoying that sound is (it really is) and how it hurts my ears (it really does). The kids have picked up on that and I usually only have to do whisper claps once during small group time. 

So this year, I'll have my small groups running like a well oiled quiet machine. 
Thank you so much, Liz for a humorous and informative post! Make sure you stop by her blog for more enjoyable and helpful posts! As for me,  I need to get to the Dollar Tree!

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