The Blurt Box: Keeping Blurters at Bay!

Thursday, May 19, 2016 / 18 comments
Hi everyone!  It's Kim again from Elementary Antics and I am so excited to share about The Blurt Box!

The Blurt Box is a great classroom management strategy to help those caller outers and blurters in your class! This simple strategy really works!

A couple of years ago I had a pretty tough class.  I had some amazing kiddos, but a few of them just loved to talk, push each other's buttons and were extremely impulsive.  I tried proximity control to help these students' behaviors- they sat next to my desk or table when working independently, in the very front row at the carpet, etc.  I tried partnering them with another student that modeled good behaviors, partnering them with a student that they could "help", praising good behavior, sticker charts- I basically felt like I tried everything I knew.  At that point I wasn't a new teacher and I had always had excellent classroom management, but I felt like I was failing.  I was constantly having to stop during lessons to redirect someone's attention, remind someone to stop talking or stop calling out despite going over the expectations beforehand each time.  It was driving me nuts and I felt badly for the kids who were always paying attention and following the rules.  After some reflection, I determined that the main behavior that I needed to target was the blurting or calling out in class and during whole group lessons.  I had a handful of kiddos that were doing this consistently and it was disruptive.  

The Blurt Box- This classroom management strategy can help stop those blurters and caller outers in your classroom!

So, I turned to Google and started searching for an idea that might help me since everything I had tried before just wasn't cutting it.  That's when I found The Blurt Box, well it wasn't called The Blurt Box per se, but that's what we called it in my classroom.  The idea was basically this: Use nonverbal signals to stop the blurting- red paper squares.

The first thing I did was call my kiddos to our carpet (class meeting area) and explained to them again exactly what blurting was and why we were not doing it.  I made a sign on a 8x11 piece of paper that said "NO BLURTING" and taped it to my easel and onto my whiteboard.  I told them that anytime someone blurted out when it was inappropriate to do so I would not be reminding them of our rules again.  I would simply point to the sign and hand them a red square.  That's it.  At the end of the lesson, or when it was appropriate, they would write their name and date on the square and put it in the "Blurt Box".

The Blurt Box- This classroom management strategy can help stop those blurters and caller outers in your classroom!

At the end of the first day, I dumped out all of the red squares and tallied up the squares for each student.  The students with red squares had them stapled to a behavior sheet which was sent home and signed by a parent.  This was just to show the parent that their student needed to start showing a little bit more self control and reign in the impulsive behaviors.

The Blurt Box is a great classroom management strategy to help those caller outers and blurters in your class! This simple strategy really works!

Any students that did not receive any red squares that day got a green square. And any student that had a green square that day got a special treat (I was implementing this around Halloween so my treats consisted of little erasers {Target Dollar Deals section}, cool googily eyed stickers, pencils, etc.) and a behavior sheet with their green square stapled to it to be signed by a parent and returned.  Every time a green square behavior sheet was turned it it was put in a special basket and I would draw a couple of names throughout the day to get a special something as extra incentive- usually a small candy like Starburst or Smarties.

The Blurt Box is a great classroom management strategy to help those caller outers and blurters in your class! This simple strategy really works!

I did this every day for one week.  I know it sounds like a lot of work- and it was.  I had to plan to leave an extra 10 minutes at the end of my day every day that week to tally the squares and hand out behavior sheets and treats.  But, IT WAS WORTH IT!  The first day we had over 60 red squares and by the end of the week we had 10!  Even my paraprofessional who would come in about an hour a day was commenting on how amazing the students were doing- especially my couple who were the extreme cases.  Most students went from a red day to a green day by the end of the week.  And those who didn't made huge improvements in the amount of times they were calling out and I made sure to celebrate those accomplishments with them and make sure their parent knew about them too.

I obviously could not keep up the daily tallying forever, so after the first week I still gave out red square each time someone blurted or called out at an inappropriate time, but I only gave out a green square if they had no red squares after 2 days, then 4 days, then each week.  After a few weeks, I just would point to my sign and that was it.  This method was a huge success for me and I hope it can help you the year you find yourself with a class full of blurters! 

Follow my Classroom Management board on Pinterest for more great ideas!



18 comments:

  1. Where did you get the blurt box? What a great idea!
    eileenb3434@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Eileen,
      I just got that red box at the Dollar Tree!

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  2. Where have you been this year?! I could have put my name instead of yours. The best group of kids individually, but together.... I've been teaching 32 years and I have never seen anything like the blurting and nonstop talking. I have used my extensive bag of tricks to no avail. I am so starting this on Monday. Only 9 more days left but there's always next year! Thank you😃

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    1. I hope it works for you Susan!! Good luck!

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  4. I am going to start this ASAP! Sounds like an excellent strategy and I am going to blurt it out to all of my teacher friends! Thank you do much for this great idea! I love it!

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    1. Great! Blurt away! ;) Thanks Denise!

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  5. Oooh, I wish I had seen this yesterday! I'm student teaching / subbing and while I couldn't have done it for a week, I think it would have been helpful today.

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  6. This school year has just worn me down in ways I never imagined - and it's only going into the 3rd week! I'm trying this with my kiddos on Monday!

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    1. I feel the same way! Cannot wait to try this!!

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  7. What an amazing idea!! Do you have a template for the "Student Bulletin" you used for the notes +home?

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    1. If you look above the picture of the template, you'll find a link to behavior sheet for the template.

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  8. I started this yesterday. I am amazed at the immediate change in my students!! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. That's wonderful Mel! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. O.M.Goodness!!! I am LOVING this!! And, will begin on Monday! This is my class. I have been teaching 19 years and totally feel like a failure this year. Thank you!

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  10. O.M.Goodness!!! I am LOVING this!! And, will begin on Monday! This is my class. I have been teaching 19 years and totally feel like a failure this year. Thank you!

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  11. THANK YOU! I feel that it was no coincidence that I read this today... You have described my class to a "T"! Except, I only have about 5 non-"blurters" in a room of 23. I am definitely going to try this!

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