Monday, January 16, 2012

Teaching Volume Levels

Last year, I introduced volume levels to my class and had a really positive response. It not only helped in managing students as a whole group, but was really helpful in teaching individual students appropriate volume levels throughout the day. So when I started with my new class this year, I knew I wanted to teach them about volume levels.

{someone made me this adorable chart, but I can't link back to where I got it! This was BP (before Pinterest) so if it's yours please leave a comment!  Jessica from Under the Alphabet Tree made this for me! Also, Katie at Little Warriors has a bunch of great volume charts!}

I recently attended a professional development workshop put on by some wonderful professors from the college I attended and learned some great ideas on how to actively engage my students during a lesson. I knew I wanted to engage them in this volume levels lesson for two, I wanted them to be engaged because this is important! and two, I knew that would learn a lot more from it if I had them actively participating than if I just sat there and lectured at them.

{Side note: If you're interested in some new ways to actively engage your students I highly recommend this book!}

Anyway, I prepped the lesson by printing out several volume level charts {I selected "2 to a page" before printing} and several daily schedule cards that I purchased from Mrs. Bainbridge {I selected "4 to a page" for these cards and they were the perfect size for their little hands}and then cut them into strips. I put all 5 volume level cards and about 8 schedule cards into an envelope.

I started the lesson by introducing the volume levels chart and explaining the meaning of each number. We briefly talked about where it would be okay to use a level 5 outdoor voice, and when we would want to use a level 1 no talking voice. Then I split the kids up into groups of 4 using their desk letters, so that A's worked together, B's worked together and so on.
{they're working on place value using Cara's adorable snowman spinners!}

Here they are sorting their cards under the volume numbers:

I gave them about 5 minutes to sort their cards and loved listening to them working together to figure out where each activity belongs. Their dialogue was amazing!

We ended the lesson with sorting the larger cards on the board and sharing where we thought each activity card should go. This part was great because the groups where able to move their cards around after hearing a few examples up on the board. The students were so engaged!
{we decided that spelling referred to a spelling test which is why it's under no talking :)}

The kiddos did a great job with this activity and I think they totally left with the knowledge of appropriate volume levels. We constantly review this throughout the day too. When I hear them working to loud I say "volume check" and they chorally {well, for the most part!} respond with the correct level and adjust their volume. It's awesome!
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  1. Okay, so can you come do this in my classroom? I need to start over because I did this as a lecture. Uh oh. You are one smart cookie, my friend!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  2. The book looks awesome! I need help with volumes...not just for my kids, but for me, too! lol
    First Grade Blue SKies

  3. What a great idea! Our kids aren't supposed to talk at lunch except in whispers. Erks me, I can't eat without talking. Meals are supposed to be a social time.

    2B Honey Bunch
    The Best Endings

  4. Once again, the sixth graders need the same lesson as the kinders!
    It's scary how often our curriculum overlaps...
    Those firsties are lucky to have you.
    Happy day!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  5. YAY! I can't believe I won! You made my day! Sorry for not leaving my e-mail address (fortunately I don't have an overly common name!)! It's! Thanks again! I'm so pumped!

  6. I made you the ocean volume chart =) so glad you posted about this because I need to reintroduce it since the holidays!

  7. The author of that book, Andrea Guillaume, was my professor in college! Such a terrific teacher with excellent ideas!

    The Littlest Scholars

  8. I love the volume levels! It has really helped my students out this year!
    Rambling About Reading

  9. So awesome! Kathy from First Grade a la Carte lead me to your blog - and what a great post for coming back from the holidays! I will be trying this!!

  10. These are great strategies. Thanks for the links.

    Kathy sent me, too. :)

    You have a great blog.


  11. Thanks for the shout out!!!;) The noise levels have worked wonders for me this year!! I L.O.V.E. this lesson! You're so stinkin' smart!!!
    Little Warriors

  12. That's a great idea....and thanks for the link to the snowman spinners!

  13. Just found your cute blog...Kathy sent me!

  14. Wow! Great idea. I love the volume level idea! I will have to remember it for next year!

  15. I love this beyond all belief. Thank you for sharing the full lesson so clearly - I can see why it went so well!!

    - Lisa
    a teachers bag of tricks

  16. Kathy at first grade a la carte sent me. Love your blog!

  17. I am sharing the Versatile Blogger Award with you! Hop on over to my blog to pick up the button and get the rules!

  18. Kathy sent me. Thanks!


  19. Ooo, def. giving a volume control lesson SOON! Thanks for posting about this!

    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  20. I LOVE these volume control posters. I am going to do this next week. Thanks!!! I love all your ideas and I am so glad you are enjoying 1st grade!!!

    Thanks for joining in Kathy's giveaway, too! Love your blog!!

    The First Grade Dream

  21. I have been having lots of problems with noise since we returned from the break. I can't blame it on the full moon anymore {LOL} so I really need to do something like this in my class. My kids are so CHATTY! I most hate it when I'm assessing and I can barely hear them speak but when they return to their seats..OMG they are so loud :(

    Color Me Kinder

  22. I LOVE how you took this to the next level and made it more concrete for them to understand! I still have a couple of kiddos that spend a little time with the whisper phones because they have no idea about the volume of their voice. After a headache from their OWN loud voice some of them finally get the picture of what a whisper is! =)

    Heather's Heart