The following is a guest post written by LeAnne Poindexter. She teaches art at Lowes Island Elementary in Sterling, VA. You can also follow LeAnne on Twitter.
One of the recurring fundamental concerns that I hear from art teachers is noise level control! Just about every teacher I’ve ever talked to has come up with one way or another to let their students know when the noise level is out of control. I’ve heard of using traffic light symbols, wind chimes, using “My Turn/Your Turn” signs and many, many more. I stumbled upon a magical way of making my students aware of when their noise level was too high! I have a magic wand that I refer to as “The Whisper Wand”…don’t laugh; it works for me! The story goes like this: Whisper Wand needs a lot of sleep. When the noise level gets too high, Whisper Wand “wakes up” (a.k.a. Mrs. Poindexter waves the wand and presses the button) and the students know that they are talking too loud. (I tell the kids that I think they would much prefer for me to do that than yell at them, they always agree!) The first time Whisper Wand wakes up it serves as a warning. I tell the students that if it wakes up again, it’s REALLY hard for him to get back to sleep so we have to have silent art for five minutes. I actually have kids ask me to wake up the Whisper Wand because they are disturbed by the noise level! They LOVE it!
Can’t see video above? Try viewing on YouTube.