How I stopped the Blurting in My ClassroomHey, y'all! I know you've never had a student blurt out in your classroom before [insert sarcastic tone] but one day you might. If you're dealing with this issue in your room, I have a couple of tips for what I did to stop the cycle in my room.
I tried everything. We read the books, we had the visuals, we praised the students doing the right things, we gave consequences to those who didn't, we filled out behavior reflection sheets... nothing seemed to get it through that this behavior was totally disruptive.
Then came the data.
I made a quick table in a Word document with each students' name in their own square. Then, I tallied. It seemed like it was more than half the class with this problem, but once the data came in (and by data I mean I tallied every single blurt from every single student), it was only about 4 students who really struggled with this.
Students got to see how many times they interrupted the class each day and became really aware of how disruptive it was. (Like 50+ blurts from one student alone!) I was at a loss for tricks by that point, so I did what I hate doing and I let every single student who didn't blurt go to the treasure box.
I hate the treasure box. I believe intrinsic rewards are more beneficial than extrinsic ones. But they just weren't getting it.
So the first day, 10 students went to the treasure box. My biggest blurters were sad. The next day, 13 students went to the treasure box. Again, my biggest blurters were sad. It just didn't click yet. Each day, more and more students went. Finally it clicked. My most disruptive students GOT IT! And they went to the treasure box! And I was finally able to TEACH!!!
It was a red-letter day, I tell you.
Now, again, I hate the treasure box. I hate buying junk that they're just going to throw away eventually. So the day everyone got to go, we started building in whole class rewards like a dance party. Then, we upped the ante and students had to earn the trip to the treasure box over two days, then a week. Then, whole class rewards took precedence, and they were weaned off the treasure box.
Did it take time? Yes. Did it work? Yes. Thank God.
The biggest thing is that students needed to become aware of their behavior before they were able to change it. And it has made all the difference in the tone of our classroom and what we are able to accomplish.
It's not a perfect method. I've had students who wouldn't care either way. But it helped me and hopefully it'll help you.
I didn't make a big deal about who didn't go to the treasure box. I didn't call anyone out who had an awful day. I just praised the students who exhibited self-control. Those "good kids" never seem to get the same attention from the teacher that the tougher kids get, so we changed the dynamic. Our classroom is now happier, calmer, and more productive. All it took was helping students reflect on their behavior.
What do you do to curb blurting in your classroom? I'd love to know. Drop a line in the comments and tell me all about it.
Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more great ideas and resources coming soon.