I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

30 Seconds

My last class of the day is a bit... rambunctious. They get out of lunch early and are at the door, clamoring to get in before my own lunch is through - before the first passing bell rings. It should not matter, I'm aware, yet I have to say - it's got 13 males and 6 females. It's got five males who seek attention. It's got six females who are quiet as mice.

So I tried something last week. I tried providing the class 30 seconds of getting out the noises - the fake farts, the "duh-DUH" that they've been enjoying blurting out, the talking they needed to shout, and the slapping of the thighs together or claps of their hands.

I counted down the last 10 on my hands, so they'd know when it was time to settle down.

I then turned off one of the light switches and passed out the quiet work (an article of the week along with a comprehension check).

Next time, it'll be 20 seconds.

  • 30 felt a bit too long
  • they actually got so loud I had to shut the door
  • one of the girls came to me and let me know she wasn't a fan
What do you do when the maturity level has hit an all-time low (when it feels as if it should be getting better, as they're getting older)? Thanks for any tips you've got!