Nancy Landis, a fourth-grade teacher in Kansas found a technique for quieting rambunctious kids that works well for her: "I wear a stopwatch around my neck, and when the noise gets to an unacceptable level, I hold up the stopwatch and begin timing. They know the time that has accumulated on the watch is the time they 'owe' before they can have recess." If students respond quickly, Landis doesn't count the time on the watch against them.
Many other teachers employ variations of a counting technique. Some count aloud. One teacher we know counts aloud in a different language every month -- and the counting doesn't stop until all students join in. So children learn to count in a new language while they manage their behavior.
Another countdown" teacher sets a goal for the counting time the class can accumulate. During the first week of school, the goal might be 200 seconds a day, for example; the daily goal decreases by 25 seconds each week, until its down to 100 seconds a day at the end of the first month. If students don't use up that many seconds of time, the teacher shares a "joke of the day."
Source: Ten Teacher-Tested Tips
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