The Raise Responsibility System & Noise Levels

I received the following communication:

“I’m a retired electrical engineer. I recently began working as a substitute teacher handling any subject from grade 3 up through grade 12.

“The biggest challenge is to keep the noise level down and the smart alecks from disrupting the class. Things have sure changed since I went to school!

“So I have approached the challenge by being strict. Smart alecks, mainly 12-year-old boys, end up standing facing the wall until they apologize for disrupting the class. I knew there had to be a better way, so I spent some time in the local library and discovered your book. I am going to teach 6th grade tomorrow and I plan to implement your suggestions in Chapter 3, ‘Raising Responsibility.’

“I like your web site and plan to buy the posters and your book. You are doing a great service to mankind by helping teachers help this generation of kids learn self-control.

“Thanks, C. ‘Rick’ Rickard Morgan Hill, CA”


For those who have a challenge with “noise control,”  following  is a simple procedure to teach. (Remember, the first step for success is to TEACH. NEVER ASSUME students know what you want without first demonstrating.)

Teach students to adjust voice levels as indicated below:

Level zero – Silence – Show an index finger touching the thumb demonstrating a zero.

Level 1 – Whispering – Only the person you are whispering to should hear you. Hold up an index finger.

Level 2 – Speaking voice – The one you use when having a conversation. Show two fingers.

Level 3 – Group voice – The voice you use when giving a report to a group. Hold up three fingers.

Level 4 -Playground voice -The voice you use when you are playing games or shouting to your friends. Show four fingers.

Level 5 – SCREAMING – This voice is used when you are hurt or in danger. The only time you might use this voice when you are not in danger is when you are cheering for a sports team. Show five fingers.

Let students know before you start any activity the noise level you expect.

1 Comment
  1. I love this idea!! Dr. Marshall spoke with my school last year on my recommendation to administration and this year I’m proud to say that his methods are being implemented district wide!! I hope that the results will be as dramatic as the ones that I experienced my own pilot year. This idea was not in the presented materials and I will be sure to pass it on! What an easy solution to teach this procedure!! Love it!!