Teaching Volume Control With a Voice Level Chart

We have been using our voice level chart since the beginning of the school year, however upon recently returning to school after remote learning, I quickly realized that my kiddos needed a refresher course on our voice levels and when it is appropriate to use them.

What is a Voice Level Chart?

A voice level chart is used to help students learn how to control voice volume and stays up on a wall in our classroom all year long. It helps set expectations throughout the school day. Voice level charts do a phenomenal job helping students understand there is a time and a place for certain voice levels.

So, what’s better than a voice level chart? A voice level chart with lights, of course! One of the things I love to do with our voice level chart is to pair it with touch lights. When assigning a voice level to a certain activity in the classroom, just push the light for the voice level that is expected and viola, there’s a fabulous visual for students to refer to! Your students are sure to “ooooh” and “ahhhh” over it!

Knowing that my students were out of routine, I whipped up an activity that would not only remind them of classroom and school expectations, but would be a fun and engaging way to get back into the swing of in person learning!

Voice Level Chart Sorting Activity

To review, the first thing we did was go over what the actual voice levels were and our daily schedule, which is posted on the wall right next to the voice level chart.

Then, we had a very short discussion on each level and when we should be using each voice level. For example, we talked about how we can talk all we want with our friends when we are at lunch, but we also are still inside the building. The kiddos discussed how since there are so many of us talking in the cafeteria, it would be ok to use our table voices so that our friends can hear us.

Partner Work

Once we finished our open discussion, I paired students up. They worked with their shoulder partners to complete the sorting activity where they placed schedule strips under the different voice levels.  Quick tip: it is always helpful for the littlest learners to review the schedule strips and voice level sheet before sending students off the work together. As I walked around to monitor students, I heard some great conversations between partners! One partner said he thought they should have voices off in music because they needed to hear the music teacher teach, however the other partner said they sing through most of music and so they needed their speaker voices, like they are performing for an audience. They ultimately agreed on using their speaker voices! 🙂

The Wrap Up

Once students completed their partner work, we culminated the activity by using a pocket chart and the whole class helped me place the different activities under the appropriate voice levels, based on what they decided upon during their partner work.  This was also a great way for students to check the work they completed together during partner work with the whole group, while also discussing the rationale behind their different decisions!

We really had a great time with this activity and it was neat to bring the excitement back to life over our voice level chart. We have gotten to the point in the year where my kiddos remind me to tap the light in the event that I would forget! *gasp* It’s also pretty gnarly when kids remind their peers to look at the voice level chart when someone is not meeting the classroom expectation!  🙂

Grab all you need to complete this fun activity in your classroom, here!

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