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The big ear on the wall - how to reduce noise

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I teach 4th graders in a Danish school (10-11-year-olds) and as kids are everywhere, the noise level tends to rise. We don't believe in mindless discipline acts, which tend to degrade students, create unhealthy competition and, worse, damage their self esteem. Instead, we bought and placed a big ear-shaped electronic device, which measures decibel. A green light means the noise level is acceptable, yellow means it's getting up there and red is of course unacceptable. By talking with the children about how noise can be disrupting for everyone, not just the teachers, we have now reached a noise agreement. Of course, in the beginning it was fun to see how quickly the ear became red, but gradually, the children turned to respect the ear on the wall and administer the noise level themselves. Try it out and see for yourselves!

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