Monday, December 1, 2014


It was a 7th grade world history class. The lesson plan stated that the students were to read the chapter individually and then fill in a worksheet I passed out to them. Simple enough.

To me, reading a chapter individually means no talking. Because, you can't talk and read at the same time. Sure, you can read out loud, but that's not what students do. They claim to be reading while discussing the cute boy over there. That's not reading. That's hoping to absorb the words through osmosis while having them in front of you (which doesn't work. I know, I've tried it).

But 7th graders don't do silence. Not without a big ol' fight.

By 6th period I had had enough. I tried everything with earlier periods. (I knew that it was doable because 1st period read silently. The rest of the day, however, only gave me moments of silence. Which I had to fight for.) So, I just started taking down names of talkers.

Once I let them know what I was doing, they all wanted to know if their name was on the list. And then they wanted to know if I'd take it off.

Normally, the answer would be no. But it was the beginning of the period. And these were 7th graders. So, I made them a deal. I'd take off the names but only if they worked quietly the rest of the period.

And you know what? It almost, kind of worked. Well, they were much better than before (and much better than the previous classes excepting period 1).

Must remember this technique for next time...


  1. I like that; encouraging them to have the name taken off if they conform the rest of the time and do the silent reading. First period was probably quiet because half the kids were still waking up :)


  2. You should write that tweet on the blackboard whenever you go into a class. It would save so much time.

  3. Haha! I do a similar thing to my class. If they get their name on the board for no play at first recess they can earn it off if I'm in a good mood. If.

    1. Yeah, most days I won't do it. But it seemed prudent at the time.

  4. You've come up with a very good idea.

  5. Great idea as nobody likes to get caught


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