A New Day of Learning: The Gift of Gab

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Gift of Gab

Do you have a group of students that have the gift of gab?  My students this year love to chat! That comes in handy when it is time to think-pair-share or to do group work, but other times it can detract from our learning.

A wonderful teacher friend of mine suggested I try having students track their interruptions using a blurt chart.  I designed a blurt chart and introduced the idea to my students during a class meeting.  We talked about the blurting problem, discussed what types of talking should be considered a blurt, and came up with a signal and a phrase so they would know to make a tally on their chart.

What Counts as a Blurt?
1) Shouting out without raising your hand
2) Talking/Whispering during instruction time
3) Talking/Whispering when other students are sharing

How to Use a Blurt Chart
At the beginning of the week, you work with students to set a goal for themselves. The goals can be different for every student in your class or you can set a class goal.  For chronic blurters, a goal of 2 or less per day may be appropriate.  For other students, a goal of 1 or 0 might be the right thing. 

I mentioned above that my students came up with a phrase and a signal so they would know when to write down their blurt.  We decided that when someone blurts that I will either say "Write it Down" or  make a tally mark in the air with my finger.  When given the signal, the student(s) who blurted put a tally mark next to the current day of the week.  At the end of the day, they write down how many blurts they have.  At the end of the week, they total up all of their blurts for the week and mark down whether they met their goal. 

Did it Work?
Yes! The amount of blurting in my classroom has significantly decreased.  The students are proud when they turn in blurt charts with no blurts. I sometimes reward students who turn in blurt charts with zero blurts for the week with coupons for things like lunch with the teacher, wear slippers for day, or a no homework pass. 

If you think you might want to give this a chance in your own classroom, you are in luck! I have created some blurt charts in black & white and color just for you! Click on the picture below to get yours! (Be sure to be logged into your Google account.)

Blurt Chart Freebie

If you don't have a Google account, you can download it from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store here!.

What techniques do you use to help your students with their "Gift of Gab"?


  1. I have made Blurt Cards for my students who love to blurt. The Blurt Cards have the definition of what a Blurt is and if any of these behaviors (e.g., calling out") are observed, then the card gets punched. If s/he gets 3 punches in their card, they are not allowed to put a star on the class behavior chart (the whole class contributes to this and earns a certain number of stickers for a reward that they get to vote on and choose.
    I also use "Class Dojo" and put "Blurting" as a negative Behavior which subtracts from the student's daily score. These strategies are working like a charm! Good luck with your new blog!

  2. You have some great strategies! Thank you for taking the time to share them. I have a Class Dojo account, but haven't actually used it yet! I might have to get on there and use it! Best Wishes!


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