Every teacher has a level of quiet she prefers for optimum teaching and learning. In most upper elementary classrooms silence is the preferred level because students tend to "share" information not relevant to the classroom and "share" answers to test questions. :)
"Quiet" is a relative term in kindergarten and silence is but a fantasy of new teachers! Five year olds are noisy little creatures and self-control is not one of their strengths. However, we do achieve some short periods of quiet work and get students used to the idea that they are supposed to do their own work with their own brain. This year I also have a student who is hyper-sensitive to sound and we are trying to be respectful of that. However, I also have a situation in my room this year that I have never encountered before, and I will be the first to admit that it is driving me bonkers!!!!
My personal pet-peeve is repetitive noises. Humming drives me nuts! Scratching on the chalk board does not bother me as much as humming or low-pitched, whispered singing. This year the Lord is trying to teach me something! LOL I am not making this up- I have two hummers, a constant singer, a child who taps his pencil, a child who talks to himself, and a child who says "ch, ch, ch, ch" in a squeaky whisper as he works. I've talked, I've bribed, I've punished, and I've pleaded...to no avail. The problem with a problem like this is that the children have done this for so long that they are unaware they are doing it! So now I'm down to "___ you're humming." "Oh, sorry Mrs. Maurer." Repeat that twenty times a day. LOL
I posted this today to let you know that I don't think I have all the answers! There are some things I can solve for you in a heartbeat. But there are other things that are just not that simple. I have my own daily struggles in the classroom and I am more than willing to share them. I hope you will share with me.
Note: Two of you have asked about books. I promise I will have some book lists, links, and photos up by this weekend. A new blog is difficult to establish all at once. Thanks for your patience.