I do a few things that help with volume control in my classroom. One of those is that we play Behavior Bingo. Any adult in my room can give points and I also give points for compliments given outside of the room. I will give points for things like cleaning up quickly, kind behavior, noise level, and being on task. It is a whole group system. I keep track of the points earned by making tally marks on the board. During calendar time we draw one number for each tally mark and cover that space on our Behavior Bingo Board. When the class covers a row in any direction we earn a prize. It can be things like a pizza party, extra recess, no homework, treasure box, popcorn, or pretty much anything you want to give. I change up the prizes each time, but that's just me.
Here is a freebie Behavior Bingo Board or you can just use any 100s chart. You can make the chips to draw by printing it twice, cutting the number squares out, and putting them in a box or bag. If you laminate the sheet, you can simply use an Expo marker to mark the spaces & erase it once the prize is earned.
Click the picture to download the board.
Another tool I use, which most of you have probably heard of, is the game Quiet Mouse. We play this game whenever we are waiting somewhere and need to be silent. I pick the quietest student who is doing everything I expect them to be doing and designate this student as the quiet mouse. He or she then gets out of line and looks for the next person who is doing an awesome job and points to them. Then that student becomes the quiet mouse. The game goes on like that until we no longer need to wait. I am not sure why the kids love this game, but they do!
One last thing I do has to do with walking in the hall. Whenever we are walking in the hall and talking starts up I will have the class sit against the wall. I wait until everyone is sitting and completely silent. We then practice silence for anywhere from 10 seconds to 1 minute before we stand back up and try walking again. Sitting a few times and practicing usually nips the tendency to talk in the halls pretty quickly. It doesn't take very long and I don't have to try and figure out who exactly was talking each time.
I hope some of these ideas were helpful to you and I would love to hear about what you do to keep the volume under control in your classrooms. Leave a comment if you have something to share.