What’s the most common student misbehavior? TALKING! Hands down. When I was talking to another teacher the other day, we discussed social talking and when that is appropriate. It seemed like the kids didn’t really know what social talking is and when it is appropriate.
With 90 minute classes, we really don’t have any time for social talking. I might be mean, but we keep it academic.
The kids talk a lot. A lot, a lot. I don’t mind talking. We need it in our classrooms. With labs, stations, group work, call and response whole brain teaching, etc., we spend a lot of time talking. Yesterday, I started discussing what social and academic talking are and when they are appropriate. I reinforce it each day by just saying “social talk is over”, “academic talk only” or “no social or academic talk”.
These are the signs currently up on my white board right now. We’ll see how it goes…
We had a meeting with all of the students in our rotation about the amount of social talk going on. Did this solve all of the talking problems? Absolutely not. Did it help? Absolutely yes. I could just simply say “academic talk” to redirect off-topic groups.
We continued to revisit the social vs. academic talk concept throughout the year and I believe it had some impact.