Bryan Whitney has surgically listed below the best response I have ever seen to deal with riled-up middle and high school kids. (Often their lack of control is in no way generated by disrespect but ironically is often generated by enthusiasm! But riled up is riled up, so read this list and keep it ready, perhaps taping it to your desk, to refer to. Why? Because the list mainly gets them writing. This action shifts their brain wave activity to an entirely different part of their brains, one that makes them think that they are learning. Ya gotta do it sometimes. And if you do it a lot, then fine! Nothing is more important than a quiet and focused classroom. How CI works re: input vs. output is a distant second to most that important statement.
So here is Bryan’s big time list of points about how to handle rowdy, riled-up kids. Bryan I added two more at 8 and 9: dictee and free writes. Please let me know if that is ok and if not I will remove them, but I think they fit well into the list:
With my student population, if they start getting a little over the top rowdy/goofy, I usually like to step back a bit and have them:
1. Write (copy things that I write on the board, do a dictée, etc.)
2. Draw (Listen and Draw is one of my favorites, or have them draw something that you dictate, or respond to a question with a drawing)
3. Translate something from the target language to English (then you can also talk about grammar) – They can write their response, and then share as a class, or have students take turns translating out loud, or have the whole class translate chorally).
4. Talk about grammar. Just pull out something that they can read in the target language, or even come up with something on the spot, and then talk about the grammar in it.
5. Do a quick quiz (if you had a student write one), or come up with a True/False quiz on the spot.
6. Play a game or have them do partner/group work/a little project. Even though there will be little to no actual language acquisition gains it gives you and the students a break, makes class more “fun”, and helps you to retain a bit of your sanity, so that you can get back to using comprehensible input afterwards.
7. Listen to a song in the target language.
Then, once they have settled down get back to the more engaging and fun stuff.