Teach Them to Whisper


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We use a variety of terms to train students to use quiet voices.

  • Indoor voice
  • 6-inch voice
  • Private voice

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, voices in the room can be a distraction that make it difficult for students to stay focused and in the zone. We want students to be able to participate in productive and engaging dialogue with each other. How can we have it both ways? It might be as simple as teaching them how to whisper.

We have been teaching long enough to know we can’t assume that students know how to do something. If we don’t see evidence of what we want, we teach it purposefully and explicitly.

Did you know that if you touch your throat and speak in a talking voice, you will feel vibrations? If you whisper, those vibrations are absent. By teaching our students this and having them practice, they will be able to discern between the two and can choose the whispering voice when the classroom environment calls for a quiet work atmosphere.

If the noise level rises, simply motioning to check for vibrations will help students bring their talking voices back down to a whisper. 



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