The 5 Second Solution for a Talkative Class
- Articles, Blog

The 5 Second Solution for a Talkative Class

Hi. I’m Jennifer Gonzalez for Cult of Pedagogy.
Today I want to talk to you about the 5-Second Solution. This is a little, little tweak that you can
make to your teaching, or your presentation…any time you work with a group of students or participants… tiny change that can make a really big difference in how well things go for you. The basic idea is this:
When we are talking to a group and we’re trying to get everyone’s attention,
a lot of times we don’t wait long enough to get full quiet and get everyone’s attention
— maybe it’s our level of discomfort — we just start talking when there are
still people who are not really focused on what we’re saying. So — what I’m gonna show you today is how — what a difference it can make if you just
wait about five seconds. This is not a precise amount, it’s about five seconds. So — I’m going to show you before and after. I’m going to say the same thing twice…okay? I’m gonna tell everybody
to finish what they’re doing and then I’m gonna start to give them instructions.
I’m gonna tell them to turn to page six in their packets and write down their answers to the first question. So, the first time — and I’m going to be
playing sound effects of students. So, here we go.
This is NOT using the 5-Second Solution. (sound of noisy classroom) Okay everyone…
finish up what you’re doing… We’re going to move on to the next step. Now the next thing you need to do is turn to page six in your packets and I want you to write down your answer
to the first question. Now you can hear that I talked right over the voices of the students who
were still talking. They likely didn’t hear me — or some of them didn’t hear me. Now here’s what’s gonna happen with those students: The two or three students who were still talking, they didn’t hear my instructions.
Now, they are going to turn to somebody else and ask them or they’re gonna put their hand up and say,
“What page did you say?” “What are we supposed to do?”
And I’m gonna get mad at them, because they didn’t hear the
instructions that I so clearly gave. If you just wait a few more seconds to make sure that you have everybody’s attention, then they all hear you. So we’ll do this again, and I’m gonna wait this time. So, let’s bring on the noise again… (sound of noisy classroom) Okay everybody…finish up what you’re doing. We’re gonna move on to the next step. (noise fades to silence) Okay, the next thing you need to do is turn to
page six in your packet, and write down your answer to the first question. I waited until I had complete silence. That is what the 5-Second Solution is. Just wait until you really do have everyone’s attention. I’ve seen teachers get really upset at students who aren’t paying attention
or who didn’t hear an instruction… or whatever it was… and granted, a lot of those students should be quiet when you first say it but sometimes it just takes a while to get everybody’s attention. So when you’re presenting to a group,
just wait a few extra seconds until you’re sure you really have everyone’s attention, then talk, and you’ll see it makes a huge difference. Thanks.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *