It is easy for noise levels to raise on a daily basis in classrooms. While I don’t have a magic trick to eliminate it all together, I do have a few ideas!
Copy and paste, www.bouncyballs.org into a new tab and press Begin!
Once you press begin you will see a microphone in the right hand top corner. Turn that one and talk, scream, yell, or just sit quietly, whatever you’d like. The balls react to the noise they hear!
This is a great tool to use in the classroom to monitor noise level. You can have in on a computer, or SmartBoard for everyone to see. Let your students scream and be noisy, then have them be quiet. Maybe even ask one student to talk, then two, and so on, so they can see how the noise grows the more people talk. Show them how the balls work and how they react to even the smallest noise.
When it gets too noisy they can visually see they are being to noisy, which means less telling your class, “It’s too noisy in here”. You can even add in little challenges for your class like, “If we can get this done without any balls touching the top of the screen, ….. (fill in the blank)”.
This is a great, and simple, way to show students how loud they are being and how they can self-regulate themselves due to visually being able to see their contribution to the noise.
Another great tool for monitoring noise level is the app, “Too Noisy”. This is very similar to the bouncy balls website but this one is for Ipads, or any device that can have apps. This is a “Lite” version that is free to use, or you can pay $3.99 for the Pro Version.
Too Noisy shows you a dashboard that monitors the noise level within the room. It also has a Smily Face that changes from a happy face, to a scared or frightened look as the noise level rises. As the faces change so does the sky in the background. It starts with sunny and blue skys, to orange, to finally a dark, gray stormy sky.
This app also has settings where you can adjust so that it doesn’t rise as quickly. This is nice as you can control what sets off the speedometer. You can set it so minimal talking stays in the green and it only moves towards the red if it gets really loud.
The Pro version has a few extra features the Lite version does not. It has stars the class earns when they stay quiet that appear on the top of the screen. The app also has the feature where you can change the background picture, set alarms to alert the class when noise levels rise, and a screen cracking effect when they exceed the limit of noise past the red zone.
I have also found when using these apps, the students tend to tell each other to be quiet because even if one person is talking the noise level rises.
These two noise level monitors have great reviews and students really seem to benefit from having the visual aid to see that not only is their teacher saying it is too noisy but so is the screen. These tools are simple, and easy additions to the classroom to help monitor noise!