Voices in the classroom

Classroom management is all about procedure. Many like to say that you should have “rules”, but that right there is a problem. Students don’t like rules. A classroom should be a place where students should be free to express themselves within a controlled environment. Rules in a class just stifle students. Makes them feel as if they are in prison and a classroom is anything but a prison.

A classroom needs to be a place where creativity is exchanged; students learn and develop skills that they will take with them into the future. Education today is all about collaboration. If kids are not collaborating, they are not as effective. Many teachers fear that group work brings about noise. Nevertheless, there are many techniques that could be followed to facilitate an effective, collaborative classroom.

One of these techniques is the 6-inch voice. What is the 6-inch voice? This is a technique used among students were by if you were speaking to anybody other than the teacher you are required to use a 6” voice. So how this works is that if a teacher is standing 6 inches away from the student, they should not be able to hear any voices. This technique is perfect for group and pair work. If students fail to use the 6” inch voice then it would result in them not being part of the group or pair activities.

From the first day of school, the 6’voice should be modeled to students, describe how it should work, and have them practice it.Before any group activity begins, remind them of the 6’ voice and over time if need be, put up some signs in the class so that it is always a reminder. Another good way of reminding students of the 6’ voice is to make little cards for each group and stick it on their table which would remind them of the 6’voice and also the fact that if the 6” voice is not used then they would have to complete the group work on their own.

Teachers need to remember that always using a loud voice isn’t as effective as using a softer voice or even whispering. Using a lower pitched voice will always grab attention faster. Teachers also need to remember that preparation is key. Students tend to get bored fast and so preparing well ahead of time is always best.