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Colored Cups Reduce Noise

Found In: lunchtime, noise control, routines & procedures

Our school uses a colored cup system to keep voices at an appropriate level in the cafeteria. Three stacked plastic cups – green, yellow, and red – are placed at the end of every table. We start with the green cup on top. When a teacher (or any adult) feels a table is too noisy, the yellow cup is placed on top to serve as a warning. If the noise level continues to be inappropriate at the table, the cup is changed to red and the table has silent lunch for the rest of the period.

This system works well because it places responsibility for controlling noise on the students. Before implementing the plan, discussions were held with all students to share the importance of voice level, to model examples of appropriate cafeteria voice levels, and to explain the cup system. The cups are inexpensive and last the whole year.


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