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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Daily Assignment #54: Blurt Alert

Have you ever noticed some students who are constantly blurting out the answer, without raising their hand or waiting for their turn.

There are many ways to address the problem of students blurting out the answers.  One way would be to ignore the student. Another way would be to praise the student who does raise their hand. 

Here's a list of other possible strategies:

  • Give the blurter a specific number of chips for the day/period. Each time the student blurts out the teacher takes a chip. Once the chips are used up the student can no longer speak. There should be consequences if they do continue. Hopefully, the student will recognize how often they do blurt out and will begin to stop.
  • As the student blurts out give them a chip.  At the end of the day/period count up the chips. Establish a goal.  Have the student work towards reducing the quantity each day and striving for the goal.  Provide a reward when they have reached a goal.
  • Red Hand Alert  (Excerpted from the book, Class Cards.)
          Red Hands are cut from red construction paper. They are kept on the teacher's desk. Whenever a        
          student blurts out an answer or response when it is inappropriate to do so, stop everything, pick up one
          of the Red Hands, and extend it to the blurter. He/She is then required to write their name and the
          date on the hand. The hand is then dropped into a plastic container that "holds hands."
          At the end of the week, one of the students goes through the container and records on a grade sheet--
          using a simple stick tally--the number of hands each student received. The students with the most Red
         Hands have them stapled to Student Bulletins which are then sent home. It's this type of specific, goal-
         oriented communication that really gets results. We're not saying that Calvin is completely irresponsible.
         He just needs to exercise a bit more self-control.
Red Hand Bulletin

Note: For middle school teachers pass out red squares instead of hands. This will reduce the possibility that your students might see this technique as being a "baby school" thing.


  •  Green Hands are given out at the end of the week to students who had gone through the week without receiving a Red Hand. The Green Hands were taken home, signed by one of the parents, returned to class, and then dropped in a little clear plastic container. During the week  draw out Green Hands--one each day--and give the student some type of little prize, e.g. a Jolly Rancher, leave a few minutes early for lunch, extra reading, drawing, reading time. 
Helping the student who blurts out to recognize their behavior is the key.  


I hope you will try one of these strategies and let us know how it goes.


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Best Effort,
Linda103  


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