Tier 1 Lesson Plans for Voice Levels
Can anyone share lesson plans that they have used to teach elementary (1st-6th grades) school students how to use appropriate voice levels in the cafeteria? Thanks so much
Teaching appropriate voice volume levels may be tough on a large scale, like in the cafeteria, but doing so on a classroom basis would be more effective. I think it would probably be best to have each teacher daily do a little lesson about voice volume for a week, then taper down to once a week just as a reminder. This can be a very brief lesson, a couple minutes.
In the cafeteria, where the problem seems to be most prevalent, this is where there could be reinforcers of what is taught in the classroom. For example, teachers could teach classes appropriate volume levels by creating a chart with 3 columns, quiet, normal, and loud. The teachers would have the students talk quietly and keep telling them to be more quiet until they reached what the teacher felt was a quiet level. The teacher would then write on the board “quiet” in the left most column to show students a range. The teacher would then tell them to talk to one another more loudly until the reached what the teacher felt was normal voice volume. The teacher would then write “normal” in the middle column on the voice volume range poster, telling the students this is a normal voice. Then the teacher again would have students talk and tell them to talk louder and louder until they reached what the teacher felt was loud. The teacher would write “loud” on the voice volume range poster/chart and tell the class that volume is too loud.
And in addition, a Non verbal cue could be used along with this lesson. During the lesson, when the teacher writes each word in the columns on the poster, the teacher could also draw a picture while making a non-verbal sign. With quiet, for example, when the teacher writes it on the board, the teacher would motion “shhh” by putting their finger to their mouth, and by drawing a picture under the word “quiet” of a finger to a mouth indicating “shhhh”. The same could be done for normal and loud, using non-verbal signals and drawings to represent each, like a thumbs up and an open mouth to indicate normal. Or maybe as part of the voice volume range idea, the teachers could do an ear with a minus sign next to it for quiet, just an ear for normal, and an ear and a plus sign next to it for loud. Another idea would be to just have ears. One ear for quiet, 2 for normal, and 3 for loud.
After establishing what level quiet, normal, and loud is, the teacher would practice these volumes with the class several times, asking them to talk quiet, then loud, then normal, then loud, then quiet, etc. Each morning after this lesson is taught, the teachers can once or more times a day run this volume drill with students to remind them what volumes are normal.
In the cafeteria, these non-verbal signals could be used and a large poster or several put around the room as described above for individual classes. When the students are too loud, the lunch aides remind the students they are too loud by giving a signal and pointing to the posters.
If you wanted to add a system of rewards and consequences, you might consider having lunch aides take some milk crates and every time the students have to be told they are at the loud level, a milk crate is placed on a table or in a central spot where all students can see. If they have to be reminded again, another milk crate is stacked on top of the first. And if the students reach, for example, 4 milk crates, they lose 2 minutes of recess or something else that would be a meaningful consequence. And if they get no crates for lunch, they get an extra few minutes for recess or some other meaningful reward. Or, for each crate that gets stacked for being too loud, they would lose a minute of recess.
Another idea would be to have lunch aides “sample” volume levels randomly 3-5 times per lunch. At each sampling, they would determine what the level is, quiet, normal, or loud, and put a crate under the corresponding column. The voice volume level poster could be put in a central location for all to see, but elevated so the crates could be stacked under each column. Then at the end of the lunch period, the aides would tally the crates, and if there were 3 or more quiet-normal crates, they would get a reward, or these could be added to a chart for the week, where at the end of the week, if they reach a certain number, they get a reward of some kind. But if they fail to reach this, they get nothing. If you wanted, instead of nothing, there could be a consequence. For example, if at the end of the lunch period, there were 2 or more crates under loud, they would get a consequence. Or you decided to do rewards and consequences by the week, then on Friday at the end of lunch, if there were a certain number of crates under loud, they would get a consequence, and if a certain number under quiet-normal, a reward.
There are a lot of thoughts and ideas out there about teaching volume levels. Here are some links to check out:
Lunch room ideas:
ct. voice level(1).doc
http://www.ntschools.org/cms/lib/NY19000908/Centricity/Domain/154/Microsoft Word - Voice Level.pdf
1348169993_Voice Level - Cool Tool.doc
have trained many schools in CHAMPS which explicitly teaches Voice Levels using visual cues and a number system. One of the schools has created the "5 Star Cafe" in their cafeteria. If the lunch table stays within a voice level 2 they earn a star, once the table earns 5 stars, the whole table earns a healthy treat or extra recess time etc. The school displays a poster on the wall beside each table. It has been very effective in the cafeteria.
This seems like a great program the school has come up with. How creative and innovative! Thanks for sharing! I can definitely see tables really working to get t stars and rewards. This seems like an effective way incentivize kids in an environment where it tends to be very hard to do so. Love it!