How To Quiet A Noisy Classroom

Virtually every teacher has had an experience with a class that has just refused to be quiet. Even the most brilliant and best-behaved classes can often become noisy. It can be quite tiring to keep repeating requests for quiet from students every now and then. It is widely known that students can be quite loud; it will be helpful to know ways you can get them to quiet down. Although, a noisy classroom could mean helpful learning is been carried out by students but the noise has to be controlled and brought to an acceptable level.

Helpful and creative tips to quiet a noisy classroom

  • Educate your students

Notwithstanding their grade level, make your students understand why to want them to respond immediately to your quiet signal. Lecture them on the disadvantages a noisy classroom has on learning. Most importantly make them understand it is not because you are an authority over them but for effective learning.

  • Learn to use sign language

It could be quite stressful to keep repeating yourself when you desire the class to be quiet, it is less stressful to just show a sign when you want your class to be quiet. It is recommended the students be taught signs for quiet and other signs for sit down, stand up and other simple actions.

  • Clap

This is a definitive method of getting the attention of anyone and particularly students, stand in front of the classroom or you could walk around and gently clap out a rhythm with your hand. This is a timeless way to quiet a classroom within 20 seconds; you can also quiet larger rooms such as auditorium or cafeteria containing hundreds of students in less than 60 seconds.

  • Use your hand to make a quiet signal

By teaching your students that when you make a particular signal with your hand it means they should quiet, this will easily help you quiet a noisy classroom without having to make any sound.

  • Put up a quiet request on the board

When a classroom begins to get noisy, write a request for quiet on the board. The tone of the request should be both assertive and friendly, and it should be stated that there would be the penalty for defaulters.

  • Perform a call and response

Actions such as call and responses that encourage physical activity can be effective in reducing noise in a classroom. A call and response involve you saying a particular phrase or word at your students and they reply in accord with a corresponding word or phrase.

  • Use a timer

You can project a timer from your computer to the classroom board for the whole class to see or turn the screen, set it between 3-10 seconds and let it begin to countdown. Make your students aware that you expect them to be quiet before the timer goes off every time it comes on.

  • Switch off the lights

When a classroom begins to get noisy turn off the main switch for the lights, this should get the attention of the students and they will be shocked for some seconds, which directly quiets the classroom. It is advised you leave the lights off for some minutes before putting them back on, do not put it on and off abruptly.

  • Stand in a particular spot

You should inform students that whenever you are seen standing in a particular spot in the classroom and you signal your hand you want them to be quiet within a certain period. You can even start a countdown using your fingers.

  • Play an audio tape

Sometimes you might feel embarrassed singing with your with your students as a way of getting the classroom quiet. You can play an audio tape, it could be a song on your computer. Particularly songs your students are familiar with or something related to the subject of study. You can do this when the classroom gets noisy.

  • Use a traffic light

Place a big plastic improvised traffic light in a spot where all your students can see it, and when the classroom becomes noisy and you want them quiet switch on the traffic light. The red light means you want them to be completely quiet, the yellow light should be a warning to reduce the sound of their voices, and the green light means it is good to talk.


It is important that the means you go about getting a noisy classroom quiet fit the age range of the students. The age range of the students would determine which method to use. Higher-grade students prefer you communicate and be direct with them, while creative and spontaneous methods work best for lower grade students. Most importantly, know what method works best for a particular classroom.

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