American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Tips for Creating a Good Listening Environment in the Classroom

If your classroom is too noisy here are some simple tips to help make the environment quieter:

  • Place some rugs or carpet in the room if there none.
  • Hang window treatments such as curtains or blinds.
  • Hang soft materials such as felt or corkboard on the walls.
  • Place tables at an angle around the room to interfere with the pathways of sound.
  • Hang soft materials such as flags or student artwork around the room and from the ceiling.
  • Turn off noisy equipment when it is not in use.
  • Try to keep windows and doors closed when possible.
  • Replace noisy light fixtures.
  • Avoid open classrooms where many classes are taught in a large space.
  • Talk to the students about noise and demonstrate how it can be difficult to hear when many children are talking at the same time.
  • Avoid dividing the class into groups where one group is listening to audiovisual equipment such as the TV and the other group is listening to the teacher.
  • Remind visitors to the classroom that they should not be talking when the teacher is talking.
  • Place latex-free soft tips on the bottoms of chairs and tables. Do not use tennis balls to dampen the sound! Tennis balls are made of latex which can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Also, mold can grow inside of the open tennis balls, which also poses a health risk. Sports balls and materials free of latex are available from a variety of sources.

Informational brochure on The Noisy Classroom is available through the ASHA bookstore.

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